Kevin Harvick Regaining momentum HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (April 30, 2003) - Momentum is defined as the energy of motion, the power with which a moving body tends to maintain its velocity. In the NASCAR world, teams live and die by it, always looking...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (April 30, 2003) - Momentum is defined as the energy of motion, the power with which a moving body tends to maintain its velocity. In the NASCAR world, teams live and die by it, always looking for that extra little bit to keep them moving forward in the point's race towards that elusive NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship trophy.
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Racing team have been building momentum since the start of the 2003 season. In ten weeks of racing, they've been out of the top-10 in points only two times, and lately they've been on a tear up the rankings. This past Sunday in Fontana, Calif., they hit a speed bump. A victim of an early pit stop because of a tire problem, they were never able to recover and finished outside the top-25 for only the second time this season.
Team GM Goodwrench looks to regain that momentum heading into the first Saturday night race of the season in Richmond, Va. Harvick is a big fan of Saturday night races. It reminds him of the old days growing up around the sport. His average finish in Winston Cup races on Saturday night is 14th compared to 19th on Sunday afternoons, with three top-five finishes including runner-up at Richmond his rookie season.
Known for his short track expertise, Harvick has the potential to make big things happen. With a little extra track time running the NASCAR Busch Series race on Friday night, Harvick looks to start a new momentum swing that could take him all the way to the 2003 championship.
No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Richmond...
How important is momentum throughout the race season?
"You gain and loose it so many times that you really need to take advantage of it in Winston Cup racing. It's so hard these days to gain an advantage because so many things can go wrong. You just have to make the most of the times when things are going good. I think whoever can do that and minimize the bad runs will be the most successful."
What is it about Richmond that makes everyone so happy to go there?
"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."
What's it like racing under 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."
How bad are lap cars at Richmond?
"Going back to the sealer issue, lap cars can be really bad if the track is in the shape it's been in the past. If you are 15th, you are actually 30th on restarts and you have to fight all the traffic in the shuffle to get to the front. You know those guys are going to run as hard as they can, so it's going to be tough to get around them. If the sealer problem is fixed, I don't see it being as much of a problem as it has been the last couple of races."
We're ten races in, what's your take on the 2003 season thus far?
"I think we're improving. The performance of our cars in the last couple of races have been top-10, we've just had some unfortunate circumstances. Luck is what is hurting us. Last week in California was a perfect example. I don't ever think I've had a tire equalize like that before. That put us a lap down, then we lost another lap after a green flag pit stop. We've made some great strides, but we can't control the circumstances. If we can get some luck, we'll be in good shape."
No. 29 GM Goodwrench crew chief Todd Berrier on Richmond...
What's your perfect set-up for Richmond?
"If we had the answer to that, we'd probably write a book. We'd be happy with a car that rolls through the middle of the corners good without using the brakes. Track position will be key. By running up front you can run your own line that will help you get through the corners. The track changes so much in the two days with the surface, you have to be careful."
Points of Interest...
* Team GM Goodwrench will take a brand new car to race under the lights at Richmond this weekend, chassis No. 111. Finished earlier this week, the car has not seen one bit of action.
* Harvick will run Friday night's NASCAR Busch Series Hardee's 250 in the No. 21 PayDay Chevrolet Monte Carlo for Richard Childress Racing. He looks to add to his two top-five finishes at the .75-mile oval in his sixth Busch race in 2003.
* While most drivers will be spending next weekend off, Harvick will dedicate his time to charity. He'll participate in the STAR Center's Speedway Classic to be held at the Jackson, Tenn., fairgrounds on Saturday, May 10th, 2003.
* Start time for the Pontiac Excitement 400 is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET. TV coverage of the race on FOX 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.