Talladega II: Harvick - Friday media visit

October 3, 2008 KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS met with media and discussed strategy at Talladega, the Chase, the current leaders in the point standings, and more. IS IT YOUR PHILOSOPHY TO JUST HANG OUT IN THE BACK DURING THE...

October 3, 2008

KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 SHELL-PENNZOIL IMPALA SS met with media and discussed strategy at Talladega, the Chase, the current leaders in the point standings, and more.

IS IT YOUR PHILOSOPHY TO JUST HANG OUT IN THE BACK DURING THE TALLADEGA RACE? "No, we're racing. Every time we hang out in the back, we wind up getting ourselves in trouble. So we're going to race hard. It's just hard to position yourself in these particular cars. Where you need be it seems like it takes a little bit harder to get to where you need to be because the cars are closer together. So, we're going to race hard all week and drive like your hair's on fire."

AT TALLADEGA, YOU CAN RIDE AROUND THE BACK AND HIDE. AT MARTINSVILLE, THERE IS NOWHERE TO HIDE. DO YOU WORRY ABOUT THAT? "We don't worry about anything. We're going out and racing just as hard as we can. We're not hiding from anything at any point. You've just got to go after it and see where it all falls. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be and it'll happen. Right now our guys are doing a great job and being very consistent week in and week out and the No. 48 is winning races and those guys are finishing in the top three. So, we'll see how that momentum turns or if it stays that way. Obviously they're going to be hard to beat. But right now we're trying to control the things that we can control and those are focusing on our Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet and really doing the things that we know how to do and if that's not good enough then we'll keep working harder."

ON TALLADEGA BEING A CHASE RACE "Oh, I think this is a great race for the Chase because you just really don't know what's going to happen. At any given moment it could turn upside down and you can trigger a pile up. There are just a lot of things that can happen at this particular race and Talladega is just kind of it's own beast. So it's a good race for the Chase."

ON THE TEST AT LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY? "I was pretty happy with our car. We tried a lot of R&D pieces at Lowe's and I felt like as we ended, our car was really good. It doesn't have blazing speed, but it seemed like a lot of cars had a lot of fall off's so to me, that's the kicker in the whole race for us is Charlotte and we've run okay there a few times and we've struggled there more than we've run well. So I felt as good as I've felt in a long time there leaving the test and hopefully that all transfers back to the race weekend."

ARE GREG BIFFLE, CARL EDWARDS, AND JIMMIE JOHNSON THE DRIVERS YOU GAUGE EVERYTHING ON NOW, OR DO YOU PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THEM AT ALL? "We're just really focused on what we're doing. Obviously our 1.5-mile stuff has been pretty good this year. It's been really consistent. So we've just got to keep doing the things that we've been doing and try to make it a little bit better, which is what we tried to do for Charlotte. Charlotte is kind of it's own beast with the hard tires and the asphalt is really, really smooth. It's not like Atlanta or Texas or any of those race tracks so its kind of it's own unique set up I guess you could say."

ARE TOP 10'S GOOD ENOUGH RIGHT NOW, OR DO YOU NEED TOP 5'S TO GET BACK IN THIS THING? "Well, if it was a three-race Chase, top 10's wouldn't be good enough. Fortunately it's 10 races."

DO YOU FEEL IF YOU TOP-10 THEM TO DEATH FOR 10 RACES, YOU'D BE RIGHT THERE? "I'll tell you at the banquet."

IN YOUR CAREER, HAVE YOU MADE A BANZAI MOVE THAT EITHER WORKED OR DIDN'T WORK? "Yeah, there have definitely been some banzai moves that have worked. But I don't know that they've ever worked from five car-lengths back (laughs)."

IS THERE ONE THAT STANDS OUT OR THAT YOU CAN TELL ME ABOUT? "Oh, I don't remember right off hand."

WAS THAT A GOOD MOVE ON CARL EDWARDS' PART, OR A FOOLISH ONE? "Oh, I don't know. When you're going for it I guess it's okay. But when you have a car that's been running good all day and you total it before you get to the checkered flag, I guess that's not a very smart thing to do. So, I guess there's a smart way to banzai it and a foolish way to banzai it and I'm all for going for it. I think banzai moves are great, but he tore up a pretty good race car."

DO YOU COME TO TALLADEGA KNOWING YOU HAVE A LOT LESS CONTROL OVER WHAT HAPPENS? "Yeah, it's like practice today. You've done everything that we can do in the shop. We have one piece that we want to try and that's all we have to try. So, other than that, you've got what you've got when you unload and you really don't have anything less to do that can be done here."

WHEN YOU'RE IN THE DRAFT, DO YOU PLAN MOVES AHEAD LIKE A CHESS GAME OR IS IT ALL REFLEXIVE WHAT YOU DO? "Sometimes you just react to a certain situation. But for the most part, you want to try to put yourself in a position to where you can put yourself around some cars that you want to be around and people that you want to be around and by the time you get to the end of the race, usually you find a car that you work well with together. But a lot of it just happens the way it happens at the end of these races because so much starts happening and people start running into each other and things like that. A lot of times, it just happens. But you try to make a good plan."

IS THERE A MUST WIN SITUATION FOR YOU? "I don't' think there is one. I think you go out and you go the fastest that you can and you try to make the cars better. You're not going to force anything to happen. If it happens, it happens. And how it's all meant to play out will happen over the next seven weeks."

AS STRONG AS EDWARDS, BIFFLE, AND JOHNSON ARE, CAN YOU EXPECT THEM TO CONTINUE BEING AS STRONG FOR THE NEXT SEVEN RACES? "I don't know. This is not a three-week Chase here. This is a 10-week Chase and I've been on both sides of it and I've seen (Tony) Stewart win it with no wins, and I've seen Jimmie Johnson be 200 -- 300 points behind. So you just don't know how it's going to play out. You can't worry about that stuff. You go out and you race and you race every week and you see what happens and when it's over, it's over and you see where you fall."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson