Richmond II: Harvick - GM Top-10 interview

BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 GM GOODWRENCH MONTE CARLO SS: ON BEING POISED TO GET IN THE CHASE "It is still a pretty stressful weekend. There are still things that can go wrong. Obviously we can still be on the outside...


ON BEING POISED TO GET IN THE CHASE "It is still a pretty stressful weekend. There are still things that can go wrong. Obviously we can still be on the outside looking in if we have a disaster. We want to do everything we can do to put ourselves in the right position to capitalize on Saturday night."

ON POSSIBILITY OF WINNING BOTH THE CUP AND BUSCH SERIES' TITLES: "The first thing we have to through this weekend to hopefully put ourselves in that position to be racing for those championships and just have the opportunity to maybe to that. I am proud of everybody just for the fact that we have turned everything around and the performance of everything has been really good. We have had a great year. Just get through this weekend, then it will be a reality hopefully and we can go from there and we can try to do that.

"I think the Busch championship is good for us, it has been a lot of fun. We have got one and hopefully we can close the Busch championship thing out here before we get to the end of the year. But the Cup championship it what makes our world go around. That is what we all want and what we all want to achieve. That is the main focus right now it to try to achieve that.

"It is a challenge and obviously an inspiration to do something that no one has ever done before. It adds a little incentive, not that we need anymore incentive to win the Cup championship, to do something that other people haven't done and probably haven't even had the chance at, that is pretty cool. I am just proud to have the opportunity whether it happens or not."

ON TREMENDOUS SUCCESS IN NBS SERIES THIS YEAR: "We have just had one of those years where everything has gone really well. The cars have performed really well. I happen to be driving cars and am around people that care. Everything has gone perfect. We have won a lot of races and finished in the top-five and top-10 and led a lot of laps. It has been a lot of fun and you know that it is not always going to be that way. It is fun to have years like we are having every once in a while."

ON DOING BOTH CUP AND BUSCH FULL-TIME: "We have already done it once and we always run a lot of Busch races. Richard (Childress) and I kind of joked about it one day and it turned in to reality."

ON TURMOIL THAT STARTED CUP CAREER IN 2001: "I don't look back, I look forward. Everybody has worked hard to get to this point. The cars are going better. We don't look backwards; we look forward as to how we can get better and how we can make things progress and try to make it better as we go on. Richard made a lot of moves in the off-season. We had a great plan going the end of last year and then in to this year. It all came together. I think that is the things, we stuck to our plan and did what we had to do to make things go in a different direction."

ON ANY PHYSICAL OR MENTAL AFFECTS OF DOING BOTH BUSCH AND CUP FULL TIME THIS YEAR: "It hasn't. We have been fortunate to do it before so we knew how to manage our time. Everyone has done a great job of keeping everything organized. That has made things go really smooth. Physically it hasn't been an issue this year. It has just kind of been business as usual. Just kind of what we have done over the past few years and that is race a lot. We cut out all the late model races and truck races and those types of things. All we are doing is Busch and Cup and all the extra curricular stuff has gone by the wayside."

ON RACING IN BUSCH SERIES HELPING CUP PROGRAM: "This is something we have done a lot over the past few years. There real is not anything we can make a story out of. It is just what I do."

ON ANY CHANGES TO CUP APPROACH IN CHASE: "Nothing is going to change. We are going to do the same things that we are doing. We are going to approach the races the same, we are going to approach the Busch series the same, and we are going to run all the races. We are going to do everything just as we have been doing it and I think that is the only way you can do things. Because, that is what got us here. That is what put us to the point where we are having a good year. If you change you that up, it breaks your rhythm. It is all about rhythm and it is all about being consistent; knowing what you have got when you show up at the race track and doing the things that you do to get you to this point. You just have to keep doing those things. If that is not good enough to get it done, then it probably wasn't good enough to get in the Chase. You have to be consistent and keep doing the things you have been doing."

ON WANTING TO KNOW WHERE OTHER CHASE CONTENDERS ARE AS RACE PROGRESSES TOMORROW NIGHT: "Not really. It is a major task to stay on top of what you have to do yourself. I am interested in the No. 31 (Jeff Burton, RCR teammate) and what they do but that is about all the interest I have in the rest of it, and that is to see our two cars in the Chase."

