Richmond II: Kevin Harvick preview

Harvick, Sugar Ray set to rock Richmond HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (September 2, 2003) - It will be a night of lights and loud noises on Saturday when automobile manufacturer Chevrolet and Warner Music Group join forces to bring the Chevy Rock & Roll...

Harvick, Sugar Ray set to rock Richmond

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (September 2, 2003) - It will be a night of lights and loud noises on Saturday when automobile manufacturer Chevrolet and Warner Music Group join forces to bring the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 to Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. A total of six Chevrolet's will don special paint schemes for the event, including the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

Sugar Ray will team up with Harvick for the promotion, one of the hippest rock bands in the country right now. They are scheduled to play songs from their new album "In the Pursuit of Leisure" after Friday night's Busch Series race. The gold and black paint scheme, which features all of the members of the band riding along with Harvick, was designed by Action Performance Group.

"These special paint schemes are a lot of fun," says Harvick, who ran a special Tasmanian Devil paint scheme for this race last year. "Ideas like this bring a lot of new fans to the sport and it gives the fans something else to see. I think the idea of the concert is really cool because it draws some people that might not ordinarily come to see a NASCAR Winston Cup race. We've been good in the Cup and Busch car at Richmond, so it should be a good weekend for us."

Harvick has had recent success at Richmond, coming from 36th to finish sixth in the spring race, his second-best finish in five tries and third top-10. He is riding a wave of three consecutive runner-up finishes and five consecutive top-five finishes since his win in the Brickyard 400 in August.

No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Richmond...

Why does everybody like racing at Richmond?

"It's Saturday night racing at its best. Also, I think everybody loves racing there because we know we get a Sunday off. It's the style track most everyone grew up on - three-quarter mile, plenty of room to race. The last couple races though, it's been a little harder because the sealer's been coming up. It's sticking to the tires, making it harder to get grip in the corners and pass. Hopefully it will be better this time back."

You had a chance to see the soft walls just built at Richmond. What did you think?

"NASCAR has done a great job working with the tracks in regards to our safety and the safety of the fans. They took some time and did their research to figure out how to do it right the first time. I think the soft walls are a great idea. They obviously wouldn't be putting them up if it wouldn't help. They looked great when we were there for the Chevy announcement last week, but I certainly don't want to be the first one to test them out."

How have the last three months been for you?

"We've finished third three times in a row and it's actually getting a little frustrating that we're not winning. This sport is very tough. It's very hard to run in the top-10, let alone the top-five. To be on the run that we've had in the last three months, we're pretty fortunate. It's a lot of fun to be in the racecars right now. I just get in and drive them, and do everything I can because I know this team is doing everything they can." Where do you see the point's race right now? "It's not over. It's a long shot to win it, but we've been a long shot before and overcome the odds and done things they said we couldn't do. If they think it's over, just tell them to quit showing up and we'll keep racing. We can't control Matt's (Kenseth) fate. We can't control anything he does. All we can do is control ours. Alan Kulwicki came back to win from 270 points down with just six races left, so I don't think it's out of the question."

Do you like racing under the lights?

"Well, it's neat for the fans and good for the drivers because it keeps us cool in the cars. I think you get a bigger speed sensation at night, with the brakes glowing and the sparks flying everywhere. Believe it or not, it's actually easier to see from a driver's standpoint when you are racing at night. They've done such a good job with the lights that there are no shadows around the racetrack. It's crystal clear viewing as opposed to racing during the day."

No. 29 GM Goodwrench crew chief Todd Berrier on Richmond...

Any changes heading back to Richmond?

"Probably not that much. We're happy with a car that rolls through the middle of the corners good without using the brakes and that's what we had here in the spring. Track position will be key. By running up front you can run your own line that will help you get through the corners."

Points of Interest...

Team GM Goodwrench will take chassis No. 111 back to Richmond. This chassis, the same one they ran in the spring, was last used at (Loudon) New Hampshire International Speedway where Harvick grabbed his second runner-up finish of the season in the New England 300.

Harvick has been on a tear up the 2003 Winston Cup Series driver points standings in recent weeks. Five top-fives in the last five races, including three runner-up finishes in a row, has put him third, just 27 points behind Dale Earnhardt Jr. for second.

The silver and black racing machine has led at least one lap in 13 of the 25 Winston Cup Series races run so far in 2003, including eight of the last 10.

Start time for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 is slated for 7:30 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the race on TNT starts at 7:00 p.m., with radio coverage on MRN beginning at 7:00 p.m. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Kevin Harvick , Alan Kulwicki