CHEVY NSCS AT LAS VEGAS: Kevin Harvick Press Conference Transcript


KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and discussed racing at Las Vegas, good rebound and result at Phoenix, winless steaks and other topics. Full transcript:

HOW GOOD DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BE THIS WEEKEND HERE AT LAS VEGAS? “You never can tell.  Last year we ran really well here. We had a little trouble right off the bat in the first practice when I got in the wall. So, if we can not do that again, we will be a lot better off for qualifying practice. We laid out our normal plan, our normal week; normal everything. So, we’ll see.”
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DID YOU FIND OUT A LOT ABOUT THE NEW NOSE LAST WEEK IN PHOENIX, OR IS THIS THE WEEK WHEN YOU WILL LEARN MORE ABOUT IT? “I kind of forgot it was on there to tell you the truth. (SMILES) I don’t think you are going to see a huge difference. This week is definitely going to be a lot higher speed than what we had last week, so, if you are going to see something different, it is going to pop up this week. But, these cars have so much power, that you are going to see some fall off and things with the tires like you normally do. Then all that goes away and you just have to make your car handle.”  

HOW IMPORTANT WAS THE PHOENIX FINISH FOR YOU TO GET BACK IN THE HUNT? “It was a lot better than the start; that is for sure. When we wrecked, there I was like ‘Man, here we go again. Two weeks in a row.’ But, the car was really fast. I think if it just would have been straight, we would have had something for them at the end. But, to come back and get a top-five out of it is a pretty solid day for us considering the catastrophe of the first 67 laps that we had.”  

AS FAR AS POINTS, DID THAT HELP YOU FEEL BACK IN THE HUNT AFTER DAYTONA? “We just go race every week. If we do like we did last week, we won’t have a problem with points.”  

WHEN YOU WENT THROUGH AN EXTENDED WINLESS STREAK, DOES IT EVER PLAY ON YOUR CONFIDENCE? DO YOU EVER QUESTION WHETHER YOU CAN DO IT AGAIN? IF YOU ARE GOING TO WIN AGAIN? “Deep down you know you can do it, but, on the surface, you are not getting the results that you think you should be getting. I think once you get those results, it’s really…it is more relief than it is excitement to tell you the truth. You could see that through Jeff’s (Gordon) celebration last week. We still have to teach him how to do a burnout (LAUGHS). It is just such a relief for yourself, the team and everybody involved because..the best thing about it is when he gets here today, he won’t have to answer than same question that he has answered for two years. That goes away and as a person, you just get so tired of answering the same question. You don’t really have an answer for it because you are doing everything you can do. Your team is doing everything they can do. There is really nothing else you can do and you know you can win, you’ve done it before, and all of a sudden, you just don’t. That just shows you how hard it is.”  

WHEN YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF SOMETHING LIKE THAT, DO YOU EVER WORRY ABOUT SELF-CONFIDENCE ISSUES; TAKING A TOLL ON PERFORMANCE? “The best thing I can relate to you is California last year. We were going to win that race and I drove the thing into the wall with two laps to go instead of just being patient and trying to force the issue. Once you get out of that winning mode and you start trying to force things, you start screwing more up than you help. You just have to tell yourself to do the things you that know how to. Sometimes there are obvious wakeup calls like we had last year.”  

WHEN YOU GET THE WIN, HOW LONG CAN YOU SAVOR IT? “It is over this week. (LAUGHS) This is a sport that you have to take the good with the bad and you can’t favor the good over the bad because they can be equally as affective to you next week’s performance as each other. As you have a bad week, you shake that off and you go to the next race and as you have a good week, you shake it off and you go to the next race. Obviously everybody has a lot of confidence when things are going well, but that over confidence can do the same things that under confidence can do to you on the race track. They can be as equally detrimental to everyone to each other.”  

HOW DID YOU SHAKE OFF WHAT HAPPENED IN CALIFORNIA [LAST SEASON] FAIRLY QUICKLY? “I hit the wall (LAUGHS). Just trying to get too much out of the car. From a driver standpoint, you know what the limits of the car are and sometimes you push it and in that particular instance, it was running the high line and hit the wall. Heck, we had just run Jimmie (Johnson) down from two or three seconds back and gave it away. That is things you go through as a driver.”  

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO WIN AT CALIFORNIA BEING FROM BAKERSFIELD? “As a team, we have gotten a lot better there. We have been in contention to run up front and race for some wins now, so that is a long way from where we were five years ago. It is fun to go to these places. Obviously this West Coast swing at the beginning of the year for me has a lot of friends and family and people that show up. It is fun to race in front of them.”  

WHEN YOU HAVE A BAD PIT STOP, IS IT MORE FRUSTRATING WHEN HAVE BAD CAR OR MORE FRUSTRATING WHEN YOU HAVE A MORE MEDIOCRE CAR BECAUSE YOU KNOW HOW DIFFICULT TO COME BACK FROM IT? “I think they are all equally frustrating. Last week was the most frustrating just for the fact you are running sixth and you come out about 28th and then you wreck. It could have ended our day.”  

DO YOU WATCH THE FILM AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS ON THOSE STOPS? “I can tell you what happens on every pit stops because I see it all. I know exactly what happened on both bad pit stops last week [at Phoenix].  

DO YOU OFFER SUGGESTIONS OR IS THAT GIL’S (MARTIN, CREW CHIEF) DEPARTMENT?  “HMMMMMMM. I don’t think that is Gil’s department. There are full-time employees that coach those teams and train them. For the most part, they did a good job last week. It is just that we can’t have two disasters.”  

IS THE UPCOMING OFF WEEKEND WELL PLACE? IS IT A PLACE TO LOOK BACK AT THE FIRST THREE RACES TO SEE WHAT WENT ON? “I think for us, it is more about just looking at the Cup teams and the Nationwide teams and all the parts and pieces that go with it and making sure they are all headed in the right direction. It is so early in the season, I wish it wasn’t there to tell you the truth. We have two early off weekends and you look at the TV ratings and the momentum the sport has and you wish that those things weren’t there. We will use them as wisely as we can. No big plans, just making sure all the racing stuff is heading in the right direction. When we get to the third off week of the year, then you will be ready for it.”  


WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL AT BRISTOL? “Bristol is a lot different than it used to be. Lots of room. You are going to have a lot of green-flag runs. Much easier race track to drive on than it used to be. You have to take care of your car a lot more than you used to need to so you are able to keep up. It is a fun place to race. When you get there, you will see if it is high or low as far as the groove goes and you have a lot of options as a driver.”  

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GOT A LOT OUT OF YESTERDAY HAVING AN EXTRA DAY IN THE NATIONWIDE CAR? “Yesterday was a disaster for us.  (LAUGHS) It is a good thing we came yesterday or we would be in deep trouble for race day. It is tough being on the back side of the garage there. They needed to open the garage a couple of hours earlier to get everybody through inspection. We had some issues we had to work through yesterday.”

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