ON HAVING TWO RCR CARS IN THE CHASE: "It would help. I don't think it would hurt anything. It just brings that added competition level up to where there is a push from both sides. He is pushing me and I am pushing him and that is kind of the way it has been to escalate the performance level of everybody. One guy gets good, then one guy gets better and so on, it keeps elevating the level of performance."

ON BEING ALONE IN CHASE WITHOUT A TEAMMATE: "We still wouldn't be alone, we would all still be doing everything we could do to help whoever was in it. We are all going to race just as hard, whether we are in the Chase or not."

ON ANY SURPRISE OF SUCCESS AT WATKINS GLEN: "We have always been really good on the road courses. We got to Watkins Glen expecting to run in the top-10, somewhere toward the top-five. You never know what can happen there. You go in with an open mind, see where you fall and go from there. It was definitely a good weekend for us."

ON WHETHER IT MATTERS WHERE YOU ARE IN TOP-10 CHASE STANDINGS: "Absolutely it matters. Jimmie Johnson lost by eight points. I don't think you want to give up anything. I don't think you want to give up five points at any cost. You want to get everything you can because it might come down to five. You want to take everything you can."

ON LAND MINES THIS RACE: "There are definitely land mines. We are looking at it to try and lead the most laps and win the race, that way we control what happens. If you can do those things and if you can't, get everything you can out of it, then you have done everything you can do. There are no guarantees in this sport. Obviously, I wish we were in the position that the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) and the No. 17 (Matt Kenseth) are but we are not, so we have to do everything we can do this week."

ON BEING EXTRA CAREFUL EARLY IN THIS RICHMOND RACE: "I don't think so. The guys that are racing for those spots run so good you have to race. Last week at California, we were running 14th and we were 10th of the 11 guys in the hunt. It is something where you have to go and go as hard as you can every lap and try to capitalize on every situation you can. If you let up, somebody else isn't going to."

ON FAIRNESS OF DRIVER WHO WINS THE MOST RACES ISN'T IN THE CHASE: "That is like saying it would be fair that the New York Yankees could be in the World Series because they beat the Red Sox and lost every other game. If you can't put a whole season together, you don't deserve to be in the Chase, as far as I am concerned; unless you do what you can every week. In other sports, they don't let the guys who beat the best team play in the playoffs, so I mean, that is not how it is how it supposed to be."

ON HOW MUCH BUMPING IS TOO MUCH BUMPING: "It is hard to tell. It all depends upon the situation. How they are unfolding and working out. I think any time you have a retaliation, that is usually crossing the line, but it really depends on where it is at and how it is done."

ON NASCAR CONSISTENCY OF HOW THEY RULE ON ON-TRACK INCIDENTS: "Not at all. I think it is a matter of what mood they are when sitting in the booth that night, to be honest with."

ON WHETHER WINS NEED TO GET MORE POINTS THAN IN CURRENT SYSTEM: "It goes right back to the same thing, you can't judge someone's season off of five weeks. He had five good weeks and that is not what it is all about. It is about 26 weeks. In my opinion, it is all about what you do in those 26 weeks and if you have five great ones, congratulations."

ON NUMBER OF ONE AND ONE HALF MILE RACE TRACKS IN THE CHASE: "I think the Chase race tracks could be mixed up a little bit more. You have a short-track in Martinsville and you have a superspeedway at Talladega; I think there needs to be a little bit more variation but that is not for me to determine.

"There are places that we go that should probably be in there every year. What more fun could you have than to go to Bristol and see somebody in the Chase racing at Bristol? I have heard a lot of arguments both ways. I know we have only two road courses, but that would be one of each kind of track if you threw a road course in there. I think it should shake down to all different tracks."

ON WHAT POINT IN 2005 SEASON WHEN TEAM BEGAN TO FOCUS ON 2006: "We had a pretty good plan and started building our cars in about October. We tested them the end of October so maybe it was the middle of September. We just stuck to our plan, started building those cars and went in to this year with those cars and that plan. Last 10 races last year was basically preparation for this year for us."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Jimmie Johnson