Restrictor Plate Relief HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (September 27, 2005) -- There are many ways to approach restrictor plate racing at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. For one, drivers race hard to get to the front and do whatever it takes to stay ...
Restrictor Plate Relief
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (September 27, 2005) -- There are many ways to approach restrictor plate racing at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. For one, drivers race hard to get to the front and do whatever it takes to stay there. Some try to find a teammate and work the draft together. And there is the fall to the back and ride around approach. But the one key that all the drivers agree on is missing "The Big One."
"The Big One" is the multi-car crash that eliminates a quarter of the field in the time it takes University of Alabama football announcer Eli Gold to say, "Roll Tide." You never know when it's coming or where it will start, but history tells us it will happen this weekend. GM Goodwrench Chevrolet driver Kevin Harvick has experienced his share of restrictor plate elimination in 2005. The Bakersfield, Calif., native has been taken out in all four restrictor plate races this year, dating back to February's Duel at Daytona (Fla.). And it's beginning to frustrate the man they call "Happy."
"I love restrictor plate racing," said Harvick. "It reminds me of going to the go-kart track with your buddy's and just running wide open. But this year has not been much fun. We have had a top-five car at both Daytona and Talladega. We have stayed up front and put ourselves around good cars. It has been very frustrating to be honest. Hopefully we can avoid the wreck this Sunday. I know the (fabrication) shop feels the same way."
Points of Interest...
* Chase for the Banquet...Harvick is currently 12th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point's standings. He trails Elliott Sadler by just 40 points heading into this weekend's Talladega 500. The driver who finishes 11th in the final standings, receives a seat at the banquet in New York City, as well as, a $1,000,000 bonus.
* Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame... GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick will be inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame on Saturday, October 1, 2005 in Talladega, Ala. NASCAR fans voted for the 2001 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Rookie of the Year in the active driver category. NASCAR legend Herb Thomas will also be inducted in the ceremony.
* What Ya' Haulin'... The GM Goodwrench transporter will unload chassis No. 087. It is the same car that Harvick won the Bud Pole with during May's Aarons 499. The car also raced in this year's Daytona 500 (28th).
* Last Spring's Aarons 499...The racing was intense in the final stages of the Aaron's 499. After two late cautions for debris and a stalled car, the field lined up for a 14-lap dash for the win. Harvick worked his way in the middle lane from 10th to fifth with just two laps to go. As the pack worked their way off turn two, Johnson, running in the high lane, slipped and brushed the wall. The slight contact turned his Chevy down the track and into the side of Harvick. It wasn't another "Big One", but for the GM Goodwrench team it was big enough. Harvick limped his Chevy home for a 12th place finish.
* TV and Radio... Start time for Sunday's Talladega 500 is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the 188-lap event on NBC starts at 1:30 p.m., with radio coverage provided by Barney Hall and Joe Moore on MRN Radio. Remember times and dates of the race may change, so check your local listings.
Kevin Harvick on the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame.
"I am honored to be chosen to be in the Talladega Walk of Fame. The fact that the fans were the ones that voted me in makes it very special. To have the opportunity to be part of the Davey Allison Memorial Park, given what Davey meant to the city of Talladega and all of Alabama, is truly an honor."
No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on Talladega...
How important is starting up front at Talladega?
"It makes you feel good when you can win the pole like we did in May, but it really doesn't matter where you start. A big part of the races is how your car works with other cars, staying out of the wreck and putting yourself in a position for the last few laps."
What's the key to working the draft? "Most of the time you are only as good as the cars around you. You can't pull out of line and pass two or three cars by yourself. Even if you have a car that's faster, you need help. If you can find a couple cars that your car works well with, you can win from anywhere."
How much emphasis are you putting on finishing 11th in points and a seat at the banquet?
"I think it's important to have goals to work for. That has become a goal for this team, but our main focus is to win races. I feel we have a little momentum going and it's good to have something to shoot for. But we're not points racing for that spot. We are going to be aggressive in trying to win."
No. 29 GM Goodwrench crew chief Todd Berrier on Talladega...
What's your impression of Talladega Superspeedway?
"Talladega is all about pure speed. You don't have to worry about the handling much at all, just stick on the body you got. It's more about the horsepower and that will make the biggest difference. Harvick's been there at the end the last couple of times; we just seem to be in the wreck. We're taking the same car that we ran at Daytona and Talladega earlier this year because we know its potential."