Can Harvick turn it around at Pocono? HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (July 20, 2005) -- When Kevin Harvick left Pocono (Pa.) Raceway on June 12, everything looked great for the No. 29 GM Goodwrench team. An eighth place finish secured the ...
Can Harvick turn it around at Pocono?
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (July 20, 2005) -- When Kevin Harvick left Pocono (Pa.) Raceway on June 12, everything looked great for the No. 29 GM Goodwrench team. An eighth place finish secured the Bakersfield, Calif., native in the top-10 in points and all signs pointed to Harvick as a contender for the NEXTEL Cup. But since that afternoon, nothing has gone well for the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet.
Harvick experienced a season of disappointments in the last five races alone. From crashes and motor failures to flat tires and, in one case a missed setup, the GM Goodwrench team lost their grip on the Chase for the Championship. Now the Richard Childress Racing-owned team looks to Pocono for some relief.
"Pocono has never been one of our better tracks as far as how we have finished," said Harvick. "It was a place where we put a big red "X" on the schedule and said, how can we get better? We tried some new ideas back in the spring race and they paid off. We had a great car and a good finish. Now we need to go back and do it again. We're bringing the same car back this weekend, so I expect us to be competitive right off the truck."
While June and July typically have been where Harvick has been most impressive, this year the team is looking at a late summer surge. With races at Indianapolis (Ind.), Watkins Glen (N.Y.), and Bristol (Tenn.) coming up, Harvick still has time to turn things around.
Points of Interest...
Chase for the Championship...The GM Goodwrench Chevrolet struggled with balance at New Hampshire International Speedway last weekend, as Harvick finished 22nd in the New England 300. It was the team's fifth finish outside the top-20 in the last seven races. The No. 29 sits in 14th position, 523 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson. Despite that large gap, Harvick still is in contention for the season ending Chase for the Championship. He is just 105 markers out of tenth with seven races until the Chase begins back at New Hampshire.
Last Month in Pocono... Harvick qualified eighth but quickly made his way into the top-five in the early stages of the Pocono 500. The GM Goodwrench team battled a tight in the middle, loose off condition for much of the afternoon. In the late stages, Harvick took four tires with 25 laps to go and quickly made his way to the front, but ran out of laps, finishing eighth. The finish moved Harvick into eighth position in points. The GM Goodwrench Chevrolet has failed to finish in the top-10 since leaving Pocono on June 12.
Goodwrench.com Vote... GM Goodwrench, a division of General Motors Service and Parts Operations (GMSPO), has announced that for the first time in their history of NASCAR involvement, fans will have the opportunity to pick the standard paint scheme for the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. NASCAR fans can log onto Goodwrench.com between July 15 and the end of August to vote between the current "flame" design and the "20th Anniversary" scheme that Harvick raced in the 2005 Daytona 500. The winner will be announced in October.
What Ya' Haulin'...The GM Goodwrench transporter will unload chassis No. 137 in The Keystone State. Harvick finished eighth in the car in the Pocono 500 back on June 12. It is the same chassis that the GM Goodwrench team raced at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the Coca-Cola 600 (14th) and at Darlington Raceway (14th).
TV and Radio... Start time for Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 is 1:40 p.m. EDT. Television coverage begins on TNT at 1:00 p.m. MRN Radio and XM Radio 144 will begin their broadcast at 1:00 p.m. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.
No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Pocono Raceway...
You had a good run in the spring race. Have you finally found your groove at Pocono?
"I think we always knew how to get around Pocono. We just couldn't quite finish things off. We went a different direction with the setup in the spring race and we hit on something that felt good to me all the way around. I'm more enthusiastic about returning to Pocono than I have in the past because I think we have a setup and a car that can run in the top-five and be a factor for the win. That always makes it more enjoyable."
Are you concerned about tires this weekend after the trouble some teams had in June?
"I'm not that concerned because we didn't have any issues at all with our tires. I know there was talk about the curb in turn two and all that, but I hit the curb every lap. We tend to be pretty conservative with our tire pressures, but we are also more aggressive with shocks and things like that. All I know is that a bunch of cars blew left fronts. I hit the bump every single lap. Maybe we were just lucky."