NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES SUBWAY FRESH 500 - WEEKLY TOP 10 PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY April 20, 2006 BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO SS: ON POSSIBLE MOVE TO UNLEADED FUEL IN BUSCH AND TRUCKS LATER...
NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES SUBWAY FRESH 500 - WEEKLY TOP 10
PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
April 20, 2006
BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO SS:
ON POSSIBLE MOVE TO UNLEADED FUEL IN BUSCH AND TRUCKS LATER THIS SEASON "This is first I have heard about it, didn't know anything about it. I thought that was a 2008 issue. If that is what you say, I am good with it. If I don't have any choice, we will just deal with it."
ON THE RACE TO LEAVE THE TRACK AFTER THE RACE: "You go do what you have to do after the race, then go as quick as you can and that is about it. We fly out. We go to the helicopter pad and off to the airport.
WHO IS FASTER OUT OF THE TRACK THAN YOU, DO YOU RACE ANYBODY? "No, it is too dangerous to race." (Smiles and chuckles)
ON SOFTER BUMPERS FOR TALLADEGA: "To be honest with you about the bumpers, we don't really have to change a whole lot on the bumpers. I think it is going down the right road and is a good idea, all in all the bumpers really aren't that much different. It is spec'd out what it can be and we didn't really have to change hardly anything on the front of our cars"
ON THE CAR FOR SATURDAY NIGHT'S RACE: "We have a good car. It is a brand new car; we built it for here, Loudon - kind of the mile race tracks. The car is pretty much how we tested at Richmond; we were really good at Richmond. This track has a lot to do with track position and making your car handle for 50 to 60 laps at a time. It has been pretty good since we unloaded so hopefully, we can keep it that way as we go through the weekend here."
ON CUP TECHNOLOGY BEING MORE UTILIZED IN THE BUSCH SERIES: "I don't think it is any different than it has been since I started. There are more teams and more cars, but I feel that it is not any different than it has been."
ON BEING MORE COMFORTABLE GOING TO RICHMOND HAVING THE OPPORTUNITY TO TEST THERE: "I would rather not test anywhere, they make me test (smiles and chuckles). It is where now you get short track, you get some mile and a half stuff, and you get Daytona. So you get to go through a lot of things. Tests are way too long, 12 hours a day.
"It is as hard on the guys as much as anything, but you know we probably learned two or three things through the 24 hours of testing. Learned a lot of what not to do, so you take the couple things you did learn and go forward."
ON RACING AT RICHMOND: "Yes, I enjoy Richmond. It has the speed of a faster track. The new pavement has spread the grooves out and you can run three or four lanes up the race track. It is a pretty cool race track to race on. With tire pressures being mandated at what it is, it makes it hard to make the car handle after about 25 or 30 laps because the right front tire gets so much air in it. Cool track to race on."
ON RACING ON SATURDAY NIGHT THE NEXT FEW RACES: "I enjoy being home on Sunday, I can tell you that much. It is neat because we are on the West Coast and we get home on Sunday and you get Sunday afternoon to get back in the swing of things earlier in the week instead of having to waste Monday. It is not bad, I enjoy racing at night. I think everybody enjoys the cooler temperatures and the night atmosphere."
ON FEELING LONGSTANDING NASCAR HERITAGE OF OLDER TRACKS IN THE EAST: "I do for Darlington but not for Rockingham (smiles and chuckles). Darlington is so much a part of our sport and so deeply entrenched in NASCAR racing, it would be hard to ever see NASCAR not going to Darlington. I do respect the history of Darlington."
DO YOU STILL GET A DARLINGTON STRIPE WHEN YOU RUN THERE? "Oh yes. Last year I think I got a couple so pretty much ended my day. It can reach out and grab you at any point, any time during the day."
ON STATUS WITH RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING CONTRACT DISCUSSIONS CONCLUDING IN APRIL: "We are still in April and he is in Africa. We talked before he went to spend a couple of weeks over there. I know the ball is pretty much on that side."
