Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Harvick Taking His Winning Fontana Chassis To Sister Track of Michigan This Week

Harvick taking his winning Fontana car to Michigan this week (Getty)
Kevin Harvick
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet Impala
Race Notes and Quotes

This Week’s Budweiser Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway … Kevin Harvick will race chassis No. 299 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. The team utilized this race car twice in 2010 and twice this year. Last season, Harvick recorded finishes of second at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (2/28) and 19th at Michigan International Speedway (6/13) in this car. So far this year he’s driven chassis No. 299 to a win at Auto Club Speedway (3/28) and a 10th-place finish at Dover International Speedway (5/15).

Michigan Notes … In 20 starts at Michigan International Speedway, Harvick has earned one win, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He’s led a total of 148 laps and has an average starting position of 18.4 and an average finishing position of 14.7. Harvick has also completed 98.9 percent (3,856 of 3,897) of the laps run at Michigan in the Sprint Cup Series since 2001.

Last Time Around … Harvick and RCR’s No. 29 team started 31st and finished 19th in last year’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400. In the team’s return trip to the track last August, Harvick started eighth and led 60 laps en route to scoring Richard Childress Racing’s first win at the two-mile track in 20 years.

In the Loop … According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Harvick is ranked second in green-flag passes (920) over the last 12 races held at the Brooklyn, Mich.-based facility.


What is the team focusing on as the Chase approaches?
“Well, we’ve already been down the experiment road and have cleaned up some things that needed to be cleaned up as far as packages at different race tracks. As far as winning races, that’s really what it’s all about for us right now. We’re trying to put ourselves in position to capitalize on that and, hopefully, capitalize on a few more before the Chase starts.”

What is the hardest aspect of running 400 miles at Michigan?
“It all depends on how your day is going. If you’re having a good day, it’s not really hard to tell your guys what you need and everyone is in a good mood. If you’re having a bad day, you can get behind at Michigan really fast. Usually, when you’re hooked up at Michigan, the leaders have clean air and move through traffic pretty well, but if you’re in the middle of the pack, you find yourself getting behind and going a lap down pretty quick. You’re going to end up with a green-flag pit stop and a whole bunch of green-flag laps. You just have to be going the time the green flag drops and keep yourself in position.”

What will it take to be successful at Michigan?
“It all depends on how your car is working and how it’s handling. We were fortunate to win the last race that we ran there. The tires wear out a lot. You have a lot of options as a driver to move from the bottom to the top of the race track. I think that’s why everyone likes going there. It’s a fun race track to race on. You have to have good fuel mileage. You have to have a good handling car. You have to have the whole package.”

Are you surprised the No. 29 team has won three races already this season?
“We’ve won some races that we shouldn’t have won. We’ve lost some races we should have won. I think last year, we should have won more races. We were able to capitalize on some races that we should have been able to capitalize on last year. The performance has been good for the last couple of years. The capability of the team has been there for a couple of years, and we’ve just been able to get off on a good start and make it happen. So it doesn’t surprise me.”

- Richard Childress Racing, Press Release

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