Fast Friday ... Harvick and the No. 29 team are optimistic about notching a strong qualifying effort on Friday. Harvick's average starting position at Martinsville is 13.4, third best for the Bakersfield, Calif., native among all NSCS tracks, ...
Fast Friday ... Harvick and the No. 29 team are optimistic about notching a strong qualifying effort on Friday. Harvick's average starting position at Martinsville is 13.4, third best for the Bakersfield, Calif., native among all NSCS tracks, trailing only Homestead (11.6) and Watkins Glen (11.7). Additionally, Harvick has qualified 12th or better in his last eight consecutive starts at Martinsville.
Double Dip in Martinsville ... In addition to his driving duties with the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet, Harvick will drive Kevin Harvick Incorporated's No. 2 Chevrolet in the Oct. 23 Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event.
Looking at Martinsville, you have been averaging about and eighth to an 11th-place finish. What will it take to get you in the top five or maybe a win this time around?
"I think we've run well there. We ran well at the first race and had some mechanical issues. We just have to keep doing what we've been doing. I think (Jeff) Burton had the fastest car there last time and wound up getting a flat tire, so we will look at those notes and go from there and see what happens."
Is it easy to get frustrated at Martinsville when you get lined up single file, especially when you have a fast car?
"Yes, and it is actually a little aero-sensitive at Martinsville. When you get behind people off the corner, your car gets a little bit tighter. The corners are so tight, that you wind up beating and banging. You don't want to tear up your car, but you have to do something to progress through the field and make some track position, so it's just a fine balance between aggressiveness and taking care of your car."
At the end of any race, everybody is going for the win or to gain points. How often have you made moves to try to gain positions, where in the middle of the move, you were not sure if you were going to come out of it?
"In my mind, nine times out of 10, the aggressor comes out up top. But, if you don't protect yourself in trying to go forward, you are going to get run over. Usually, by trying to stay out of trouble, you find more trouble than you would just going and racing like you normally do."
As we get to the halfway point of the Chase, does the mental part of your job get easier or does it get tougher? How do you consider yourself in the mental part of the game? Are you good at it, and do you consider it one of your strong suits?
"I think it depends on how much we've got to play the game. It just depends on the scenarios of how the Chase has started. I think right now everything is pretty calm. I think from a mental standpoint, obviously, this is what we want to do. We want to win a championship and we want to race for a championship. The only way to win it is to be able to race for it. I feel like that is what we are doing. I feel like I have been around it long enough to know that you just go out and race and take all the pressures and deal with them yourself. You try to do the best that you can week in and week out."