This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 288 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Earlier in the year, this Chevrolet scored a runner-up finish...
This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 288 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Earlier in the year, this Chevrolet scored a runner-up finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and at Auto Club Speedway finished ninth at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and finished seventh at Dover International Speedway. Additionally, Harvick raced this chassis three times in the latter part of the 2009 season, finishing 18th at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fifth at Texas Motor Speedway and third at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Follow the Leader ... After last week's 11th-place finish at Watkins Glen International, Harvick remains the leader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. Harvick enjoys a lead of 185 points over second, and he is 579 points ahead of 13th. For the season, he has earned two wins, 10 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. At the same time, Harvick has finished 13th or better in 19 of the season's first 22 events.
Race to the Chase ... With just four events remaining before the 2010 NSCS Chase field is set, Harvick enjoys a 579-point lead over 13th. The Bakersfield, Calif., driver leads all competitors with 15 top-10 finishes, and is tied with Jeff Gordon for most top-five finishes (10). Additionally, the 13-time NSCS winner has finished on the lead lap in every event but two, with the lone exceptions being Martinsville and Chicagoland. At the paper-clip shaped facility, Harvick led 57 of the first 58 laps, but suffered a brake failure that forced the team to go behind the wall for repairs. At Chicagoland, the team battled a fuel-pressure issue and finished 34th.
Double duty at MIS ... In addition to his driving duties with the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet, Harvick will race Kevin Harvick Incorporated's No. 33 Chevrolet in the August 14th CARFAX 250 Nationwide Series event. The race will air live on ESPN beginning at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, and will also be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
Talk about the race in June when you finished 19th after starting 31st.
"Michigan has been tough on us. We have had a tough time trying to figure out the package that we needed. Everywhere else that we have been this year, one of us has been able to figure something out. But, Michigan is a place where we all struggle. This time around, we are going to have some time with the new Nationwide (Series) car, and we're going to, hopefully, use that to our advantage, and get a sense of direction on some things, so, hopefully, when Cup practice starts, we'll have a good idea in what direction we need to go in for qualifying. The hope is to come up with some better stuff than what we raced last time. We're looking to be competitive and have a lot of changes than what we had last time."
Looking back, Michigan has always been a difficult track for RCR, even with Earnhardt. Why do you think that is? "I don't know. We just struggle finding a balance in the car. Obviously, we have great horsepower and that's not a problem. Our cars are great week in and week out, but for whatever reason, we find it tough to find a balance on the car - whether it's too loose or too tight. It's a fun race track. I really enjoy going there and you have a lot of options as a driver to be able to move from the top to the bottom of the race track. It's a fun place to go, so, hopefully, this time we can turn it around."
A lot of the races at Michigan turn into a battle with fuel mileage. How enthusiastic are you when Gil (Martin, crew chief) comes on the radio and tells you to save fuel?
"It depends where you are running. The hard part about saving fuel is you never know how much you've saved. It's always stressful just for the fact that you're saving gas you see what the guys around you are doing and you don't know how long they've been saving. You don't have a fuel gauge in there so you don't know exactly what you're doing and if it's enough. You have a good idea of what you've done in the past, but it's a very different way to race."