NASCAR Media Conference
September 10, 2007
DENISE MALOOF: Jimmie thank you for joining us today. We appreciate it.
Here is Kevin Harvick. How was your run out there this morning?
KEVIN HARVICK: Pretty boring to tell you the truth. All we've been able to do at this point is single car runs. You know, we have a car that we hit the tire test last week at Atlanta. And you know, a car that we've built for here. So everything pretty much drives the same and runs the same speed.
DENISE MALOOF: Look ahead next, well, this coming weekend. You're going to start the Chase at Newâ Hampshire, your thoughts on that?
KEVIN HARVICK: Well, I think we're excite d to get everything behind us in the first 26. Obviously to get to the last ten here, we're excited to get that going and hopefully get some momentum as we move forward to the last ten races and be able to get something going. And we've had good cars all year. We've just got to have some momentum to go with it.
DENISE MALOOF: Let's take questions for Kevin.
Q. Now that you're in the Chase, and you have Jeff and Clint in there with you, how does the dynamic change?
KEVIN HARVICK: Nothing changes, you just go out and do the same thing you've done every week. We all share everything anyway. Doesn't really change anything that we do as a team.
Q. Running the Car of Tomorrow here in the Chase, does it make youâ -- are you looking any more forward to running it here? Or are you not anticipating this race as much as you maybe were before?
KEVIN HARVICK: I think there's just a lot of unknowns that you would otherwise not have, you know, coming here. But you have to transition to the car at some point to make it all work for the team owners and the teams.
So I think there's just a lot more unknowns than typically coming here with just how the car's going to race. You know, so far the car drives really well and everything seems to be fine. So it's just a matter of not having 500 miles with the engine and with the car and all the differentâ - basically having nothing on the racetrack for that period of time. Obviously, you can do all the testing that you want, but you can't really ever put it in race condition.
Q. Staying in Alabama but getting off Talladega a little bit. You've had an Alabama driver working for you for this past year. Can you update us a little bit on Cale Gale and his year he's had so far and what you expect to do with him in 2008?
KEVIN HARVICK: I expect to do the same thing, pretty much, that he did this year. You know, just race the Busch car and probably some ARCA stuff. So probably do about the same thing that we did this year.
And you know, he's done a great job. Once we were able to get him in the car, you know, a couple weeks in a row there. And I think the last race he ran was Bristol, so he finished ninth in the truck race there. So he's done a good job. And pretty much the same plan for next year.
Q. With ten races to go, you may not have your strategy yet or you have an idea. But do you find yourself that you'll be racing against the 11 guys instead of the customary 42 cars that are normally out there?
KEVIN HARVICK: I think you have to do your own thing. You have to race as hard as you can. Obviously, you have to find another level to pick it up during the last ten here. You know, sometimes take some chances that you normally wouldn't take. And if you don't, there's going to be somebody that beats you and takes those chances and gets away with them.
So, you know, you definitely are going to be at the maximum level of aggressiveness. And, you know, pushing cars and engines and everything to the max where, obviously, that strategy didn't work out that way leading up to the Chase. So, you know, that's justâ -- you just have to find another level of competitiveness.
Q. After you won the All-Star race this year, a lot was made in the media that this year you've become sort of the big money driver. When the big bucks are at stake, that's where you excel. Going into the Chase and looking at that, is that too much of a reach on our part? Or do you think there may be some intangibles with the 29 team this year that when the really big bucks and the big stakes are on the line, that you guys consciously or unconsciously seem to excel?
KEVIN HARVICK: I think any time you get to a Daytona 500 you spend all winter preparing for it. You always bring your best stuff, not that you don't bring your best stuff every week, but it always seems like you find another level to step it up, you know, when the big races come along.
So, you know, we've been fortunate to be able to do that, I guess, through the years at the Brickyard. And, you know, the All-Star race, it seems like we always crash. So this year we were where we needed to be. But you know we've always performed well when there was a little bit of extra pressure on or a little bit more incentive for some reason.
Q. I know you haven't been out there as much, but have you been able to get a feel at all of what the speeds are going to be like with this car?
KEVIN HARVICK: The fastest we've gone is 191. I don't know how fast everybody's going. That's top speed, so, it's obviously going to pick up drastically when you get into the draft. So it will be interesting to see. But it's hard to tell, you know, obviously not being here before.
Q. You talked on this, touched on this a little earlier, but how do you temper the first race in the Chase? Because you can't win it but you could certainly lose it. How do you temper that given the fact that half of those races are going to be COT and everything? Do you just sort of try to get started and do the same things you have and work into it?
KEVIN HARVICK: I don't thinkâ -- I think you guys all make too big a deal about what you're going to change. You're going to obviously look to pick the intensity level up just another notch just because that's what you do when you're racing for championships.
You know, if you're playing sports and trying to win in the end of a game or whatever the case may be, the good teams and the good players always seem to pick it up a notch, and you have to do that.
So I don't think you necessarily are going to lose, and lose the championship in the first race. I think Jimmie's proven that. And last year, that you can make mistakes and still come back, but you have to be able to go out and win races. You've got to win a couple races, I think, you know, to be where you need to be come homestead.
DENISE MALOOF: Kevin, thank you for joining us.
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