KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS TALKED WITH MEDIA ABOUT ADDING A TEAM AT RCR, RETURNING TO DAYTONA NEXT WEEK, AND THE PROGRESS OF THE NEW GENERATION RACE CAR: RICHARD CHILDRESS HAS TALKED A LOT ABOUT ADDING A FOURTH TEAM. WHAT ...
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS TALKED WITH MEDIA ABOUT ADDING A TEAM AT RCR, RETURNING TO DAYTONA NEXT WEEK, AND THE PROGRESS OF THE NEW GENERATION RACE CAR:
RICHARD CHILDRESS HAS TALKED A LOT ABOUT ADDING A FOURTH TEAM. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THAT AND WHO WOULD THAT BE? "I think a fourth team brings a lot of things. That's where the sport is going. That's where they set the limit at so I think that everybody wants to get there. It brings more people. It brings more money. It brings more ideas. It's just a matter of how it is all going to fit together and it needs to have the right chemistry with our teams. And you've got to find the right driver and crew chief to go together with what we already have."
DO YOU THINK THE RCR ORGANIZATION IS STRONG ENOUGH NOW TO MAKE THAT KIND OF MOVE? "I don't know if it is or now. I think if you're going to do it, you've just got to take your lumps and do it. You know it's going to be a lot of work for everybody in the beginning, but I don' think it's going to be detrimental to the program. I think an even number of teams is better than an odd number of teams."
YOU ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE RUNNING THE TRUCK AGAIN AT KHI. DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PLANS FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION? "Right now, Camping World resigned for the whole deal so Camping World and Chevrolet are already put together for the whole year for Ron and everybody on the truck program. Right now we plan on keeping everything just the way it is. We just started working on the Busch stuff."
ON THE PROGRESS OF THE CAR OF TOMORROW "I think as we go, the handling of the car gets better and better. I think that's a good thing. Everybody is starting to get a better understanding of which way we need to go. We've raced the same car every race except for Infineon last weekend. So I think cost-wise, it's doing what they want it to do."
EVERYBODY SAYS THE NEW GENERATION RACE CAR DOESN'T TURN. AT NHIS, TURNING IS EVERYTHING. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO COPE WITH THAT? "We spent a couple of days at Milwaukee just trying to make our car turn. Hopefully everything translates to this particular race track. We have a pretty good place to start."
ON GOING BACK TO DAYTONA NEXT WEEK AFTER WINNING THE DAYTONA 500 IN FEBRUARY "It's going to be busy, I know that. There are a lot of things going on. But it was such a big deal for us to win the Daytona 500 and knowing everything that goes along with that now means so much. People ask what it means and really, you can't explain it until you've been through it. It's been a neat experience for us and to win the biggest race of the year is something we're all pretty excited about. So to go back, we're all pretty pumped up to roll in there and see how it feels."
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO RUB SHOULDERS WITH RICHARD PETTY AND BOBBY ALLISON AND STERLING MARLIN - ALL THE ELITE DRIVERS WHO HAVE WON THE DAYTONA 500? "It's an elite group of drivers and the who's who of our sport. We've been fortunate to win a lot of the big races like the Brickyard and the Daytona 500 and the All-Star race, and that's pretty neat to be a part of that club."
NEXT WEEK'S RACE AT DAYTONA WILL BE THE LAST SUPERSPEEDWAY RACE WITH THE REGULAR CAR. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT? "We'll race it again after that. I know it'll be the last race for it at Daytona, but it doesn't really matter to me. I don't have any sentimental feelings toward it."
WITH THE CHASE, THE 26TH RACE MEANS DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. DO YOU LOOK AT IT? "Well, if you're going to win the championship you obviously need to be close when the Chase starts, but you also have to be able to step it up when it's time to step it up. That's what we're working toward. We've had a lot of things to do with the new car and the new motor and the current car and just keeping everything going in the right direction. Hopefully by that time everything will be settled down and we'll have our fleets all completely built up and the new engine will be where it needs to be and we'll be ready to go."
WHEN A YOUNG DRIVER JOINS THE CUP LEVEL WITH A REALLY STRONG TEAM AND GOOD EQUIPMENT, HOW CHALLENGING IS IT FOR HIM NOT TO OVERDRIVE IT AND STAY OUT OF TROUBLE AND TO BE PATIENT? "The first thing that happens when you go to a good team and things aren't going good, they look at the young driver and say obviously he can't get it done. Sometimes that's not right and sometimes it is. It's a hard situation to be in because there are so many things that can go wrong.
It's hard to succeed after you've been here for a lot of years - even with a good team. Our sport is tough and if you don't have the right chemistry with that particular race team and things aren't going exactly right, you can be off in a hurry. It's hard to start a team and have everything go right and be where you need to be right off the bat - let alone be a young guy coming in and trying to make a name for himself in the sport."
ARE THERE ANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN HOW YOU WERE ABLE TO HAVE SUCCESS YOUR FIRST YEAR AND DENNY HAMLIN'S SUCCESS SO FAR? "Some guys just come in and fit right in to a situation. I'd been with the organization for a couple of years already and I kind of knew the ins and outs of everything that was going on. I had a team that was ready to race for a championship and had guys with a lot of experience. And now you see teams coming in that haven't been together with a new guy and it's just hard to make all that click and be ready to go."
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF THIS TRACK AND SUNDAY'S RACE? "They've changed the banking and the car is going to push. We're going to have to work on it and so I'm going to go to work now."
-credit: gm racing