And the there were two... HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (November 11, 2002) - It's 41 against two this weekend as the NASCAR Winston Cup heads into the season-closing event at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. For two drivers it is a race that...
And the there were two...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (November 11, 2002) - It's 41 against two this weekend as the NASCAR Winston Cup heads into the season-closing event at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. For two drivers it is a race that will determine their hopeful Championship honors; for 41 other drivers, it is a race about ending 2002 on a high note.
Though Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, had a fluctuant 2002 season, he has come away with a few honors and accolades that will be new to his autograph card in 2003: IROC (International Race of Champions) race winner (California Speedway), IROC Champion, Sole Winston Cup Winner - Chicagoland Speedway, and Craftsman Truck Series race winner.
Garnering a second win this season would certainly propel the GM Goodwrench Service team into '03 with vigorous momentum, but do you change the way you race when there are two guys going head-to-head for the Championship at the season-closer?
Why would you? That's not Happy Harvick's style.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, talks about this season's high points, the Championship, and the re-emergence of 'Old Faithful' (chassis No. 088):
Highs and lows.
"It's been so up and down this year. But we've gotten through it and just need to come out of Homestead with a good finish and work for next season. We're just looking for the win like most of everyone else.
"The year has been good too. I won my first IROC race and won the IROC Championship. I can't say enough about how much I love that series and how cool I think it that they bring so many different racers together. That was by far one of the most memorable things this year.
"Winning at Chicago was another neat thing. To win back-to-back at a track that we've only been to twice in the Winston Cup shows that this team knows what they're doing. That place, for some reason, just fits the way I drive. I've been pretty fortunate to come back with good racecars that can drive off the bottom and suit my driving style.
"And then I won a truck race this past weekend. Finally. That series is so competitive - a lot more so than most people think. I needed to win a Truck race. I've won in every other division that I've ever raced in. That one was kind of a thorn in my back. It was not only important to me to win a Truck race, but to have my own race equipment - my own vehicle - whether it be a Truck, or Busch car, or Winston Cup car. Operating under a roof that I was in control of was something that was important to me too. Not only did we win the race in the Truck series as a driver, but as an owner. That was as important to me as anything.
"I'm sure it'd be easy for people to look at this year and say it was bad, but it really did have a lot of good in it. And the best part is we have one more left to try and win. And we're going for it."
"Do you race someone differently because they're going for the Championship and you're not? Well, you need to respect them in terms of how good their car is, how good they are, and how they race. You race them with the same mindset you do every weekend. They're the ones who have to pull out if they think they're going to get into trouble. That's their responsibility. You need to go out there and worry about your team and your finish, and do just what you always do.
"But, for the No. 6 and 20, they have two things to shoulder. They've got two prizes in their view: the Championship and the win. It's a tight race, no doubt. But when it comes down to it they're both talented teams and smart drivers. They know that there are 41 cars out there that only have a win to go for - no Championship. And they'll know what to do if a situation comes up on the track. It should be an interesting weekend."
Seeing 8's - again.
"Car No. 088. 'Old Faithful' is back again. We took it to Phoenix and the guys are turning it around for Homestead. It's our best car and we have one thing to go for at this point in the season - winning. It won Chicago, it was awesome at Indy and Pocono and Michigan. So, it's coming this weekend. One last time to use its magic before we have the new '03 Monte Carlos next season."