The Nextel: Kevin Harvick preview

Kevin Harvick Harvick Looks to Shine on All-Star Night HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 18, 2004) - GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick will participate in his fourth consecutive all-star event Saturday night under the lights at Lowe's Motor ...

Kevin Harvick
Harvick Looks to Shine on All-Star Night

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 18, 2004) - GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick will participate in his fourth consecutive all-star event Saturday night under the lights at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. This one will be a bit different from ones in the past, with new series sponsor NEXTEL at the forefront for the first time in 2004. They've announced another $1 million prize to the winner, as well as a better format to keep the field full and fans involved.

The Bakersfield, Calif., native has seen consistent improvement since his 2001 debut in the The Winston. In his three starts, he collected three top-three starts and two top-10 finishes. He'd like to grab the win this time around and he knows he can go all out to do it. "One of the coolest things about these all-star events is that it doesn't mean anything points-wise," states the 2001 Winston Cup Rookie-of-the-Year. "You can bring your trickiest motor and your newest car. It's not just 'I'm here to get as many points as I can get and go on'. It's 'I'm here to win the race and everything else doesn't matter'. That's pretty cool."

This weekend GM Goodwrench and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) will continue their rich tradition of special paint schemes to commemorate the all-star gala. Harvick will run the No. 29 Snap-on/GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo, the 10th year in a row a special paint scheme will run alongside the GM Goodwrench colors. A creation of two RCR sponsors, it was unveiled at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway in March and will surely catch the eyes of spectators when it hits the track on Friday.

No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick on the All-Star Challenge...

How big a fan are you of these all-star events?

"I think these races are very important. It's our all-star event. It's something that you have to win to get in it, and it's the best of the best. That makes it a lot of fun for us and the fans. If we were to win the race, we'll probably take all the money and split it up between the guys because they are really part of the reason why you win. They've worked as hard for this race, if not harder, than they have to go to any other race. We tested there last week and I really feel we're ready to finally win one of these."

This year the fans get to vote one driver into the race. Who's your pick?

"I think I would have to go with Kerry (Earnhardt) because he'll be running our fourth RCR car this weekend with Bass Bro Shops on the hood. We're really excited to have him participating and if he doesn't win the Open race, then I hope all the fans call and vote him in because he deserves it. He works as hard as anybody I know out here and he's a great teammate. I really hope he makes it in."

Talk about why you're in this, your win in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway.

"Man that was one of the best days of my life. To win at a track like Indianapolis Motor Speedway where you watched your heroes do the same thing is pretty amazing. It's hard to describe, knowing the prestige and history of everything that's run on top of those bricks. When I finally got the opportunity to race there a few years ago, it was pretty much a dream come true for me. Just growing up an open-wheel fan and to know what it means to win the Indy 500, it meant a lot to me and it meant a lot to this race team."

How do you think NEXTEL is handling the series sponsorship thus far?

"Things seem to be going pretty good as far as I can see. They've got great commercials and from what everyone tells me, their coverage is really good around the tracks. The biggest thing I like is the fact that they can use the drivers in their advertising. They can use our cars. They can put it on a billboard. The marketing side of it is the biggest thing for us. It's no different for me as far as approach goes to the series sponsor. Everything seems to be working just fine."

Friday night's your first truck race of the season. Have you told your driver Matt Crafton anything?

"The biggest thing I told him was that he needs to remember who signs his checks. If it's coming down to the checkered flag and he's got to bump and run to win, he better have second thoughts about doing it to me. I wish him the best of luck and it's going to be fun to get a chance to race against him. We haven't gotten much of a chance to do that in the past, except once at the local go-kart track. He beat me pretty good that day."

No. 29 GM Goodwrench crew chief Todd Berrier on the All-Star Challenge...

What's the main difference in terms of car set-up between the All-Star race and the Coca-Cola 600?

"You typically run a little less fuel, lower the center of gravity, and do some things with air pressure - a little higher - knowing that you don't have to run an extended fuel run. Other than that, it's not a ton different. It's not like a qualifying run. The runs are about half as long as they normally are, so you'll compensate. You'll be a tick more competitive, but it still won't hinder you from applying what you need to learn for next week's Coca-Cola 600."

Points of Interest...

* Team GM Goodwrench will take lucky chassis No.88 to the 1.5-mile oval for this weekend's all-star event. This chassis, the same one they tested with last Tuesday night at Lowe's, has been run one time this season at California Speedway. It ran five times last year, including the team's only win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400. Chassis No. 88 is also the same chassis Harvick won with at Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway in 2002.

* If you want to catch Kevin Harvick in a different limelight, tune into NASCAR broadcast partner FX for the next three Friday night's at 10:30 p.m. EDT to watch NASCAR Drivers: 360, a behind-the-scenes look at what the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series champion and other drivers do when they're not at the racetrack.

* Harvick will transform from owner to driver on Friday night when he attempts his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race of the 2004 season in the Infineon 200 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He'll be at the helm of the No. 92 Snap-on Chevrolet Silverado, which was built at his shop in Kernersville, NC.

* Start time for Saturday night's NEXTEL All-Star Challenge is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the 90-lap event on FX 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.

-rcr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Matt Crafton
Teams Richard Childress Racing