Martinsville: Kevin Harvick preview

KEVIN HARVICK Re-Introducing Scott Miller HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (April 5, 2005) -- Scott Miller casually strolled out of the GM Goodwrench transporter at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway back in March, passing fans and media, who never gave him...

KEVIN HARVICK
Re-Introducing Scott Miller

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (April 5, 2005) -- Scott Miller casually strolled out of the GM Goodwrench transporter at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway back in March, passing fans and media, who never gave him a second look while asking where the crew chief was.

Miller is not the type to seek out attention. He is calm and quiet. He could care less about a starched oxford shirt and designer shoes. Instead he opts for a GM Goodwrench crew shirt and grey fleece pullover. While he doesn't stand out in the NASCAR world as much as Chad Knaus or Robbie Loomis, Miller has incredible talent and knowledge of the sport. And he is a two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup winning crew chief.

In the fall of 2004, Miller came onboard as chief engineer for the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. He was credited with helping Todd Berrier turn the No. 29 program around. So there were no doubts in the RCR camp when Berrier was suspended, that Miller would take over the crew chief duties and keep Kevin Harvick in the fast lane. He had won in the 'Cup Series' before, hadn't he?

In 2003, Miller was the crew chief at Cal Wells PPI race team. As crew chief for the No. 32 Tide car, Miller helped bring the former Indy car owner to the forefront of NASCAR's premier division. The highlight of his tenure at the Hickory, N.C., based team was Ricky Craven's dramatic win in the 2003 Carolina Dealers 400 at Darlington, S.C. The victory was replayed over and over as one of the greatest in the history of the sport. Craven and Wells soaked up the attention while Miller proudly went about his work.

The stage was the same at Bristol last Sunday. Harvick captured his first win in 55 races and Miller was the man behind the scenes. While the media asked owner Richard Childress what it was like to be "on the pit box" again, Miller stood next to Harvick with a big smile on his face, posing for the obligatory sponsor photos. The attention had skipped over him again. And it didn't bother him at all.

"I have always kept a low profile in the media and I'm not sure why," said Miller. "I don't mind doing interviews or whatever, but I mainly just stick with the guys on the team and work to make the car better. At Bristol we made the best of a tough situation. We all wish Todd would have been there. R.C. showed what this organization is all about by lending his full support to the GM Goodwrench team and I was proud to have him on the box. Just being part of that win, considering all that went on, was way cool."

Points of Interest...

* Who's the Big Winner...Harvick has had an incredible start to 2005. As a team owner, Kevin Harvick, Inc. has won in the NASCAR Busch Series (Tony Stewart, Daytona Beach, Fla.) and the NASCAR Truck Series (Ron Hornaday, Atlanta, Ga.). He has also scored wins as a driver in both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (Bristol, Tenn.) and NASCAR Busch Series (Bristol, Tenn.).

* Truckin'...Harvick will make his NASCAR Truck Series debut in the No. 92 Yard-Man Chevrolet Silverado at Martinsville Speedway. The Bakersfield, Calif., native has two career NCTS wins, both at Phoenix International Raceway.

* What Ya' Haulin'...The GM Goodwrench transporter will unload chassis No. 139 at Martinsville Speedway. It is the same car the team raced at Atlanta (21st) earlier in the year. It was built brand new for 2005. The team shook the car down at Caraway Speedway on Monday, just hours after Harvick captured the Food City 250. He went straight from Bristol to the test.

No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Martinsville Speedway...

You have clicked very well with Scott Miller. How important has it been to have his experience at the track with Todd Berrier's suspension?

"Miller has been a great asset to the 29 team. He works with Todd week in and week out. Todd worked really well with him in the past and that is why he was brought over to the GM Goodwrench car last year. The guys respect him and he gets the job done."

What does Miller bring to this race team that maybe is different than Todd?

"Actually they are a lot alike. They both know so much about what it takes to make a car go fast and handle well. They both have a great attitude and realize they can only control their stuff, not everyone else's. I think people outside the sport don't realize how many talented people it takes to win races at this level. We have guys that never leave the shop that are as important as Todd, or Scott, or me. It takes an entire team. He's a great team player."

After winning both races at Bristol, do you feel like momentum is on your side?

"That's what Richard always talks about. 'Mo'. If you get 'Mo' on your side you can do some great things. I think it is on our side. Winning definitely does a lot to help. We had bad luck at Speedweeks and instead of worrying about it, we knew we had to come back strong. We have been good everywhere, with maybe the exception of Atlanta. I expect to have a good car again at Martinsville. I think we are getting to a good place with our race team. We've done a lot of hard work over the winter and it looks like it's starting to pay off ."

Martinsville is a tough track that is hard on both man and machine. How do you approach racing at Martinsville?

"You have to make the car roll through the tight corners. Keeping the brakes on the car the entire race is important at Martinsville. So important in fact, when I got back from Bristol yesterday afternoon, I went straight to Caraway Speedway to shake down my Martinsville car. We wanted to make sure we put the brakes through a heat cycle and everything worked properly. Avoiding wrecks is another key to a successful day at Martinsville. It's a short track and things happen in a hurry. If you can do all of those things, you'll be OK."

-rcr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Ricky Craven , Robbie Loomis