Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Impala SS, met with members of the media and discussed going to New York City, the Chase track he's worried about most, Talladega and new techniques there, running well at Loudon and what it means for the...
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Impala SS, met with members of the media and discussed going to New York City, the Chase track he's worried about most, Talladega and new techniques there, running well at Loudon and what it means for the Chase, his new game plan, if a driver can have a bad race in the Chase and still bounce back, Clint Bowyer, Dover, running the new car at Loudon and repeat winners at Dover.
HOW WAS NEW YORK? "It really wasn't that crazy. Everything was so spread out and just kind of. it really wasn't that bad. I've been there in February and had to do it all myself so it was much more laid back than that."
IS THERE ANY ONE TRACK IN THE CHASE YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT? "I think for us it's been Charlotte. We've ran well but it seems like we've crashed or just. we've had two transmission problems the two races before the last two crashes. So the last two years I haven't had good results. We've ran okay, haven't run great but we haven't run terrible. I'd say that's for us, probably one where we need to turn that around."
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT OUT OF TALLADEGA AFTER THE TEST? "You just have to be so much closer to the cars so you don't get hung out and get a run on by other guys behind you. So you've got to stay really, really lined up with the car in front of you and they're hard to see through them. The packs are still going to be just as big so it's still the same Talladega. We're still going to have to dodge the big wreck."
IS THERE A NEW DRAFTING TECHNIQUE THAT YOU WILL HAVE TO LEARN? "It's definitely different. The side draft doesn't seem to be as effective as it was before. You can definitely get a run on somebody and the bump-drafting is as aggressive as it's ever been with that particular package. I think it's going to be more aggressive than it was before."
HOW IMPORTANT IS A GOOD RUN ON SUNDAY FOR THE REST OF THE CHASE? "We won this race last year and didn't win the championship so I think it's all about 10 weeks, it's not about one week. It's not about the first week, it's not about the last week. It's about all 10."
HAVE YOU REFOCUSED YOUR GAME PLAN AS THE POINTS HAVE RESHUFFLED? "Just go try to win. We need to capitalize on our strengths; this is one of our strengths. And you've got to capitalize on the good days and you've got to make the bad days into decent days. So that's what it's going to take to win and everybody's got to pick it up a notch and be as focused as we've all ever been. Just see what happens in the end."
ON THE FACT THAT A DRIVER CAN STILL BOUNCE BACK IN THE CHASE AFTER A BAD RACE: "You've got to be aggressive and if you're not, somebody else is going to be - in all departments. If you have a bad week. Jimmie (Johnson) came back and won last year but this field is pretty deep with competition. I think the guy who wins it is really going to have 10 good weeks this year."
ON THE HIRING OF CLINT BOWYER: "Well, it was probably in 2004 so I was kind of involved in that from the beginning with him. We put him in the No. 21 car with me and I was one that went to all the tests with him and he would test the second half of the day when we would go do all those tests so I kind of got to see it firsthand how he progressed. At a lot of the race tracks he's really good at now he struggled with right off the bat. Once he figured it out he really, really came about so he adds that young, jubilant person to our team and he's progressed really well. Last year to this year is a huge jump so he's a great piece of our team."
WHAT DID YOU SEE IN HIM? HE HAD HARDLY ANY ASPHALT EXPERIENCE. "Richard (Childress) just saw him race at Nashville in the ARCA race and he did really well without a whole lot. So that was what he liked about him."
WHAT WILL BE THE KEY TO DOVER THIS NEXT TIME AROUND? "The key for us is just to keep everything running. The last three times there we've had motor trouble so we don't really know where we were last time because the car was not running on all cylinders. So we felt like we were okay handling-wise, we've just got to make sure that we keep it all together."
IS THAT A TOUGH TRACK FOR THE CHASE? "Dover is just Dover. It's one of those places where like they say, if you do make a mistake, you're going to hit something most likely, probably twice. So it's not a hugely forgiving race track but it's a fun place to race at."
WAS THERE A DIFFERENCE HERE BETWEEN THE OLD CAR AND THE NEW CAR? "The speeds were slower. Everything was somewhat slower. Just pretty much the same characteristics."
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY REPEAT WINNERS AT DOVER? "I think Dover is a rhythm race track. It just seems like if you get a particular setup where getting a rhythm to get around the track, it just seems like if you can find that, you're going to be successful there."
-credit: gm racing