Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kevin Harvick Homestead-Miami Ford 400 Preview: Brand New Chassis This Week

Kevin Harvick
No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet Impala
Race Notes and Quotes

This Week’s Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at Homestead-Miami Speedway … Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 325 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet is a completely brand new car which will see its first laps on the track during Friday’s practice session.

Career Homestead Stats … The Homestead 400 marks Harvick’s 358th career start in the NSCS.
  • In nine NSCS starts at the 1.5-mile oval, Harvick owns four top-five and seven top-10 finishes.
  • He has completed all but one lap of competition at Homestead (2,407 of 2,408).
  • His best Homestead finish is second (2003 and 2008).
  • He has started inside the top 10 in six of his nine Homestead races.
Sweet Spot … Harvick owns an average start of 11.6 and an average finish of 8.4 at Homestead. Both marks are best of all circuits on the NSCS tour for the Bakersfield, Calif., native.

Phoenix Recap … Harvick and the No. 29 overcame a pit road miscue in the latter stages of last weekend’s race at Phoenix to storm back from 18th and finish sixth. A missing lugnut on a pit stop with 88 laps to go forced Harvick to give up his fourth-place position on the track and pit a second time. The miscue allowed the team to top off with fuel, which aided them in the final laps as several cars pitted under green-flag conditions for fuel. The effort was the team’s eighth top-10 finish in the nine Chase races to date.

Mr. Consistent … The RCR driver leads all NSCS drivers in top-10 finishes with 25. For the season, Harvick owns three points-paying wins (Talladega in April, Daytona in July and Michigan in August), a second straight Budweiser Shootout victory at Daytona in February, and 31 top-15 finishes in the season’s 35 races.

In the Loop … Harvick owns some very impressive loop data statistics over the season’s first 35 races.
  • First in average finish (8.8).
  • Second in Closer category, total positions improved during the last 10 percent of each race.
  • Third in fastest drivers late in a run.
  • Third in fastest speed in traffic.
  • Third in green flag speed.
  • Fourth in Driver Rating, a formula combining the following categories: wins, finishes, top-15 finishes, average running position while on lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, led most laps, and lead lap finish.
  • Fifth in percentage of laps run on lead lap.
  • Fifth in fastest drivers early in a run.
  • Fifth in average running position.
Crew Chief of the Year … By helping Harvick stay on or near the top of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings for most of the 2010 season with crafty, gutsy and successful race decisions, Gil Martin was named the 2010 WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Year. A formal announcement was made last weekend in Phoenix, and Martin served as grand marshal of the WYPALL 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Phoenix. Martin, who notched his first win as a crew chief in 2001 and has six NSCS wins overall, was the first crew chief in NASCAR history to win in all three of its top divisions (Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series).

Kevin Harvick Foundation Christmas for Kids Concert … The Kevin Harvick Foundation, along with 93.1 The Wolf, will host a charity toy drive concert on December 16, 2010 at Johnny and June’s Ultra Saloon in Winston-Salem, N.C., which will benefit foster children in Guilford and Forsyth Counties through Foster Friends of N.C. and the Kevin Harvick Foundation. Headlining the holiday concert is country music star, Sara Evans. Opening for Evans are Bridgette Tatum and special guest star, Kyle Petty. The evening will also include door prizes, a silent auction and more. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., and admission to the event is a $20 new, unwrapped toy or cash donation. Go to to see a detailed wish list of items needed. For more information about the Kevin Harvick Foundation, please visit


How do you feel about where you are in the point battle? “I feel excited because the worst we can finish in the points is third. We have a great race track for us, and we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. There’s really nothing else that matters at this point. Just throw it all out there, and if it gets rough, it gets rough. If it doesn’t, then we just go race and see where it all falls in the end. It’s still a no pressure, no lose situation for us, and I like it.”

How has Gil Martin’s leadership affected this Chase? “I think when you speak of Gil (Martin, crew chief), he is great for me because he’s very good with our people, and that can be my shortfall, sometimes. He’s very motivating. He’s very good in controversial situations by guiding the team and telling them what they need to do, and keeping them away from the things that they don’t need to focus on. Last week was a great example. After our tough pit stop, I was pretty down, but he stayed after me and picked my spirits back up.”

With the improvements at RCR, do you think ‘hey, I’m close, I like my chances’? “Well, Homestead has been a great race track for us. We’ve had great results over the past several years there. It’s a race track that kind of fits my driving style. We’ve run well there, and I don’t think there is anything that should keep us from doing that this time, either.”

How does Homestead fit your driving style? “It’s just unique. You can charge turn one a little bit more than you can at most places, because as you get through the corner, the banking seems to get steeper all the way through, and you have options. You can run the top, you can run the bottom, you can run the middle, or you can split the middle-top or middle-bottom and make your car turn. It’s just a unique race track, and it seems to fit the guys that like to move around and make their cars work in different spots.”

- Richard Childress Racing, Press Release

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