This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Infineon Raceway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 241 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2009 and updated for 2010, Harvick raced this chassis at both...
This Week's Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Infineon Raceway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 241 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2009 and updated for 2010, Harvick raced this chassis at both road course events last year, finishing 29th at Infineon Raceway and 35th at Watkins Glen International.
Follow the Leader ... Fresh off his 19th-place finish last week at Michigan International Speedway, Harvick remains the leader in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points, and extended his lead to 22 markers over second place. Harvick has one win, five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in the season's first 15 races.
Looking at Infineon, do you think it will be a fuel mileage race again?
"Infineon is such a unique animal. You need to qualify as well as you can, and it typically comes down to strategy. Your car has to be fast. But, last year was the first time in a long time where fresh tires actually meant more than track position. Track position was still important, but tires overcame a lot of track position because of the large fall off on tires. I think that's good, because it takes a lot of that fuel mileage stuff out the window. We ran really well there last year, and I hit the tires in turn 11 and ripped the right-front suspension off the car. We have run well there pretty much every year."
Are you comfortable racing on a road course?
"Well, I grew up racing go karts on a road course. From the time I was five years old until I was 16, I was racing on road courses. When I got to stock cars, the biggest thing I had to get used to was shifting. But, road course racing was all I ever did, so it comes natural to me. Racing on ovals was kind of the second stage of my career."
Infineon Raceway is unique because of the tremendous elevation change. Does that present a huge challenge?
"Turn one is unique because you go in there and downshift, and then you have to go back to the throttle to drive it up the hill. Then, you get to the top of the hill and you downshift again. Then, you go through turns two and three and, as you go off the corner, you kind of dive down the hill, and if someone is there you're going to hit them because you are already committed, and you can't see the bottom of the hill. It's a challenging race track, and it's a ton of fun, even though it can be very tough to pass."