KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL/PENNZOIL CHEVROLET met with media and discussed points racing leading up to the Chase, the new generation Nationwide car, repaving Daytona, and more. ON RACING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE "We're excited about the weather first.
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL/PENNZOIL CHEVROLET met with media and discussed points racing leading up to the Chase, the new generation Nationwide car, repaving Daytona, and more.
ON RACING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE "We're excited about the weather first. It's miserable at home; it's hot. It's always a good race track for us. We've run well here in the past and won some races here and enjoy the flat track stuff. So, hopefully this weekend will be right up the same alley and we'll go from there."
THIS RACE KICKS OFF THE 10-RACE STRETCH THAT LEADS UP TO THE CHASE. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON GETTING IT DONE OVER THE NEXT 10 WEEKS? "Obviously we're in a good position points-wise right now. We've just got to put ourselves in position to win another race or two before the Chase gets started and also in that time advance our cars a little bit as we get through the next few weeks and into the Chase. Usually Indy brings out the new generation cars for us. So we'll see how we run there and go on from there."
ON POINTS RACING AND CHASE RACING FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP, HOW SAVVY DO YOU THINK YOU ARE IN DOING THAT? "Well, to be honest with you, you go and you race as hard as you can every week. If you're in position to win, then you take a few more chances than you would if you're racing for 10th. But I think, fortunately we're in the spot where we are right now and we're able to do things differently than what we've done in the past. You come in with a different approach and a different attitude toward what's happening on that particular weekend. It's more of a wide-open just go-for-it approach than if you were 12th. That's the luxury of having been consistent and the things we've done this year and running well and hopefully we can keep doing that. I don't think we've been on a really hot streak yet to say the least and hopefully we save it for the last 10 weeks. We want to run well and win races but the last 10 weeks is really all that matters."
SO THERE'S NOT AN ART TO WINNING IT LIKE JIMMIE JOHNSON'S TEAM WHO KNOWS HOW TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP? "We've been in a lot of championship situations; maybe not at this particular division. It all depends on who you're racing."
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT OUT OF THE NEW CAR RACE NEXT WEEK IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES? "Yeah, I think they're going to be very similar to what you see with the Cup cars. They're going to move around a lot. At the test they moved around a tremendous amount. But I think with everybody going home and working on their cars I think you're going to see a lot of people go home instead of worrying about how fast their cars are going they're going to worry about handling and I think it's going to be a great race. The cars look great. I'm excited about getting in them next week."
DO YOU COMPARE CHICAGOLAND TO ANY OTHER TRACK OR IS IT ITS OWN BEAST? "I think it compares to a lot of our intermediate tracks in theory. Obviously there are a lot of bumps and things that are different. The back straightaway is round. So there are a lot of little things that are different but the same basic packages and things apply from the other 1.5-mile race tracks. For us, we got to do some of the very first testing at Chicago and we've always run really well there and our package has evolved over time from a set-up standpoint and year to year. So, we always run really well there and look forward to going back. I think the 1.5-mile have been our strong point this year."
THERE ARE TWO GUYS WHO HAVE SEPARATED THEMSELVES THAT WOULD BE IN THE CHASE BECAUSE OF THE BONUS POINT SITUATION. YOU HAVE A WIN, BUT SEVERAL GUYS DON'T HAVE ANY. DURING THESE LAST 10 RACES LEADING TO THE CHASE, IS THERE SOME DANGER IN LETTING ONE OR TWO GUYS GET TOO FAR AWAY IN THE BONUS SITUATION? "Like I said earlier, we need to win a race or two before the Chase gets started. That would be the optimum position to be in. But I've said this all along, winning races is great but you can't win or finish 30th. You have to have that middle ground somewhere. When you have bad days you can't make them disasters. You've got to be able to rebound and make something out of those days and get some points out of them. I think there is a lot more to it than winning. Obviously we don't want to be 30 or 40 points behind but we'll see."
HAVING WON AT TALLADEGA, DOES DAYTONA BODE AS A GOOD CHANCE FOR POSSIBLY ANOTHER ONE? "Yeah, I feel like we had a chance to win the Daytona 500 and obviously won the Shootout and lost the qualifying race by about six inches. Daytona has been a really good race track for us so we go there with the intentions of having a chance to win. But it's still restrictor plate racing so you go there and it's still a crap shoot as far as how it all turns out. Really, other than Michigan, we've run well pretty much every week. So we've just got to keep doing what we've been doing."
ON THE NEW GENERATION CAR AT INDY, CAN YOU EXPAND ON WHAT ALL THAT ENTAILS AND WHY? "Indy is just like Daytona. Everybody wants to win that particular race. And even for us last year, that was kind of where the turnaround started with our new cars and the engine department always brings out the next generation of horsepower that's been approved. So everything is just your latest and greatest best stuff that you have in a production line and you go out and try to win the race. That's just where our team has always brought our new stuff out every year."
IT'S BEEN A MONTH SINCE THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT YOU RENEWED YOUR CONTRACT AT RCR. DO YOU FEEL LIKE THERE HAS BEEN ANY PROGRESS ON THE SPONSOR SEARCH? "I'm not worried about it to be honest with you. I think everything is fine."
THEY'RE GOING TO REPAVE DAYTONA AFTER THE JULY RACE. HOW MUCH ARE YOU GOING TO MISS THE BUMPS & HUMPS ON THAT TRACK? "Yeah, I know it's time and I know you have to do what you have to do because obviously there are a lot of issues underneath for them to decide to repave it. So we're going to miss the handling issues you have at Daytona and all the things that you always fight and it will be a lot like Talladega with a much narrower surface than what we have at Talladega. But hopefully it will eventually get back to having some bumps and it usually does. Talladega has been the one race track that really hasn't changed a whole lot. It's all about speed and that's going to be what it's going to be like at Daytona. You bring your fastest car and not worry about handling; just play the chess match and see what happens."
AT THE END OF THE SONOMA RACE LAST WEEK, THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE UNHAPPY WITH EACH OTHER. I DON'T THINK YOU WERE ONE OF THEM INVOLVED. DID YOU PAY MUCH ATTENTION TO WHAT WAS SAID AND DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE ANY OF THAT CARRY OVER IN SUNDAY'S RACE? "I went back and watched the race and it looked like the majority of them had the No. 24 (Jeff Gordon) involved and I saw the No. 20 (Joey Logano) get dumped again for running in the side of somebody so that one hasn't changed (laughter). So I think it was just good racing, honestly. It was probably one of the most exciting road course races that I've watched. I think the double-file restarts create a lot of that. And the tire fall off creates the other part of that just when the tires fall off like that you have so many different strategies; and I hope everybody was paying attention. You have so many different strategies that people pit and don't pit and then you have cars passing each other and staying out and you have a whole bunch of things going on. I think the tires falling off had as much to do with that as anything and the double-file restarts promoted a lot of that. Rough racing. I like that kind of racing. I think it's great."
DO YOU HAVE TO BE AWARE OF WHO MIGHT BE ANGRY WITH WHOM THIS WEEK FROM LAST WEEK? "You just assume that everybody is angry at everybody (laughter). After that race, it would be hard to keep track. There are so many to tally up after last week, it would be hard to keep track of what's going on. Yeah, I mean you just go out and you race hard and if something happens, something happens. But if something's going to happen, you can pretty much tell what's going to go on so you just keep your eyes open."
-source: gm racing