Oh, what a difference a month makes. Huntersville, N.C. (July 22, 2002) - Entering last month's event at Pocono Raceway (Long Pond, Pa.), Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, was buried beneath a...
Oh, what a difference a month makes.
Huntersville, N.C. (July 22, 2002) - Entering last month's event at Pocono Raceway (Long Pond, Pa.), Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, was buried beneath a string of DNF's and a slew of poor finishes. This week the NASCAR Winston Cup Series returns to Pocono. Since then, Harvick has accumulated a win, one pole, two top-10s, four top-15s, and the IROC Series points championship lead.
Returning to Pocono, after leaving under inclement circumstances in June, marks the third time the NASCAR Winston Cup makes a repeat performance at the facility; but also, it marks the first repeat performance for Harvick and his new team at a track. A mechanical problem, specifically with the drive shaft, shortened the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service team's race at Pocono the last time around.
Completing only 81 laps added to their lack of track time over the weekend. The other villian? A little something called "seepage." That's something Harvick and his team never want to see or hear about again. While the field lost a full day of practice, qualifying was cancelled due to water coming up from the ground to intolerably soak the track. In turn, Harvick and his team started on NASCAR Winston Cup Owners' Points (as stated in the NASCAR Rulebook, section 9-5).
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, speaks out about seepage and his teams' accelerating momentum:
"What can you do? You can't predict how much rain falls each year, let alone the torrential rain Pocono had before we got there. The water came up through the cracks and wouldn't stop. It was the word of the weekend though: 'seepage.' It's a fun word but I hope we don't ever have to deal with that again."
The team's momentum:
"We're really coming around, not only the (No.) 29 but the whole Richard Childress Racing (RCR) organization. I think that was evident from Sunday's finishes. All of us ended up in the top-10. At Chicago we were all in the top-12. We had good runs at Sonoma. We had good cars at Daytona.
"We've got a lot of confidence in each other, as a team and a racing organization. It's all good. And it's going to get even better. You'll see the other two cars in Victory Lane soon. We've got to get them race wins and get all of us running consistently. We're all getting caught up at the shop and I think Sunday is just a sign of things to come."
The Last Time at Pocono
(Though at the time they were a new team with the 2001 Rookie of the Year, the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service team was not disheartened. The evidence may not be in Pocono's statistics if not for their sheer effort. They ran comparable laps as the leaders and were well on their way to the top of the field.)
"We had a drive shaft problem last time around. The car was handling decently until then. Every time we came in the team made it that much better. We were trying to get rid of the tightness. They just kept digging and digging. Even though we didn't show for much in the finish, that race gave us a lot of confidence."