In a trackside press conference, GM Goodwrench Service and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) unveiled the paint scheme for the 2002 No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by NASCAR Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick. Silver and...
In a trackside press conference, GM Goodwrench Service and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) unveiled the paint scheme for the 2002 No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by NASCAR Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick. Silver and black, GM Goodwrench Service's flagship colors, will adorn the car.
Richard Childress, CEO of Richard Childress Racing, John Smith, Vice President of General Motors and General Manager of GM Service Parts Operations, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Monte Carlo were present.
The following are comments and highlights of the unveiling:
Richard Childress: "Some of the biggest questions are what we're going to do with the car in the coming year. After Daytona, we decided to go with a white car - something very plain. There were all sorts of rumors about how we came up with the number 29. I asked NASCAR what the next number was that they had available and it was the number 29. That's how we came up with the 29.
"We've been with GM Goodwrench now for 16 years. Our cars have been black and silver which are their colors. Their drag cars and every promotion they do use those colors. So we went back with that. The 29 is Kevin's number and that's the number he's making famous today."
John Smith: "GM Goodwrench has had the good fortune to be associated with Richard Childress for 16 years. They have been great years. We're really looking forward to our 17th year and the car carrying the GM Goodwrench colors. If you go to any GM dealer and you look back in the service bay, you'll see the service techs wearing silver and black. We're really excited about this car and we're certainly excited about partnering with Kevin Harvick."
Kevin Harvick: "We've had a long year and the number 29 has obviously become part of our organization and our team and hopefully this puts a little bit of pressure on NASCAR to do what is right with the No. 3 car. We're happy to be associated with GM Goodwrench and to have the colors be black and silver. We're looking forward to it and think everybody will enjoy it."
What is the right thing to do with the No. 3 car? "The numbers belong to NASCAR and NASCAR controls the numbers. It's not their policy to retire numbers, but we're talking to them heavily about retiring the No. 3. If not, we have some plans. We would do something with the No. 3 that we have registered and stylized with Dale Earnhardt that makes it famous. But right now, we're just in conversations with NASCAR, and hopefully by Atlanta we'll be able to come up with an answer. I do understand that we're going to be able to keep it (No. 3) and nobody else will be able to get it but RCR. So again, we're waiting to see what their final answer will be."
Will this take a little bit of the pressure off of Kevin Harvick to live in the shadow of Dale Earnhardt and the No. 3? "He's always going to be there. The RCR car and the GM Goodwrench car have always been the Dale Earnhardt car. But he's building the No. 29 and he's building his own legacy. Hopefully it's not pressure. It's there everywhere we go. And we don't mind. That's a huge part of it. He realizes that Dale built the team with us and every one of us is proud to have Dale associated with it."
How did you come up with this paint scheme and how much thought did you give it? "We gave a tremendous amount of thought to it. We wanted to do the right thing. We didn't want to come with a black car with silver on the bottom. We didn't want it to be anything like what we had before. We wanted more silver on it than black. We went to the design staff at GM Goodwrench a couple of times. Their design people came to our shop and worked with us. We just kept working and tweaking it. Finally we got it to where we felt everyone was comfortable with it. We hope the fans will accept it and understand that these are GM Goodwrench's colors. You walk in a dealership and you'll see those guys wearing black and silver uniforms. That's what companies are in our sport for is to promote their image."
Kevin Harvick's season has been a little bit crazy. Can you comment on that? "Yeah, it hasn't gone the way we wanted it to the last couple of three weeks. We've just got to get a hold of it and dig deep. Yesterday was an unfortunate day to get involved with a lapped car. But those things will happen. You've just got to regroup and that's when you find out how strong you are."
A lot of the media speculated that this press conference was going to be about Robby Gordon. They guessed wrong, didn't they? "We're going to make a decision about what we're going to do with the No. 31 Cingular Wireless team toward the end of the year. We hope to have some decisions on that by Atlanta as well."
Can you explain your comment about the possibility of NASCAR "giving" you the No. 3? "We've had the No. 3 since 1973. So unless something drastic comes up, NASCAR lets the owners retain the numbers they've got. In this situation here, they're having to make the right decision as well. Hopefully that decision is that if they won't retire it, they would let us keep the No. 3 and not run it. The ideal scenario is that they'll retire it. But that has not been their policy throughout the history of NASCAR. If they would have retire every number for different reasons, we'd be running out of numbers. Today, every single number in the Winston Cup Series is taken - No. 1 through No. 99. Every number is assigned to someone. So if you start taking away the numbers, we'd be short of numbers. But again I respect what NASCAR is trying to do and they're trying to do the right thing about retiring numbers."
What do you think about the aggressiveness that we've seen on the track this season? "I think as long as it's wholesome aggressiveness, I don't think it's bad. I think we need that kind of racing to a point. You don't want to take it to a level where someone is going to get hurt. But that's the way racing was back in the old days. That's what race fans come to see is good, tough, hard racing. And drivers are going to be a little aggressive and that's what it's all about. I don't think fans come to see it and watch an Interstate ride back. You've got to have a little excitement. That's what makes NASCAR racing what it is. We do have some aggressiveness."
What do you think about aggressiveness between teammates? "I don't think they should take each other out of a race. I won't accept that. When they have their little problems on the track, a lot of the time it is fueled by them by other people saying things that fuel the fire. I've had Dale (Earnhardt) and Mike (Skinner) in several different situations before and Kevin (Harvick) with Mike and you're going to have that. That's part of the business. It's how the next day they wake up and look at it and say, 'Hey, this guy is a teammate, he's a plus for me, and we've got to work as a team'."
What do you think the schedule should be a little shorter than it is? "Well, if I were in NASCAR's shoes, which I don't know that I'd want to be in today's environment, I'd probably like to see our sport spread out a little more. I would like to see a race maybe in Denver - you know, spread it out. And if it meant losing a race in one of the closer hubs that we're racing out of, then that's what I would do."