Martinsville II: Harvick - Saturday media visit

Originally-From: news@gmracingnews.com KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed Ron Hornaday's quest for a fourth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship and second...

Originally-From: news@gmracingnews.com

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed Ron Hornaday's quest for a fourth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship and second for Kevin Harvick, Inc., the crew chief's roll in a successful day at Martinsville, the impact of the economic times on team owners and Ryan Newman driving the No. 2 Silverado at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

TALK ABOUT YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR TOMORROW'S RACE: "Well it's been a good track for us. Obviously you want to win everywhere, but we haven't been able to do that yet. But we went and tested a couple of weeks ago and hopefully everything transfers today like we think it should and that we can be a little bit better than we were last time. So this race is just about surviving the first part of it and keeping the brakes on it and really putting yourself in a position at the end and maintaining your track position all day. Hopefully we can do that and wind up where we need to be and have a chance at the end."

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN ANOTHER TRUCK TITLE WITH RON HORNADAY? WHAT, IF ANYTHING, WAS THE MISSING LINK WITH JACK SPRAGUE? "Well it would be exciting to win another Truck championship, obviously, that's what we put the teams together for. Ron and Rick and everybody from Chevrolet has done a great job in trying to stay where we need to be on the competition side of it and they do a really good job week in and week out. It's been run watching Ron and Johnny go back and forth with the points lead and stuff and that's going to come right down to the end. So it's fun racing someone like Johnny and if you lose, you feel like you're going to lose to a true racer and competitor and it's going to be fun 'til the end. On the No. 2 truck deal, both sides felt like things weren't going as they needed to when you've got one truck that's winning races and racing for a championship and I knew that it was going to take a few weeks to kind of work some kinks out of it, but it just wasn't going like it needed to."

AT MARTINSVILLE, HOW MUCH OF YOUR FATE IS DETERMINED BY PIT STRATEGY? "With this particular car, the tires seem to fall off a lot more than they did, but pit strategy and track position are still the biggest key that you can have here. It just takes so long to work yourself through getting by somebody and by the time you get by one car, if there is a clear gap at the front, usually the next guy is a half-straightaway ahead of you. But if you get a really, really long run and your car is really, really good, you can make time; but if you are mediocre on that particular day it just takes so long to pass somebody. So track position is definitely the biggest key."

FROM AN OWNER'S SIDE REGARDING ALL THE TALK IN THE CUP GARAGE ABOUT MERGING TEAMS, IS THAT GOING TO BE THE WAY TEAMS HAVE TO SURVIVE? "Right now, with the economy where it is, I think everybody is waiting a long time to place their sponsorship. We've been fortunate to have some good progress on that side of it with our Nationwide car, and our No. 2 truck is still looking for some sponsorship, but those trucks will race, regardless. We're in a good position. I really don't want to have anybody else (merger) because I don't really like having to answer or ask anybody else's opinion. It's fun to just have myself and DeLana. I've got a lot of people who have worked there for a long time, so I wouldn't do that unless I just absolutely have to. Obviously it's expensive, but right now we're in okay shape.

HAS THE COMPLEXION OF THE GARAGE CHANGED? "Yeah, I think it's monkey see, monkey do, to be honest with you. Richard (Childress) has had some investment people involved in his company for a number of years and I think Jack Roush has got his stuff with Fenway, and you see a lot of different groups come and go. The scariest part about that for me is that as you've grown up through the ranks, you see a lot of rich people come through the sport that don't respect it to the point that it needs to be respected and don't necessarily understand what they are getting into and the amount of work that it takes to get to that point. And you hope, in those particular situations, that you have people with enough money to fund whatever particular team they're a part of. Hopefully they're patient enough and don't just throw money at it because the good teams have money, but they're well organized as well. And I think being organized is a much better thing than having an abundance of money because usually people who make a lot of money don't like spending a lot of money year after year. But the complexion of the garage has definitely changed. It's not just the Wood Brothers and Richard Childress and Rick Hendrick and guys who have raced for a long time. There's a lot of investment firms and things like that that are involved in the teams right now and I hope that the expectations from a racer's standpoint are explained and managed to those particular people so that you don't get to the end of the road and those people get out and then the racer is stuck with nothing. That's what you hope doesn't happen."

ON DRIVING IN THE TRUCK RACE TODAY "Yeah, it's been a long time since I drove a Truck race. It's probably been about a year; I guess it'd be a year at Phoenix. We're excited to come back and just really get the team prepared for next year to be where the No. 33 team is and try to put the right person behind the wheel. We're just trying to go through that right now. So I'll probably drive the truck at Phoenix, and here today, and then Newman is going to drive it next week at Atlanta. So we're going to have fun with it through the end of the year and really just try to win some races here and hopefully we can help Ron compete for the championship. But Truck racing is fun. I was talking with Dr. Jerry Punch today and you can hang out on the back of the truck and on the pit wall and hang out with your guys and really just relax. So that's fun to come be a part of. But they do drive a lot different, so that took me a little bit of time to get used to."

A NUMBER OF GUYS HAVE USED THE TRUCK SERIES AS THEIR SPRINGBOARD TO CUP. BUT NOW IT SEEMS LIKE GUYS WILL GO TO THE NATIONWIDE SERIES AND GO TO CUP FROM THERE. WHY IS THAT CHANGING? "On our particular team, we aren't looking to develop anybody, so we put guys like Hornaday and Sprague and those types of people in the trucks to go out and compete for championships and wins. So, a lot of the Cup teams have Nationwide teams and I think that's the biggest reason. And they are a lot more exposed to the Cup owners in the Nationwide cars on the same weekends you're at the race track and I think that's the biggest difference."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Roush