Las Vegas: Kevin Harvick preview

KEVIN HARVICK Harvick "hungry" for win at Las Vegas HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (March 8, 2005) -- Monday through Saturday, GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick wears a number of hats. He is a NASCAR Truck and Busch Series owner, a Busch Series...

Harvick "hungry" for win at Las Vegas

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (March 8, 2005) -- Monday through Saturday, GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick wears a number of hats. He is a NASCAR Truck and Busch Series owner, a Busch Series driver, a husband and regular guy. But the fire that drives him on Sunday, the most important day of the week, is winning.

So far in 2005, Harvick has put together a nice resume in all of his job titles. The Bakersfield, Calif., was the winning car owner of the Busch series race at Daytona International Speedway. He has three straight second place finishes in as many races as a Busch Series driver, and is coming off a very impressive sixth place finish at California Speedway in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. But amid all this success, one thing is missing...Victory Lane as a driver.

"It's been a pretty crazy start to our season," said Harvick. "We won our first Busch race as an owner. We finished second three straight times in the Busch car, so I'm hungry to get a win as a driver." If he's hungry in the Busch Series, then Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway (LVMS) is a good place to pull up a chair. Last year, Harvick took his No. 21 Reese's Chevrolet to the winners circle, his first of two wins in the Busch series in 2004.

When it comes to Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400, Harvick and his No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet are starving. Harvick's last 'Cup Series' win was in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway in 2003. But everyone knows 'Vegas' is known for the best buffet in town. In fact, Harvick treated himself to a nice meal last year at LVMS, leading in the late stages of the event, only to run out of gas with four laps to go. I guess at times, there might not be room for dessert. So does Las Vegas owe him one?

"I think if you race long enough, every track owes you one. We ran well there last year and led a lot of laps and then ran out of fuel there at the end," commented Harvick. "We had a good test out there (Las Vegas) in the GM Goodwrench Chevy. Everything we had learned from that test, we ran at California Speedway a couple weeks ago and we led a little and had a shot at the win and just got too tight. So, I feel good about this weekend."

Points of Interest...

* Less is not always more...NASCAR's new spoiler rule will get its second test of the year this weekend. Harvick was critical of the rule at California Speedway two weeks ago, saying that the cars were too loose to pass for most of the day. However, he has been quick to acknowledge that California Speedway always had those attributes and that they will know more once races are completed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.

* You may kiss the bride...Las Vegas was the site of Kevin and DeLana Harvick's wedding. The two were wed on February 28, 2001- two days prior to his first career NASCAR Cup Series top-10 (eighth - LVMS).

* What Ya' Haulin'...The GM Goodwrench transporter will unload chassis No. 134 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It is a brand new car that raced for the first time at California Speedway just two weeks ago, where Harvick finished sixth and led 30 laps. The car tested at the 1.5-mile track outside Sin City, back on January 31.

* TV and Radio...Start time for Sunday's UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. EST. TV coverage of the 400-mile event on FOX starts at 2:00 p.m., with radio coverage on PRN beginning at 2:30 p.m. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.

No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Las Vegas Motor Speedway...

How was your test at LVMS back in January?

"We tested really well. We were really good right off the truck. I was surprised at how balanced the GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo was with the new rules package. Todd Berrier (crew chief) and all the guys at RCR worked really hard on building new cars and their hard work has definitely paid off.

"Our car was actually better at Las Vegas than at California when we tested. It took us a while to get it up to speed out there, but in 'Vegas' it was really good. The car was stable around other cars and it was down in the track like you want it. If the car is anything like it was in the test, we will be one of the cars to beat on Sunday."

What do you learn from driving the Reese's Chevrolet on Saturday's?

"The cars are so different, you can't really learn a lot setup wise. I think the biggest thing you learn is how the tires will fall of and how the strategy of the race plays out. Do you need two tires or four...that kind of thing.

"I enjoy driving the Busch car. It is a lot of fun and we have always had really good Busch cars at RCR. We have won a couple championships in the NASCAR Busch Series. I won one as a driver (2001) and then we won the owner's championship (2003). It's hard to get out of the car when you're leading the points, but we have a plan to put Brandon Miller in the Reese's car and I know he will do a great job in the No. 21."

What are your thoughts about NASCAR's movement West?

"I think NASCAR needs to always be looking at making the sport bigger and better. Anytime you stand still, you fall behind. There are fans in parts of the country that don't get to see races and I think we need to look at those cities and see if they make sense in the long term for our sport."

What are your impressions of Las Vegas?

"I don't get to go into the city during race week because there are too many people. But if I were a race fan, I think Las Vegas would be the race to go see. There is so much to do and it is really a fun city for vacation. To get to see a NASCAR race as well, is just the icing on the cake."


Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Brandon Miller , DeLana Harvick