Kevin Harvick, driver of the no. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet fielded by Richard Childress Racing, held a Q&A session with the media prior to Friday morning's practice regarding the NASCAR penalities incurred after the Pocono 500 last ...
Kevin Harvick, driver of the no. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet fielded by Richard Childress Racing, held a Q&A session with the media prior to Friday morning's practice regarding the NASCAR penalities incurred after the Pocono 500 last weekend.
"I don't really have anything (a statement) prepared. We presented NASCAR with everything that they needed. The skid marks are very evident on the race track and I wish now I would have taken a picture of it so I could have given it to all you guys (the media). There are two straight black skid marks and a wheel hop where it spins out. If you really go back and look at the one angle that FOX showed, if you look at that particular tape, there's no way you can spin somebody out under caution without at least knocking the grill out of your car or tearing the back bumper. There wasn't a mark on the front of my car. There wasn't a mark on the back bumper. That's the way it is. It is what it is at this point. It's just like John Darby told me. He said your past is probably why you're getting a fine. So, I don't think that's probably the right way to go about things, but what has been right in the last few weeks?"
IS IT CORRECT THAT NOBODY WAS TOLD TO GO TO THE NASCAR HAULER UNTIL AFTER MATT KENSETH SPUN YOU OUT?
"As far as I know, it was right there at the end of the race. You know the fuel cell was knocked out of our car and in all reality, we should have been right behind the No. 9 car in the scoring. That was the part that we were the most tore up about - the fact that we lost 31 points and that was probably the best we've ever run at Pocono. And then to lose the 31 points and be caught up in something we didn't really have anything to do with other than the fact that we got hit three times. It's just he way it is. We're not going to gripe and complain about it, we're just going to go on and do what we have to do. It's not the first time and it probably won't be the last. I've done a lot of wrong things and that's the first time I've ever, ever talked to Mike Helton twice and presented everything we presented.
"It's just like Jim Hunter said in USA Today, 'I'm dealing with my own set of facts, but they are facts.' And whether they like it or not, they're hard core facts and that's the reason that Richard (Childress) and myself are at the point where we are where we're just a little bit bent out of shape about there being any fine on our part whatsoever."
ARE YOU GOING TO APPEAL NASCAR'S DECISION?
"The appeal system, it doesn't work. It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong. You're going to lose. It's not worth the time."
MATT KENSETH SAID THE TRACK IS FULL OF SKID MARKS. IF YOU LOOK AT THE TRACK, THERE ARE SKID MARKS EVERYWHERE. WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT THAT?
"Well, he may have said the track is full of skid marks, but if you go back and look at the tape there was only one spot after the race that was full of gravel and that's the spot that that they didn't sweep and used as the excuse not to go back to green. Myself and Richard sat out on the race track after the race and took a golf cart out there while the race fans were exiting the race track and that set of skid marks is really apparent when you go back and look at the video."
CONSIDERING WHAT'S HAPPENED THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, WHAT'S YOUR LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE ON HOW THE RACE WILL BE RUN THIS SUNDAY?
"Well, it's not very good. Something has to be fixed. The race fans are throwing stuff on the race track every week and doing things they usually don't do. In the past month, it's happened a few times. We've got to fix it. We've got to do something to make it better and that all lies in the sanctioning body's hands. Last weekend, our issue probably covered up some of that. But it wasn't just last weekend that needs to be covered up. The racing back to the yellow thing and the scoring thing are not in good shape right now. It's the same people running the race every week."
DO YOU THINK THE RACES SHOULD ALWAYS FINISH UNDER GREEN?
"There are a lot of things you'd like to see different. You'd like to see the races finish under green. You'd like to see a lot less caution laps. We run more under caution than we do green. But I think they see the same things and hopefully they're going to fix it."
DO YOU THINK NASCAR WILL BE UPSET WITH YOU FOR SPEAKING OUT?
"Well, here's the deal. We dealt with Mike Helton in two of the three instances and when the fine came down he had John Darby call and I let him know how I felt about the whole thing and I don't feel very good about it. The last year and a half or so I've tried to be politically correct and do things the way that they're supposed to be done. But in the end, it doesn't matter. You can be the nice guy; you can be the bad guy, you can be whatever you want. I'm going to go back and be myself. And that's who I am. So if you've got a question, come on over and ask because I'm going to let you know how I feel."
ARE YOU GETTING TIRED OF TALKING ABOUT ISSUES LIKE THE SCORING SYSTEM AND RACING BACK TO THE YELLOW?
"This particular subject is something we shouldn't even have to talk about. As a racer and as a participant, you don't want to be involved in the same thing week after week. Usually the problems are fixed and you go on. This problem just keeps coming back over and over. Hopefully they can go back and do something that affects the way the races are run and finished and hopefully we can get it all straightened out.
"From my standpoint, I've paid $148,000 worth of fines since 2001. I haven't had one of them that makes 100 percent sense from the last one. And that's what we need. We need some consistency. We don't need section 12A or whatever that section of the rulebook is where it's their discretion. To me it should be black and white rules. It's no different than the incident we had at Nashville last week. Is it a rule or is it not? Don't just tell us that's our policy. Tell us it's a rule.
"If it's not a rule, then you're not wrong. If it is a rule, then you're wrong. We had an incident at Talladega where they felt the rule was tampered with a little bit on our Busch cars. There was no penalty, there was no anything. But for the next six weeks, they made us tear our car apart. That's not right. Either you're right or you're wrong. That's the way it needs to be. There doesn't need to be a NASCAR discretion. Sure, there's going to be some things that are NASCAR's discretion, but when it comes down to it, there needs to be some rules that are followed consistently here."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE BEING TARGETED SOMETIMES?
"I was told by John Darby I was part of the reason that the penalty is what it is -- for your past. That's me. It's not fair. That's been addressed. I think it was something he probably shouldn't have said, but he said it. And it still gets on my nerves and it frustrates me a lot."
HAVE YOU AND MATT KENSETH DISCUSSED WHAT HAPPENED AND/OR MADE AMENDS?
"Well, the thing with Matt started at Martinsville when he wrecked us. I think when you look at that situation; he tries to be the nice guy and tries to say all the things he says. Like I said, you have to take it for what it is and go on with it. We've presented everything they needed to see and that was it. We're just going with it."
"It's like I told him in Martinsville. He was complaining about the way I race. I race hard and I race as hard as I can around everybody. He is of the mold of stop and point and pull over. I have to race hard. That's the way I was taught to race. Like I told him there. He is never wrong and he's the champ and he's going to think what he wants and that's what it is. I can promise you that I'm probably more stubborn than he is."