Richard Childress Racing
February 15, 2012
Kevin Harvick Event Preview: Budweiser Shootout
"I expect it to work right off the bat. We're going to plug along as hard as we can. We've got some good plans and had some well-organized tests. I expect to go to Daytona and have a chance to win."
Event Preview Fact Sheet
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet
February 18, 2012
Daytona International Speedway
Race Notes and Quotes:
This Week's Budweiser Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... The No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team will utilize Chassis No. 295 in Saturday's Budweiser Shootout. Harvick drove this car to Victory Lane in the 2010 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway and also scored a seventh-place finish with it in that year's Daytona 500.
Shootout Details ... Harvick has made seven previous starts in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. He raced his No. 29 Chevrolet to back-to-back wins in the 2009 and 2010 Budweiser Shootout races and has earned four top-five and six top-10 finishes in the event. He's led a total of 43 laps and completed 88.8 percent of the laps run (454 of 511) in the races he competed in. Harvick's average finish in the Budweiser Shootout is 6.6.
Grab Some Buds ... On Thursday evening, Harvick, team owner Richard Childress and the No. 29 team will join Budweiser Brewmaster George Reisch and host a private Budweiser Beer School in Daytona Beach for members of the media and the NASCAR industry. Reisch, a fifth-generation brewmaster, will teach the crowd about what goes into brewing the King of Beers.
Off Season? ... During the off season, Harvick enjoyed a variety of activities. He started the New Year off by serving as an honorary coach for the Virginia Tech Hokies wrestling team as they took on the University of Maryland Terrapins in Blacksburg, Va., on Jan. 8. A couple weeks later he and New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera presented Gene Monahan, former head athletic trainer for the Yankees, with the William J. Slocum-Jack Lang award for long and meritorious service at the annual Baseball Writers' Association of America dinner held in Manhattan on Jan. 21.
Hometown Hall of Famer ... On Wednesday, Feb. 1, Harvick became the fourth driver inducted into the Bob Elias Kern County Sports Hall of Fame in his hometown of Bakersfield, Calif. Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears, off-road champion Roger Mears and Indy 500 competitor George Snider are also enshrined there.
Move Over Harvick, LO's Going to be a Superstar ... Harvick and his wife, DeLana, will tape a segment for National Geographic's "Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan," with their Chihuahua, Little One (LO), during the Budweiser Shootout weekend. The air date will be announced at a later time.
Meet the Press ... Harvick will be available to members of the media outside Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, Feb. 16 for NASCAR's annual Media Day.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTES:
After the winter off season, is it good to run in the Budweiser Shootout and knock some of the rust off?
"I think so. I think anytime you can get on the race track in a competitive environment, it gives you a better idea of what you're going to have. I think it enables us to kind of knock some of that rust off. As fast as the cars are and as many unknowns as there are, the Budweiser Shootout is definitely something that we're all looking forward to."
Is the Budweiser Shootout going to be a good indicator as to what you guys can and can't do in relation to the two-car pushing after NASCAR has made the rule changes?
"To a certain degree; obviously, there's probably going to be a huge temperature change from when we run the Daytona 500 in the afternoon to what we do on the night of the Budweiser Shootout. Mother Nature will definitely play a huge hand in the true effect of things, but the Budweiser Shootout is the closest you'll get up until the (Daytona) 500."
How different was this past off season for you?
"It's been really good. (DeLana and I) went on vacation a few times and that's something we haven't had the chance to do a lot before. It's been very relaxing. I was really kind of worried about being bored, but we've been anything but bored. It seems like you can always find something to do. Aside from my driving duties and the responsibilities that come with that, there's no longer an absolute deadline and there's not a 100 questions that you have to answer every day. It's been very relaxing and good to recharge the batteries."
What does that do for you going into the new season when you've had that type of an off season for the first time?
"I think it's one of those things where we, including myself and everyone at RCR, have made more changes this year than we ever have. I think that's the type of aggressiveness that you're going to have to have within the company and the teams, and the kind of mindset that you're going to have to have to get the championship. We've been close the last couple of years. Nobody really did anything wrong, we just needed to get better. In order for the No. 29 to get better, the Nos. 27 and 31 have to get better, too, in order to keep driving the performance to where it needs to be. As a company, I think the attitude and the enthusiasm is good. With the Nationwide Series shop being here there's just more information, there's more people and there's more stuff flowing and that was always something we had in the past when we were winning a lot of races. Right now everything is going good and we'll just keep plugging away."
What's your outlook going into this year? How long do you think it'll take to develop chemistry with your new crew chief Shane Wilson?
"From here forward the only thing that's acceptable is to win a championship. Obviously, the goal is to go out and win races, but the championship is really what we're after. We've made the changes that we think are going to be better. Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't, but we had to do something to make the whole organization better. Shane and I have worked together in the past and I don't really have a timeframe in mind for the chemistry to work in. I expect it to work right off the bat. We're going to plug along as hard as we can. We've got some good plans and had some well-organized tests. I expect to go to Daytona and have a chance to win."