Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Harvick Rolling With Runner-Up Michigan Chassis This Week at Charlotte

Harvick captured first Charlotte win in May (Getty)
Kevin Harvick
No. 29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet Impala
Race Notes and Quotes

This Week’s Jimmy John’s Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway … Kevin Harvick will race chassis No. 373 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. The team utilized this car for the first time in the August race at Michigan International Speedway where Harvick finished 22nd.

Freaky Fast at Charlotte… The black, red and white colors of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches will adorn the No. 29 Chevrolet as the team’s primary sponsor for the fifth time in 2011 this weekend at CMS.

Chase Update … Four races into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Harvick sits second in the driver championship point standings, just one marker behind Carl Edwards following a sixth-place finish at Kansas Speedway. Harvick has one top-five and three top-10 finishes thus far in the Chase. His average finish in the first four races is 7.5.

Harvick at Charlotte … In 21 races at CMS, Harvick has earned one win, two top-five and five top-10 finishes. His average starting position is 19.8 combined with a 19.1 average finishing position. Harvick has led just five laps at the 1.5-mile track, but has completed 96.9 percent (7,219 of 7,450) of the laps run there in NSCS competition since 2001.

Picking Up the Pace … Harvick has publicly commented numerous times about his dislike of CMS. However, the Bakersfield, Calif., native has scored solid runs at the speedway recently. In the past three points-paying races at CMS, Harvick holds an average finish of 6.67, which is more than 12 positions better than his career average finish at the track.

Last Time Around … Last October Harvick took home an eighth-place finish at the Concord, N.C.-based facility, which at the time was his best finish at the 1.5-mile speedway since his rookie season in 2001. In May, the No. 29 team gambled correctly on fuel mileage and took home the checkered flag in the Coca-Cola 600. The win was Harvick’s first NSCS points-paying victory at the speedway.

In the Loop … Harvick holds some impressive Loop Data statistics at CMS heading into Saturday night’s race, including: first in closers and fourth in green-flag passes (973).

A #10, Hold the Tomatoes … While the Jimmy John’s menu offers a number of tasty, gourmet sandwiches, Harvick’s favorite is the #10 Hunters Club, minus the tomatoes. The sandwich features a quarter pound of fresh-sliced, medium-rare roast beef, provolone cheese, lettuce, mayonnaise and tomatoes (unless you’re like Harvick and ask for them to be left off).


What are your thoughts on racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway? “From a driver’s standpoint, it’s just never been a race track where I’ve had a great feel. There’s nothing wrong with the surface, nothing wrong with the shape of the race track or anything like that. It’s just from a performance standpoint we just don’t have the stats that need to be there like we do at a lot of other places. Over the last couple of years it’s definitely gotten a lot better for us. We won a race there at the beginning of the year and after we won there we feel like we can win anywhere.”

Talk about racing at night at Charlotte Motor Speedway with cooler temperatures expected: “As soon as it goes to night there, the track becomes a different race track than it is during the day. I’m sure that we’ll practice during the day and have no clue what we have at night. All-in-all, it’s going to be the same old Charlotte that it always is – really, really fast at night. The cooler it gets, the more grip there is.”

It’s known that you haven’t been a big fan of Charlotte Motor Speedway in the past. After winning at the track in May, can one win really give you a better attitude coming into this race? “We’ve definitely run better at Charlotte over the last couple of years. For us that’s a huge step. In the past, it’s been a place where you just want to come and survive and try to get a top-10 (finish). The last time we were in contention, I think we restarted fifth there and had a solid car all night. It seems like we’ve gotten better every time. Hopefully that win keeps everybody happy coming in before we get started.”

- Richard Childress Racing, Press Release

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