This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Pocono Raceway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 309 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet is a completely brand new car which will see its...
This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Pocono Raceway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 309 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet is a completely brand new car which will see its first laps on the track during Friday's practice session.
Follow the Leader ... Fresh off his 11th-place finish last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Harvick remains the leader in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points. Harvick has one win, four top-five and nine top-10 finishes in the season's first 13 races.
Charlotte Coca-Cola 600 Recap ... Last weekend at Charlotte in the Coca-Cola 600, Harvick completed every lap and crossed the finish line in 11th. The Bakersfield, Calif., driver overcame two rounds of adversity, one from a bent splitter brace after running over a piece of debris, and another from a severe vibration that forced him to pit out of sequence. The result was Harvick's 12th finish of 13th or better in the season's first 13 events.
What are your thoughts about Pocono Raceway?
"Pocono has a lot of its own characteristics, to say the least. It's a 2.5-mile triangle-shaped race track that has three pretty tricky turns. Turn one is really bumpy, and the tunnel turn has a pretty big curb and it is pretty easy to make a mistake there. Turn three is one of the flattest turns we deal with on the NASCAR circuit. It definitely has its own unique challenges."
What part of Pocono is the trickiest for you to get accustomed to?
"For me, the trickiest part of Pocono is the tunnel turn. You have to carry so much speed into that turn that there is not much room for error. The tunnel turn is so much harder to get through now than it used to be. A few years ago there was a flat curb there and you could lean on it a little bit if you needed to. Now, there is a big curb there and if you hit it, you'll probably be forced up the race track, and the chances of hitting the wall are pretty high."
Some drivers say the tunnel turn at Pocono is one of the most difficult turns in all of NASCAR. Would you agree with that?
"It's a very challenging corner. It's very inviting to drive the car in too far and then you push up in the center of the corner. When you get it right, it's a really, really fun corner to go through because it's really fast and the car is right on the edge getting into the corner, and you're in the gas really early on exit. The car just kind of has that loose swing as you come up off the corner and you're right up against the wall. It's really flat. There's a little bump in the middle of it. It's really fun when your car is right. If it's not right, you lose a ton of time there."
The frontstretch is so long at Pocono. When you're coming out of turn three, can you even see turn one?
"You can kind of see (turn one). It's a long way down there. The turn three exit is the most important corner on the track, just because you have that long front straightaway. If you screw up the exit of turn three, you screw up the place where you can gain the most time. You have to have a lot of horsepower and you have to have your car handling well. You have to get over the bumps right and there's a lot of technique in remembering what you need to do in each corner. A lot of elements come into play at Pocono."
Pocono has been a good track for you. Any particular reason for your success there?
"Pocono is a fun track to race on. The last few years, it's come down to strategy and we've been solid. It's a fun track, and it's really rough in turn one on the bottom. A lot of times you run through the middle. Usually when my car is running good, I can run anywhere I want through turn one. The tunnel turn is a really fast corner that you run right at the bottom. It's got a really big curb that you really don't want to hit at all, because it jumps you up in the air. It's a challenging race track, and it has three totally different turns."