Kevin Harvick A warm Michigan welcome HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (August 12, 2003) - Most people would think that when you mention home for Kevin Harvick and his No. 29 GM Goodwrench racing team, the first place that comes to mind is Welcome, N.C.,...
A warm Michigan welcome
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (August 12, 2003) - Most people would think that when you mention home for Kevin Harvick and his No. 29 GM Goodwrench racing team, the first place that comes to mind is Welcome, N.C., where their Winston Cup operation is located. What most don't think about is Grand Blanc, Mich., where their primary sponsor GM Goodwrench, a division of General Motors Service Parts Operations (GMSPO), is headquartered.
"Michigan is almost like a second home for us," states Harvick, who moved to fifth in the NACAR Winston Cup points standings with last week's fifth place finish in Watkins Glen, N.Y. "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."
Team GM Goodwrench will make their annual trip up to GMSPO headquarters in Grand Blanc Thursday morning before heading to (Brooklyn) Michigan Speedway later that afternoon. Once there, they will spend time with employees, walk through some of the facilities, and enjoy lunch with some of the special guests that will be attending the Winston Cup race weekend.
As one of the longest standing team sponsors in the sport, GM Goodwrench has become a staple of Winston Cup racing. Earlier this year, they renewed their relationship with Richard Childress Racing for three more years, ensuring them of continued success on and off the racetrack.
No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Michigan...
What happened during the race in June?
"I think it was a bad set of tires or something. Our car was good all day except for one run and we just got off a little bit and that was all it took. The fact of the matter is that if you are off just a little bit, it's not like Busch racing where you can get it back. The racing is so competitive that somebody is going to hit it, somebody is going to be really good at the beginning of the run. If you are off, you stand a pretty good chance of getting lapped. We got off to a great start at Michigan last time and just had one run that was off and we got lapped. That was it for us."
What do you think of the speedway?
"For whatever reason, Michigan is another one of those places that fit my driving style. You can drive into the turns down on the bottom in the flat, or in the middle, or right around the wall. Depending on handling, you can move up or down to make your car work. It's a lot of fun to race on and usually boils down to some sort of fuel mileage. It's one of those racetracks where we've always, always been competitive."
What's the advantage of a wide racing surface?
"It really helps the racing. If your car is not working, or it's a little too tight, the banking is a little bit flatter in one and two and you can kind of de-wedge the car getting into the corner by driving down flat. If it's a little loose, you can run all the way up against the wall, or in the middle, or wherever you want to run."
What's it like to be racing in the primary sponsor's backyard?
"It's always nice to go to Michigan because there are so many people from GM to support us. 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."
How big of a boost is it to be back in the top-five in points?
"It's really just a direct result of how hard this team and everyone at RCR has been working. We've really picked it up over the summer months and have worked hard on consistently running in the top-5 or top-10. We're sitting on the pole, leading more laps, and have put ourselves in contention to win. That all came together over the past two weeks with my win at the Brickyard and Robby's win at Watkins Glen."
No. 29 GM Goodwrench crew chief Todd Berrier on Michigan...
What changes have you made heading into Michigan?
"We're not making too many changes going into the race weekend. We had a really good day in Michigan until we ran that bad set of tires. We've decided to take the same car Kevin won with at Indy back to Michigan. It's actually the same one we finished third with at this race last year. We won't make too many adjustments from June, just a few standard shock and spring changes."
Points of Interest...
* Team GM Goodwrench is taking chassis No. 88 to Brooklyn, Mich., the same car they won with at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this season. This chassis also won at Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway and finished third at the second Michigan race in 2002.
* With his fifth place finish in Sunday's Sirius at The Glen, Harvick jumped up two spots to fifth in the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup point standings with 2,778 points. He is currently 38 points shy of the fourth position, and 516 points behind leader Matt Kenseth.
* The 2001 Winston Cup Rookie-of-the-Year is still one of only three drivers in the top-10 in points to not post a DNF yet this season. The other two - Kenseth and Michael Waltrip.
* Start time for the GFS Marketplace 400 is slated for 2:00 p.m. ET. TV coverage of the race on TNT starts at 1:30 p.m., with radio coverage on MRN beginning at 1:30 p.m. as well. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.