Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo (highlights of a post-practice Q&A session) Note: Following today's qualifying session, Harvick will fly to St. Louis to practice and qualify for the Busch race. Are you surprised at the...
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo (highlights of a post-practice Q&A session) Note: Following today's qualifying session, Harvick will fly to St. Louis to practice and qualify for the Busch race.
Are you surprised at the fan turnout here at NHIS?
"I didn't really pay attention, to tell you the truth. I was just concentrating on practice. There's always a good turnout in the northeast - even for the Busch race when we came here a month or so ago. The crowd support was pretty awesome."
What did you think of the track today, how was your practice session, and what do you think of your chances?
"It's hard to tell about your chances. We were practicing for qualifying. The track is good. I thought they just sealed the corners but they sealed everything. It doesn't feel any different to me."
How does it feel to go back and forth between Busch and Winston Cup on a weekend like this?
"It's not the smartest thing to do. It's one of those deals where we're trying to do both of them (series) and we're trying to finish off what we started. This is one of the seven weekends that we have to go back and forth. We have to go out first in qualifying here in order to make it down there (St. Louis) in time to practice. Once we get through this weekend and next weekend (Pikes Peak), things will be good."
How do you deal with the fatigue factor?
"There is no fatigue factor.
What type of head and neck restraint device do you wear?
I wear the Hutchins device. It's something that Bobby Hutchins, an engineer at our shop, came up with. It's basically just a belt that hooks into your seatbelts and hooks up like the HANS device. It looks to be pretty good on the sled test."
Since you won't be able to qualify for the Busch race at Pikes Peak next week due to time conflicts with the Cup race at Pocono, and you'll have to start at the back of the pack, will that be a disadvantage for you? - Note: Ed Barrier is going to practice and qualify the car in Harvick's absence
"I think it's all a disadvantage to us right now. But we keep fighting and doing the things that we have to do to overcome the situation that we're in. Next weekend is obviously going to be a little tougher than normal starting in the back with no track time or anything. I've been to Pikes Peak a few times and have always run pretty good there. We just have to make the best that we can out of the next couple of weeks and that's what we're going to do. As long as weather cooperates, we'll get through it."
Do you feel like the best time for the competition to "get you" and grab a big chunk of points will be in the next couple of weeks?
"They've had three shots in a row to take some pretty big chunks out of it. We've been pretty fortunate. Greg Biffle had a problem and we had a problem last week. So it's two more weeks and we've gotten through five - so we've got two to go. There's still going to be 10 or 11 more, so we've still got to keep doing what we're doing and keep the pace we're keeping. We need to try to run as consistent as possible."
You're seventh in points on the Winston Cup side even though you missed a race. Where do you dare believe you could end up if you gave them one race?
"I don't know. We've just got to keep doing what we're doing. We weren't supposed to be doing this anyway, but we're doing everything that we can to make it good. We've been pretty fortunate to run as well as we have. We just have to keep it up and keep putting ourselves in a position to win and see what happens."
Do you think you could be top five or better than that?
"We've got to keep our heads on and not think about that stuff."
Did you celebrate your win in Chicago differently than the Atlanta win?
"We had a lot to celebrate this past weekend. The first win came awful quick. We weren't expecting it and the circumstances were different. We just had a lot of different emotions and feelings and things running through our mind. The last one was one for us to celebrate and still remember what got us there. It was pretty cool to be able to celebrate it and enjoy it."
Can you comment on what Kyle Petty must be going through this week and how do you put something like that aside?
"It's a pretty tough deal. This is our job and this is what we have to do. Kyle has lost a son. It's just a bad deal.
Do you think he's a sentimental favorite this week?
"I hope so."
Are you motivated by people who doubt you?
"Always. I somebody says I can't do something, it motivates me more than you can believe."
When did you start feeling that way?
"If I'm getting beat by someone, I'm one of those guys who wants to go out and beat 'em bad - or as bad as I can beat 'em. If you get shown up, you want to go back and redeem yourself. It's part of the competitive nature that drives me and helps keep me going."
Is the motivation always there to keep you charged up?
"I don't know if it's motivation. Last week was probably our easiest week of the month. But we've run good everywhere we've been. We didn't really know what to expect when we got to (the month of July) other than the fact that it was going to be a lot of racing. There would be a lot of chances for a lot of people to take a lot of shots at what we've got. So we just have to be consistent and keep ourselves motivated."
Do you feel tired at all?
"No, I don't feel tired. I don't get tired. I keep the GNC store in business. I take a lot of vitamins and herbs. I drink a lot of water and fluids as I can. With this whole month being as tough as it is, I'm just really watching what I eat. I'm trying to do thing right and put the good things in my body so that I can get as much as possible out of my body. When I wake up I'm usually so wound up and ready to go that I'm just wired when I get to the racetrack."
Is the time you spend in the racecar the most relaxed time?
"Yeah, and I don't have to face all of you guys (the media) all the time. I get in the car, I get in the plane, I just say, 'Hey, I have to go.'"
Do you have anybody to do the plug check or anything for you at St. Louis this weekend?
"We're not even going to practice on Saturday. Today, we're going to miss the first hour or so of practice and Ed Barrier is going to go through the motions. Our driving styles and characteristics in a racecar are pretty close. I think we'll be okay and we'll get an hour of practice and be fine."
Do you think it's pretty cool for Ed Barrier to get some time in a good car?
"I don't think Ed's had a fair shot at anything. He's never been in stout equipment. It's going to be cool for Ed. He and I get along well, and he's not going to go out and wreck it."