MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 16, 2011) – Kevin Harvick is accustomed to racing at high speeds in full-bodied stock cars, wheel-to-wheel with some of the greatest drivers in the world. But he was right at home Wednesday in a go-kart, at twenty-something miles an hour with a lot of folks better at weaving a story than driving.
Harvick was the headliner for a Martinsville Speedway media event at Dan River Grand Prix in Danville. His opponents for most of the day were members of the media, even though at the end of the day he got a real test from three Dan River Grand Prix regulars and Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell.
It was an opportunity for the media to gather information for the upcoming Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, while having a little fun with Harvick.
Harvick is no novice when it comes to go-karts. He has a paved go-kart oval in his backyard and apparently spends a lot of time there.
“We do have rules at our track, but not very many,” Harvick said. “It’s really just for fun, but in the winter there is nothing you can do in the gym that takes care of your neck (for racing) other than the go-kart. The go-kart helps with that.
“And for the most part it’s just about getting your mind off things for a half of a day or a whole day and you get to hang out with your friends and neighbors and have fun.”
After going head-to-head with the media, Harvick closed the day with a match race against Campbell, an accomplished racer, and three Dan River Grand Prix regulars. It was a hotly contested 10 laps, with Harvick giving up the lead on the last lap on the road course. He wound up second and Campbell third. And despite his third-place finish, Campbell recorded the quickest lap of the day, a tenth of a second faster than Harvick.
“We’ve run well at Martinsville a lot, but you wouldn’t know it by a lot of our stats,” said Harvick, who has a Nationwide Series and a Camping World Truck Series win at Martinsville but not a Sprint Cup victory.
“Last year we ran well at Martinsville and led laps and did the things we needed to do. Hopefully we can do the same thing this year. We just have to keep doing the same things we’ve been doing and putting ourselves in that good position and eventually we’ll get the win.”
Tickets for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 on Sunday, April 3, the Kroger 250 on Saturday, April 2 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Truck Series Practice Day on Friday, April 1 are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
Tickets for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 start at just $25.