Kansas: Harvick - GM Top-10 interview

BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 REESE'S / GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO SS: ON DECISION TO TAKE BURNEY LAMAR OUT OF KHI BUSCH CAR: "It was a decision solely based on performance.  He is a good guy and we all like him but this is a...


ON DECISION TO TAKE BURNEY LAMAR OUT OF KHI BUSCH CAR: "It was a decision solely based on performance.  He is a good guy and we all like him but this is a performance-based business and things had not progressed where they needed to be, the car has to run better than that. We just had to make a change to get hopefully get the car up toward the front. We just have to have some kind of direction; everything has just been torn up. So we just have to have a direction on what to do with our cars going in to next year.  Whether they are good, bad, or where ever they are, we just need to know."   "Right now he is going to run Memphis and that will be it.   "It was a tough decision. It was one of those decisions where we have a lot invested in Burnie over the last couple of years. We felt like we were making the right decision. We just didn't continue to progress in the direction that it needed to progress and the performance never got better as we came back to the tracks for a second time. Obviously not something you want to do, but in the best interest of our company, it was the only thing we had left to do to try to get to understand where are cars are. Where we need to go and what we need to do in the last five or six weeks here to make our cars better for next year."   ON HOW THE KHI TEAMS WILL BE STRUCTURED NEXT SEASON: "We haven't really decided on that yet. We are still trying to do on the driver situation. Whether we are going to have two, three or one driver, whatever the case may be and go from there.   ON ENGINE PROBLEM AT DOVER: "To be perfectly honest with you, I didn't even ask.  I know these guys are doing everything they can. The engines are a big reason we are here. The performance of the engines has been great. They have made huge improvements over last year. So I don't want to put any pressure on those guys to worry about something they don't need to worry about.  They will handle it; our reliability has never been an issue. You are going to have that stuff happen once in a while and it just happened last week."   ON HANDLING SITUATIONS LIKE ENGINE ISSUE WITH MATURITY: "Obviously you want things to go good and they have gone really good.  I understand those that stuff is going happen, it is just one of those deals and you can't control it. We have run that engine package a lot and we have been running it and not have any problems.  You just kind of smile about it and move forward. It can be detrimental to your season and it doesn't need to be that way.  So we just packed her up and here we are at Kansas.   "You mature a lot as you get older.  You learn about things and learn how to handle situations. I think the biggest thing that has helped me this year is having two really good teammates.  I get along with them; they understand me and I feel like I understand them.  Last week, I was head over heals happy to be headed out of the track, then I looked at the TV and saw that Jeff was racing with Matt (Kenseth) so I sat down, watched TV and waited until the race was over and went to victory lane.   "We have internal drive at RCR, but no internal competition where somebody is mad because you won a race and beat them or they beat you or whatever the case may be.  Everybody is happy when everybody is succeeding.  When the cars are running good, it takes a lot of pressure off of everybody and everybody can carry some weight.  Each team totes their own weight. If you are having trouble, you can go over and look over stuff on their cars and it usually works pretty good on our car and vice versa. 

Everybody gets along really well and understands each other, we are all happy for each others success."   ON ROUSH AND HENDRICK CARS PREVIOUS PERFORMANCES AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY: "I think we can beat any of them to be honest with you.  I think they are here to beat us. Us and the No. 31 have been really good and I feel like we can do what we need to do to make it happen.  It is all going to come down to circumstances of being the right places and having luck on your side. Performance wise, I feel like we are really good. You just can't control the rest of that stuff.  I feel like Jeff (Burton) and our No. 29 team on the performance side are good, we just have to have it all work out and that is the hardest part."   ON IMPROVEMENTS TO TALLADEGA: "I haven't talked to anyone about it, I know we built a good car, but that is about all I know. I know I am looking forward to going to Talladega. We know it can be a 50/50 chance of wrecking but there is nothing I can do about that.  Just go as hard as you can and see where you fall with all that stuff."   ON RELAXING BETWEEN RACES: "I thought I was making everything look nice, I took off and mowed all the fields around the shop.  The next thing I know, I was driving off, I had 30 tie straps on my driveline and Future Farmers of America (FFA) stickers on the back of my vehicle.  I probably deserved that because the day before, Gene Nead (crew chief, KHI NBS team) drives a little Mini Cooper back and forth to work, I was actually trying to put it on the lift gate and load it in the hauler and he busted me so I probably deserved the FFA stickers.   ON BEING LOOSE AND RELAXED IN THIS CHASE: "There is really no reason to make more out of it than we need to.  It is just another race.  We are doing everything we can do to be at the top of our game, putting out the equipment on the race track that we have.  The rest of it is circumstances, luck and making the right calls when they need to be made to be where we need to be. We feel like the things control, everybody has done a good job putting things together. The rest will just kind of fall in to place.   "We are pretty loose.  We are pretty laid back and doing all the things we have done all year. We have come to the conclusion that we have done the best that we can, we are doing the best that we can every week.  Right now it is a matter of who makes the least mistakes, and has some luck on their side to do what they need to do.  We are upbeat and positive about everything and every week, no matter what happened last week.  That is really how we have approached it all year, just go out and worry about this week and not worry about what happened last week or next week. Seems to working ok for us."   ON WHAT CAR DID THE TEAM BRING TO KANSAS: "That is a good question (SMILES/CHUCKLES). I don't know. I just figure Todd (Berrier, crew chief) and the guys are going to bring what ever they think is right for the track.  I used to ask the car, the engines, all that stuff, but I know they are doing everything they can do to put the best stuff out there, to be honest, I don't even worry about it."   ON RACING NON-CHASE DRIVERS DIFFERENTLY: "I don't think so. I know there has been a lot made of racing guys differently.  I have been on that side of it the last couple of years, no matter what series you are in, the last couple races of the year, if you are racing the guys who are racing for the championship you give them a little extra room.   When you are out on the race track, everybody has something at stake. Every body is trying to win the race; everybody is trying to get as high in the points as they can. If you get caught up in all that, you are probably putting more to it than is necessary.   "You were are aware if who you are racing around.  But you owe it to your team and sponsors to race as hard as you can and, if something happens you worry about the circumstances later. "   WILL PAVING TALLADEGA CHANGE THE RACING: "I don't think so. The only thing I have heard about Talladega is that it is really really, really smooth.  The speeds are the same and tire wear was minimal. From the driver's standpoint, it is probably going to be easier to drive around and not worry about the bumps. We will see what happens when we get down there.  The pictures look nice and they did a great job on the striping (CHUCKLES), it look straight."

ON BEING SATISFIED WITH DECISION TO STAY AT RCR: "I feel like we researched everything, we talked to everybody.  Richard (Childress) and I talked and decided this was what we wanted to do.  We felt like it was in the best interest of his company, our relationship and all the people around us to continue to do what we wanted to do. Right now we look like heroes I guess but we feel we were all in it together and work it out together."   ON BEING BACK AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY: "The groove has moved around as we come here every year, it has moved up. I don't think this track has moved up as far as Chicago has, but the groove has moved up and aged a little bit. It is your pretty basic cookie cutter type race track. We have always run good here, we just haven't had a lot of things work out our way."   "We don't have quite the same setup as Chicago. We are probably a little bit different spring and shock wise. I believe this is probably the same car we ran at Chicago. I don't know that for sure, but I have an idea it is the same car.  We ran well at Chicago. Jeff (Burton) sat on the pole and led a lot of the race and we finished fourth.  We looked forward to coming here and running. Should be a good race."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup