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Harvick Q&A: Racing in Eldora, Nashville, Pocono this week
Q.: On finishing up front: Kevin Harvick: "I knocked both fenders in today. They pushed both of those back out. We came back and put four tires on there at the end and gave ourselves the chance to come down pit road and put gas in it with the caution a couple of laps to go. It worked our way." Q.: Have you made a decision about Pocono and if you'll race in the Busch race? Kevin Harvick: "I don't think there are any decisions. All those decisions are made. We'll be in Nashville for the race. Randy (LaJoie) will drive the (Busch) car in practice and I'll show up, qualify it and race it." Q.: Does the impound procedure for the Busch race help you next weekend? Kevin Harvick: "I really haven't even looked at it. I'm just trying to get through this weekend first. I know there's a conflict next week. I know that Randy is going to drive the car but really don't know the details of the schedule and all that. I just really haven't paid attention to it." Q.: What is the most hurt you have ever raced in your career? Kevin Harvick: "Probably last year. My sternum was busted up. It's about getting in the car and getting comfortable. Getting in and out of the car is probably the most uncomfortable part of the whole process. That's probably the most hurt I've raced was with my sternum." Q.: Do you worry about injury at all competing in both the Busch and Cup Series since Tony Stewart initially got hurt driving in the Busch Series? Kevin Harvick: "I don't think that's true. He went to the hospital and had x-rays and everything. Everything the night before was fine. I'm sure that is just people speculating a lot of things."
Q.: On the team yesterday possibly thinking there was a small crack or something they didn't see with Tony Stewart: Kevin Harvick: "It's something where we all race in both series. You can speculate what you want. It is what it is." Q.: How much fun will you have at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday? Kevin Harvick: "It's either going to be spectacular or good. I don't have a whole lot of experience. It's going to be a lot of fun. Obviously the benefits of the Victory Junction Gang Camp is the reason that we're all going and to support Tony (Stewart) and that cause. It's going to be a lot fun." Q.: Have you practiced at all? Kevin Harvick: "Oh yeah. I practiced (laughs). Nothing happened. I had fun. I had never really had time to go and hang out at the race track, drive around and have fun. I got to do that for a day. I felt like I did a little better than I did the other two times." Q.: Can you talk about finding Aaron Fike? Kevin Harvick: "I think Aaron brings obviously another young guy to our team and trying to establish that foundation there as we've done in the past. We started with the truck and I started driving it. Then we put Matt (Crafton) in it and put (Ron) Hornaday in it after that and just established the foundation there. Then Tony (Stewart) established the Busch teams. Now we're just finding another core driver for the second team. Eventually bo Q.: What do you like about Aaron Fike? Kevin Harvick: "I'm a risk taker. I like to go outside the box. I think Aaron can do a good job in cars capable of running good. He doesn't have a lot of stock car experience. He doesn't have a lot of hands-on help in the stock car experience that he has had. I think it's going to be something where we can help him and hopefully he can pick it up and we can have another guy that is outside from where everybody else is looking." Q.: How much time does it take to own and run your own team and drive for another team? How do you balance your time between the two? Kevin Harvick: "I think the biggest thing is we have good people. Rick Carelli and both crew chiefs do a good job of running everything that we have at KHI. I try to focus during the year on the driver side of it and you have to spend some time on the other side of it trying to figure out what's going on, what's not going on and what should be going on. It's something you have to take a day at a time and see where the focus needs to be that day." Q.: How much time do you spend in the office in the course of a week? Kevin Harvick: "I think it's different because my office has a lot more to do than KHI. Our office handles all the driver stuff, all the merchandising stuff and deals day-to-day with the RCR situation. It's not just KHI. I don't go to KHI just to deal with KHI race cars. I have to go to KHI to deal with the driver side of things too." Q.: When you go to Eldora, how serious will you take it? Kevin Harvick: "Not very serious because I suck (laughs). It's more for fun than it is anything. I just wanted to understand what I was doing this year