Michigan II: Kevin Harvick preview

KEVIN HARVICK MIS Homecoming for Harvick HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (August 16, 2005) -- Michigan International Speedway (MIS) has always been one of the more important races to win for teams in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series mainly due to the...

MIS Homecoming for Harvick

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (August 16, 2005) -- Michigan International Speedway (MIS) has always been one of the more important races to win for teams in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series mainly due to the fact that all three manufacturers have their headquarters in the Detroit (Mich.) Area. For Kevin Harvick, the importance of running well at MIS is exaggerated since his car sponsor GM Goodwrench is based their as well.

Team GM Goodwrench will once again make their annual trip up to GMSPO headquarters in Grand Blanc, Mich., Thursday morning before heading to MIS. Once there, they will spend time with employees, tour some of the facilities, and enjoy lunch with some of the special guests that will be attending the NEXTEL Cup race weekend.

"Michigan is almost like a second home for us," said Harvick. "Every year we go up to visit their headquarters and meet with employees. It's a great opportunity for us to say thanks to them individually for their support. GM Goodwrench has been with RCR for a long time and it's important for us to recognize that loyalty. We usually run really well in front of them and never have had a bad run, just bad luck. Being that it is GM's backyard, I don't know if it just works itself out that way, or if it's just a racetrack where RCR cars always run good."

One of the factors Harvick and company will be trying to master this weekend is fuel mileage. How far you can stretch a tank of fuel is always a key to winning in the Irish Hills. "I think that's part of why everybody shows up to watch these races," says the Bakersfield, Calif., native. "You never know what's going to happen. You can't predict when the cautions are going to come out. You can't predict how many cars are going to stay out or how many cars or going to pit, or how many cars are going to wreck. So you just play it as it comes and that's part of what puts all those people in the grandstands."

Points of Interest...

* Chase for the Championship...The GM Goodwrench Chevrolet battled a tight condition all day long in the Sirius at The Glen last Sunday, finishing 14th. Harvick dropped to 14th position, 590 markers out of first place. The Chase for the Championship continues to be a tight race as the No. 29 Monte Carlo is a mere 70 points out of 10th with four races to go.

* Last Race at Michigan...Harvick started 28th after getting loose in turn three during qualifying. In the race, the GM Goodwrench Chevy never was a factor. Harvick battled an ill-handling car all day long. Despite several major adjustments, the No. 29 went a lap down and had to settle for a 25th place finish.

* Goodwrench.com Vote...GM Goodwrench, a division of General Motors Service and Parts Operations (GMSPO), are giving fans the chance to vote for the standard paint scheme for the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet for the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. NASCAR fans began logging onto Goodwrench.com on July 15 to vote between the current "flame" design and the "20th Anniversary" scheme that Harvick raced in the 2005 Daytona 500.

* What Ya' Haulin'...The GM Goodwrench transporter will unload chassis No. 137 at MIS. This has become the team's favorite car. It captured a top-20 finish at Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway (19th) just two weeks ago. Harvick finished eighth and sixth respectfully with the car at Pocono (Pa.). The GM Goodwrench team also raced the chassis at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the Coca-Cola 600 (14th) and at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (14th).

* TV and Radio...Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400 begins at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Television coverage begins on TNT at 1:30 p.m., with MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio, channel 144 beginning their broadcasts at 1:30 p.m. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.

No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Michigan...

What happened during the race in June?

"We were slow and the car was just not right. It was loose, tight and it seemed to change in every corner. We had tried a package that we thought would race well and it didn't. It was a disappointing race for sure. Michigan is a track we usually run well at and I think we will be much better this time around."

What did you learn from the first race at MIS that you think will help you this weekend?

"We learned that we brought the wrong car and the wrong package. We didn't test at MIS prior to that race, but the other RCR cars did and they found a setup that everyone thought was going to be fast. We all talked about it and agreed that it was worth trying. It just didn't work for us. Maybe it was the car? I know that Todd and I decided to stick with what we know and like, so we will be bringing a totally different package this weekend."

No. 29 GM Goodwrench crew chief Todd Berrier on Michigan...

After finishing 25th at MIS in the spring race, do you tweak the setup this time around or bring back something completely different?

"We are bringing back a totally different car, so I guess that would be a little more than a tweak of the setup. We talked ourselves into trying something last time that was different than what we had been running all year. The other RCR cars had tested at MIS and had hit on something they said was really good. It just didn't work for Kevin. We are going to go back to the package we like to run and I think we will be much improved this time."


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick