Matt Crafton Cup teleconference transcript

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Teleconference April 13, 2004 This week's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Teleconference featured Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo and team owner of the No. 6 GM Goodwrench Silverado driven by ...

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Teleconference
April 13, 2004

This week's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Teleconference featured Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo and team owner of the No. 6 GM Goodwrench Silverado driven by Matt Crafton.

Harvick and Crafton discuss the upcoming NASCAR race weekend at Martinsville Speedway, which features both the NEXTEL Cup and Craftsman Truck events. Harvick is currently 7th in the NEXTEL Cup point standings and Crafton is 10th in the Craftsman Truck points.

MATT CRAFTON:

WHERE DID YOUR INTEREST IN THE TRUCK SERIES FIRST BEGIN?

"It first started at Mesa Marin. I got to go to Mesa Marin and watch a few truck races there. That was my home track in a sense. I actually lived about an hour away from Bakersfield. Featherlite Southwest Tour ran there three times a year and I ran that for four years. I really like that place. I was really disappointed they took it off the schedule."

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE REGIONAL SERIES IN MOVING UP TO CUP?

"It's a great stepping stone to start in the weekly racing series and then move on. What's good about that is that they run different tracks. They get to tour around and adapt to different tracks and that's what it's all about."

SO WE WON'T SEE YOUR HOMETOWN ADVANTAGE UNTIL YOU GET TO FONTANA THIS YEAR?

"Yeah, and I've only raced there a handful of times. I guess that would be a home state advantage there."

WHEN YOU RACE AT MARTINSVILLE, WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE ON BEING AGGRESSIVE ON THE LAST LAP?

"I've always been told to bring home either the trophy or the steering wheel when it's at the end of the race like that (referring to last week's Busch race at Nashville). I've always raced like that. And maybe that's why Kevin (Harvick) has seen that same aggressiveness in me."

AT A TRACK LIKE MARTINSVILLE, DO YOU FIGURE YOU'RE GOING TO GET BUMPED OR BE BUMPED?

"You've got to be somewhat fair. But it's a short track. They don't do that kind of stuff on the intermediate tracks like the mile and 1.5-mile tracks because you don't want anybody to get hurt. But you're going to see a lot more rubbing and racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series on the short tracks. If you can get to their back bumper or they can get to you're back bumper, you'd better plan on getting run into a little bit."

DO YOU MENTAL PREPARE FOR THAT?

"Oh, yeah. You're hanging on and you're waiting for it. You're digging as hard as you can to get away from them. Sometimes it's not too fun to be on the receiving end of the deal, but what comes around goes around."

DID DRIVING FOR THE NO. 88 TEAM IN 2001 PREPARE YOU FOR WHAT NASCAR RACING REALLY IS?

"I've grown up in NASCAR. We were really an under-funded team whenever we raced in the Featherlite Southwest Tour. My dad owned it and we ran it out of his automotive shop. In this sport, you're a hero one week and a zero the next. If you don't know that coming into it, you'd better learn it real quick."

IF ASA STARTS A TRUCK SERIES TO RUN ON THE WEST COAST AND THEY RUN AT MESA MARIN, IS THAT SOMETHING THAT WOULD INTEREST YOU?

"Yeah, if we had a truck and they wanted me to run at Mesa Marin. I'd love to go race there. It's a neat little race track."

WHEN YOU LOOK BACK ON THE VARIOUS SERIES YOU'VE RUN, WHAT HAVE BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM ONE TO THE NEXT?

"The NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour is a big stepping stone to be able to go there and run well there. They have a lot of good competition. They've had a lot of good drivers from that competition like Ron Hornaday and Kevin Harvick. Going there and making the step from a 2900-lb. car to these 3400-lb trucks and learning to go from a half-mile to 1.5-mile tracks is definitely a big step."

ON THE VERSATILITY OF THE TRUCKS BEING ABLE TO RUN AT SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY AND AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

"They can run them with the Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series. But the trucks started on the short tracks. That's really their roots. That's kind of neat to see."

WHAT KIND OF ADVICE HAS KEVIN HARVICK PASSED ALONG TO YOU?

"He grew up doing the same thing I did on the Featherlite Southwest Tour. It wasn't really an under-funded team, we just didn't have the resources like the Childress or Hendrick teams. That's the way it was with the No. 88 team. We had some decent runs and I think that's why Kevin gave me the opportunity to drive for him."

Kevin Harvick

-gm racing-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Matt Crafton