ON RUMOR YOU HAVE TOLD RICHARD CHILDRESS WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR: "Not really. It is just a matter of everybody pulling in the same direction. That is the main focus we are trying to achieve going forward. I want to make sure I am on their side and they are on my side no matter where it winds up. It is something where I want the train to be pulling in the same direction from all parties."
DOES RICHARD KNOW WHAT IT WOULD TAKE TO KEEP YOU RIGHT NOW? "Yes."
IS THERE A DEADLINE BY RICHMOND? "No. That is my goal."
WOULD YOU LIKE TO STAY AT RCR? "Yes, I would like to. There is a seven-year relationship here that is first and foremost and the main priority to keep. I have a lot of friends here. I have a seven year relationship here and I think it is something that will be the first thing we try to work out."
HAVE YOU ALWAYS KNOWN YOU WANTED TO STAY AT RCR? "I think we have made some good additions to our race team. I think our race team is on the same page and has been together for three years and that is what it takes to win a championship. I think the performance of the race cars has helped make that a little bit easier to see. It is something to where there are a lot of things that have changed and gotten better. It is the thing that we want to work out first and as long as all parties agree to do that, we will see what happens."
ON POSSIBLY GOING TO A BRAND NEW TEAM AND HAVING OPPORTUNITY TO WIN: "It is going to be tough to start a team from scratch or to change teams to do that. But you can't ever rule anything out. I want to do what is best for my career; if that is what it takes, then that is what we will do. But the number one priority is to salvage the seven-year relationship and build on it."
DO YOU HAVE TO "SALVAGE" THE RELATIONSHIP WITH RICHARD FOR YOU AND HE TO GET ON THE SAME PAGE? "Bad word! I shouldn't have said that."
DOES BEING ON THE SAME PAGE WITH RICHARD MEAN YOU HAVE REINFORCED EACH OTHER'S COMMITMENT? "I don't think commitment was ever the issue. I think it was the lack of knowing exactly what we needed to do to fix it. Just start somewhere and start fixing it and I think that happened in the middle of last season."
DO YOU LIKE THE GAME OF NEGOTIATING? "I like to win, I don't need money, and I like to win. That is what I want to do. I want to win races; I want to win a championship. That is my goal. I may have been a little outspoken as far as what it would take to get this organization there and our team there and myself there. But that is what I want to do, so what ever it takes to do that, that is the goal I want to achieve."
ON CURRENTLY BEING TOP-10 IN POINTS "We could very well be 15th or 20th in points right now. But our stuff has run good all year, it has run good everywhere. We had a little hiccup in California but everywhere we have been, the cars have run good. It is hard to achieve that in this sport and this garage."
ON REASONS FOR WANTING TO WIN CHAMPIONSHIP-TO PUT TO REST THAT HE IS A CHAMPIONSHIP CALIBER DRIVER AND DESERVES THE RCR RIDE: "I think it is a little bit of both. I think that you always feel you are better than what you did last year or what you are doing at the moment. I think going forward, the goal is to prove we can win championships and when you count us out, we always come back."
WHY DO YOU WANT TO DRIVE FOR RCR? "The best part that comes to my mind is just my guys, my race team. There have been a lot of management changes and Mike Dillon is a part of that. Just knowing that he is going to be a part of the race team going forward -- I started there with Mike in the Busch cars, so to me, my race team and Mike are probably the biggest things; and knowing he is going to be a part of the organization going forward."
ON RUMOR OF A TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT STATEMENT TO RCR "No, No, No. It is not a take it or leave it thing. It is just a conversation between the parties just to see where everybody was on the first conversation and it is not a take it or leave it type of situation. "
COULD YOU DRIVE FOR A GM TEAM AND OWN A TOYOTA TEAM? "No."
SO YOU DON'T WANT MONEY BUT IT COMES WITH WINNING? "Right, I want to do it that way."
CAN YOU IMAGINE YOUR WIFE DELANA WALKING DOWN PIT ROAD TO TALK TO ANOTHER DRIVER'S SPOUSE OR GIRLFRIEND? "No. She wouldn't do that. It would be a long flight home."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CHANGES OVER AT ROUSH? "I could care less."