KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed his season, winning at Indianapolis and other topics. WHAT PROBLEMS WILL THE HEAT POSE THIS WEEKEND?: "I don't know that...
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed his season, winning at Indianapolis and other topics.
WHAT PROBLEMS WILL THE HEAT POSE THIS WEEKEND?: "I don't know that it will cause too many problems just for the fact that it's just what you've got this time of year. I think as long as we make it through the practices today then I think you'll have a good direction as to what you need to do from that standpoint. Don't really care if it rains out qualifying. That's fine with me. The main thing is that Sunday looks like it's going to be pretty nice. As far as the heat, it's definitely way cooler than it was last week at St. Louis so it should be okay."
WOULD THIS WIN BE NECESSARY TO BUILD TOWARD THE CHAMPIONSHIP?: "I don't know that it would be the necessary building block, but it would be a step in the right direction for sure. I feel like we have a lot of things we need to cover over the next several weeks to be 100 percent prepared and then you never really know what direction things are going to go once you get into the Chase so you just have to prepare for the things you can control. I think we've done a good job up until this point this year and from last year to this point, it's a 180. This point last year was definitely the turning point and it's a lot easier and more exciting and everybody has a lot better mindset coming to the race track than we did last year. In the end you work just as hard to run last as you do to run first. To see the reward that the guys are getting and we all get from running better is a lot more fun."
ON GIL MARTIN, CREW CHIEF: "I think obviously we've been there before. Gil (Martin, crew chief) was a part of the team in '02 and again in '03, when we won here actually he was a team manager. It's been fun to get back together with those guys. The guys on the team are all at RCR are just racers. You don't have a huge amount of guys that are just, I guess, engineering based, would be the most polite way to put it. Everybody has raced at a lower level and likes to be a part of doing well and the way that we function at RCR is very blue collar and I like that."
WILL THE SPOILER MAKE PASSING EASIER?: "I think just the one groove, you have to have your car handling well. I think no matter what you see race at this particular race track, track position is very important. I think with the double file restarts, I think the groove has widened out a little bit do it gives you an option because the marbles are pushed up a little bit more than they would have been with single file restarts in the past. I think Jimmie (Johnson) won the race from the outside on the last restart there last year so it's not impossible to do that. It's very important. I don't think the spoiler is going to change a lot as far as, you've always got a decent draft here. As far as when cars are side by side and a little but when they're nose to tail. For the most part I think the cars have a little more grip so the corner speeds are going to be a little higher than what they were before with the spoiler, but not a whole lot."
HOW IMPORTANT IS RUNNING UP FRONT AT INDIANAPOLIS?: "I think when you go back and look at how people have won the race, you don't see many surprise winners here. Usually guys that are fast in that particular season are fast here and one of those guys that's a player during the year winds up winning this race. It's not like a speedway race where you can have somebody just sneak up there and do some crazy strategy and have something weird happen. It seems like it's pretty straight forward as far as who is running good in that particular year usually wins this race."
HOW CLEAR ARE YOU ON THE LINE WITH NASCAR ON WHAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT DO?: "I think you look at it as, you definitely drawn a line in the sand as far as how far you can take it and I think that's a good thing. As drivers, I don't think all of us, we'll just keep pushing it until someone tells us to stop. Obviously, last week I think there was a huge safety concern at the end of the race when all that took place. For the most part, you have a better understanding and you won't take it to the next level. I don't know what the next level is past the move that took place last week, but I guess you could find the next level."
WHAT IS THE RIGHT WAY AND WRONG WAY TO RETALIATE?: "I think the right way, when you look at Loudon (N.H.), when you look at the 2 (Kurt Busch) and the 48 (Jimmie Johnson), that's pretty good racing right there, I think, as far as how you would retaliate to somebody and how you would bump somebody out of the way. That's the right way. That's the way it's supposed to happen."
SHOULD THINGS BE DONE AT POCONO TO MAKE THE BACK WALL SAFER?: "I don't think it's just the backstretch, I think you can look all the way around and you can see a lot of things that need to be fixed at that particular place. I don't know why one particular race track has not had all of those safety upgrades that all the other race tracks have, but it's the only race track that we go to with a dirt bank and an ARMCO barrier on the inside and no catch fences along some of the walls. It is definitely the worst race track that we go to as far as SAFER barriers and catch fences and all the things that should be there."
HOW DO YOU APPROACH THIS RACE?: "Go for it. You do anything you can do to take a win here. That's the mindset. You have to make sure, in practice and hopefully we've done the right things, we could come in here and not be competitive, who knows. You can kind of judge that once you get in position to do that, but you do whatever it takes to try to win this race."
DO YOU LIKE STAYING UNDER THE RADAR THIS YEAR?: "Absolutely. That makes things a lot easier. It lets us focus on what we need to focus on. The attention and the things that have or haven't come with that don't really matter to us as long as we're getting the results on the race track and are able to focus on the things that we're able to focus on, that's the most important thing. Hopefully we can continue to do those things and see how it all shakes out at the end."
DO YOU APPROACH THE SECOND POCONO RACE DIFFERENTLY?: "Hopefully we can get a touch better. We ran really well there the first race, it hasn't notoriously been a great track for us, but we had a top-five car all day and we were able to leave there with a top-five finish. I don't think you approach it much different. We're going to go there to race to get the best finish that we can and it's not going to be a whole lot different than any other week."
ON NASCAR KEEPING CUP DRIVERS FROM WINNING THE NATIONWIDE CHAMPIONSHIP: "I think there's definitely a need to give the younger guys a place to come up. When I came up through the Nationwide Series there wasn't any Cup guys racing for the championship on a weekly basis so it was definitely different than it is now. Then we ran for the championship in '01 when everything happened in both series and everything changed from there. For us, as a team owner, we don't go down the road of trying to put young guys in the car anymore. I drive the car and we've got Elliott Sadler in the trucks and (Ron) Hornaday with a lot of experience in the trucks. We put Mike Bliss in the car for the non-companion weekends, but I think there definitely needs to be a place for the younger guys to establish themselves as a Cup quality driver. You also have to look at the balances, if somebody is winning the Nationwide championship who is a 15th place car, is that really credible as far as being a championship winning team?"
ON YOUR BRICKYARD 400 WIN: "For me, I grew up, this is where I wanted to race. I wanted to race Indy cars and my dad would have nothing of it. Being from Bakersfield, Calif. I always grew up a Rick Mears fan and with him winning four Indianapolis 500s, this was a place that I always wanted to win so for me personally, this was probably one of the neatest places that you could come to and win and get to experience kissing the bricks and climbing the fence. The coolest thing about the whole part was taking the victory lap with Delana (Harvick, wife) and Richard (Childress, team owner) and seeing all the fans that know that tradition after the race and being able to experience that was probably the neatest part of the whole win."
-source: gm racing