Tuesday, October 12, 2010

RCR Charlotte Preview: Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer Notes & Quotes

CLINT BOWYER ON HAVING TWO GOOD RUNS AT CHARLOTTE IN A ROW: “Well, I don’t know if we have it figured out. We haven’t won there yet, but we’ve certainly had some solid runs there. I’m looking forward to getting back there and running at home, sleeping in my own bed and everything that comes with racing there in Charlotte. It’s an important race for all of us. All of the guys on the team have their families come out, and we want to run well for them.”

BOWYER ON THE DIFFERENCES AT CHARLOTTE COMPARED TO OTHER 1.5-MILE TRACKS: “It’s fast. It’s real fast. Ever since they repaved it, there’s been a lot of grip. You can move around a little bit at Charlotte. Nine times out of 10, if I can get that outside line rolling, I can get myself a good finish. It’s one of those races where you have to be able to roll through the center well, be on the gas and make those straightaways as long as possible.”

BOWYER DOUBLE DIPPING AT CHARLOTTE: In addition to his driving duties with the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet Impala, Bowyer, an eight-time race winner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will pilot the No. 21 Zaxby’s Chevrolet Impala in the Dollar General 300 on Friday, October 15. Live coverage of the 200-lap event will be televised on ESPN2 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

BOWYER CHASSIS SELECTION: Clint Bowyer will race Chassis No. 283 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new in 2010, this No. 33 racer made its debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March, where Bowyer finished 23rd following a late-race contact that cut down his left-rear tire. In May, Bowyer was in line for another solid finish at Dover International Speedway but, on the final pit stop of the day, he left his stall with the jack wedged underneath the No. 33 machine, resulting in a pit road penalty, the loss of a lap and a less-than-desired 17th-place finish. Then, the Emporia, Kan., native started on the outside row and led 59 laps en route to a ninth-place finish in this No. 33 Impala at Pocono Raceway in June before returning to the triangular-shaped race track in August to post a 15th-place finish. Most recently, the three-time series race winner finished 25th with this chassis at Dover International Speedway after brushing the wall just prior to the race’s halfway mark.

JEFF BURTON ON RACING AT CHARLOTTE: “Charlotte is a good race track for us. We typically run well there. We haven’t run well there recently, but we feel it’s a good race track for us. Despite being very difficult to drive, it’s a solid track for us.”

BURTON ON CHARLOTTE FITTING HIS DRIVING STYLE: “I think so. Where we seem to struggle are at two-mile race tracks, like Michigan and Fontana. We don’t seem to run as well at those race tracks. We seem to do pretty well on the mile-and-a-half tracks like Atlanta and Charlotte. The tracks where the cars are in the corner for a long time, at big tracks with low grip, are where we seem to struggle a little bit. The short tracks are where we seem to excel, so it’s a little hard to figure out. Charlotte is a race track where we feel we should be able to run well.”

BURTON ON WHAT'S UNIQUE ABOUT CHARLOTTE COMPARED TO THE OTHER 1.5-MILE TRACKS: “Well, they are all very different. Charlotte changed a few years ago. They really made a big difference in the way you have to drive the car. The top lane has come in really well at Charlotte, too. You can run the bottom, and you can run the top. The tire there, typically, is hard to get going on, but it’s good in the long runs, but hard to make good grip to start. The tire will continue to get better there. The thing about Charlotte is getting through the corners well. If you can get through the corners, you’ll be in good shape.”

BURTON'S TRACK RECORD AT CHARLOTTE: In 33 Sprint Cup Series starts at CMS, Burton boasts three wins (May 1999, May 2001 and October 2008), eight top-five and 15 top-15 finishes. He has a 23.2 starting average to go along with a respectable 15.1 finishing average and has led 428 laps of competition at the Concord, N.C., facility.

BURTON CHASSIS CHOICE AT CHARLOTTE: Jeff Burton will race Chassis No. 314 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new this season, this is the same Caterpillar Chevrolet Burton drove to a fourth-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway last month and, most recently, posted a runner-up finish with this No. 31 racer at Dover International Speedway three weeks ago.

KEVIN HARVICK ON WHAT HE CONSIDERS A SUCCESSFUL WEEKEND AT CHARLOTTE: “A top-10 finish would be like a win. That’s our goal for the weekend is to run in the top 10 and have a solid day. Obviously you want to win every weekend, but our history at Charlotte has not been good, so I think a goal of finishing in the top 10 is more realistic.”

HARVICK ON THE MENTAL APPROACH OF HIS TEAM THROUGH THE CHASE: “I think we have a lot of different personalities on our team. Gil’s (Martin, crew chief) very good at leading the team and keeping everyone calm, because I’m pretty high strung as far as what happens on the race track and things like that. He’s good at keeping everybody calm, including me. That’s a good balance between the two of us. I can be me and not have to worry about back-tracking on what I said, and who I need to apologize to, for something I said on the radio. He takes care of all that. As you go through these 10 weeks, the mental grind of the whole process is huge, because it’s all you think about, and this is what we all race for. We all want to win a championship, we all want to be in position to win a championship, and this is the time to make it happen.”

HARVICK ON WHETHER NON-CHASERS SHOULD RACE THEM DIFFERENTLY: “I don’t think so. I think everybody needs to race as hard as they can. Everybody will race everybody with respect, and obviously if you feel like you’ve been done wrong, then you are going to handle it however you think that it needs to be handled. I think that’s part of what makes our Chase unique; you have all these past moments that have happened through the year that could bear their ugly head again if they haven’t been settled. There are a lot of guys that have created new life in their season that want to win a race, and there are a lot of guys that are racing for a championship. It’s all about 43 cars on the racetrack, and if there is a scenario that something happens between a Chase guy and a non-Chase guy, then those things are going to happen.”

HARVICK DOUBLE DUTY AT CHARLOTTE: In addition to his driving duties with the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet, Harvick will drive Kevin Harvick Incorporated’s No. 33 Chevrolet in the Oct. 15 Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series event. The race will air live on ESPN2, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The race will also be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

HARVICK IS MR. CONSISTENCY: The Shell-Pennzoil driver leads all NSCS drivers in top-10 finishes with 20, and is tied in top-five finishes with 13. For the season, Harvick owns three points-paying wins (Talladega, Daytona in July and Michigan in August) and his second straight Budweiser Shootout victory at Daytona in February.

HARVICK CHASSIS SELECTION THIS WEEK: Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 318 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2010, this Chevrolet made its debut two weeks ago at Kansas Speedway, where Harvick led 16 laps and finished third.

from Richard Childress Racing Press Release

1 comment:

Lillie said...

Harvick just might get RCR racing the cup, though I would’ve preferred Bowyer as a NASCAR champion any day.