when I went because last year I didn't understand what I was doing. Hopefully this year when we go we can understand what is going on and have fun with it." Q.: Where did you practice? Kevin Harvick: "It's a secret." Q.: Have you ever raced dirt? Kevin Harvick: "Twice. I'm zero for two. I totaled (Ken) Schrader's car and I totaled (Tony) Stewart's car last year. I'm not that good. I'm terrible. Now I know just enough to be dangerous." Q.: What is your approach to Pocono? Is that a track that you love or hate? Kevin Harvick: "Last year we ran really well there both races. That was the first time in a couple of years that we've run well there. The tires are softer now than they have been in the past so handling comes into effect a lot more than it did in the past. It is a tough track. Since they added the foot-high curb in the tunnel turn, that makes things a little bit challenging back there and the track is pretty rough. It's one of those places where you have to have a good handling car and you have to sit in there for 500 miles and get through the day. There are a lot of things that can go wrong. It's hard on the engines and things." Q.: With Pocono's long caution laps, does your mind have a tendency to wander during caution at Pocono? Kevin Harvick: "There's plenty of time to wander. I think 500 miles at Pocono driving is not too bad but watching 500 miles at Pocono is like watching grass grow." Q.: You used to like aggressive drivers that are like you and up on the wheel. Do you still feel that way? Kevin Harvick: "Oh yeah. I wouldn't have anybody in there that's not going to drive it hard. It's a balance though. You can't just go out there and crash every week and tear everything up like we've done over the past five or six weeks. It's one of things where you have to find that balance between aggressiveness and racing for the big picture." Q.: On Ron Hornaday: Kevin Harvick: "The last four or five weeks he has done great. He won the truck race in Mansfield and had a top-five yesterday. He's had a great month and hopefully we can continue that going forward." Q.: What is the future of that truck? How are sponsorship prospects looking? Kevin Harvick: "The truck future is up in the air. We probably won't run it again next year if we don't have something on the side of it. We've made the commitment to run it this year and do the things that we need to do there to get it through the year and run it like a first-class operation as it has run the last three or four years. But we can't do that again next year. I think we're looking for that right now to keep the truck team going forward." Q.: On Clint Bowyer riding on his jet the next few weeks. Will it be nice to have somebody there with you also doing the double races? Kevin Harvick: "Really it's going to make it hard to lay down (laughs). It will be full, that's for sure. That's usually what you need to use for the rest period on those weekends and get yourself hydrated and all the other things you might need in that period of time. Hopefully we can get through the next three weeks and everything will be good." Q.: How many does your jet seat? Kevin Harvick: "It will seat eight if it has to." Q.: What makes it fun? Kevin Harvick: "Just the challenge of making your car handle for 400 laps. The track goes through so many changes - rubber, grooves, track position and all the other things. I think there will be some tire strategy today and some pit strategy, two tires, no tires, as we go through the day." Q.: How many races is Aaron Fike going to do this year? Kevin Harvick: "We're going to start at Nashville." Q.: And after than how many races will he do? Kevin Harvick: "Yeah, we're just going to start at Nashville." Q.: Do you worry about any health risks when you go to a dirt track like Eldora? Kevin Harvick: "Health risk, I don't know but when you write your story you seem to be able to make them into a health risk." Q.: Did you watch the Busch race last night? Did you see anything during the race? Kevin Harvick: "I think track position is the most important thing. If you car doesn't take off at the beginning, you need the track position to stay where you are. If you're good on a long run, which is what we were yesterday and we weren't able to keep the track position and we never could make that back up because we never ran more than 30 or 40 laps there at the end of the race. I think track position is going to be the most important thing." Q.: On Dale Earnhardt Jr. saying he would like to run your Busch car: Kevin Harvick: "He's more than welcome to run it anytime he wants. I'll have to go find him and talk to him about that. We're all about having fun. That would be pretty fun. We don't want to paint it red and infringe on anybody's property there. We'll paint it yellow or something."