Wasserman Media Group, LLC., For GM Goodwrench, Press Release
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 3, 2006) – Thanks to restrictor-plate
racing, Talladega Superspeedway, the site of the fourth 2006 Chase
for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event, could provide GM Goodwrench driver
Kevin Harvick and the nine other Chase contenders with their most
unpredictable set of circumstances yet. Only 96 points separate
fifth-place Harvick from series leader and Richard Childress Racing
(RCR) teammate Jeff Burton, the closest such margin through three
Chase races since the inception of the format three years ago. Add
Talladega’s first repaving job in 26 years, and anything can happen
on the tricky Alabama tri-oval.
“The only thing I have heard about Talladega is that it is really,
really smooth,” said Harvick. “(During testing,) the speeds were the
same, and tire wear was minimal. From the driver’s standpoint, it is
probably going to be easier to drive around and not worry about the
bumps. We will see what happens when we get there. The pictures look
nice and they did a great job on the striping. It looks great.”
The use of restrictor plates to control engine horsepower and
thereby reduce speeds creates close pack racing at the 2.66-mile
superspeedway. Competing inches apart leaves little room for error,
and mistakes can ruin a good finish not only for the drivers who
make them, but for their competitors, too. Planning rather than
reacting is key at Talladega. Drivers who help each other, help
themselves, and RCR teammates Harvick, Burton and rookie Clint
Bowyer plan to stick together in order to maximize performance and
avoid the “big one.”
“I know we have built a good car, but that is about all I know,”
said Harvick. “I know I am looking forward to going to Talladega. We
know it can be a 50/50 chance of wrecking, but there is nothing we
can do about that. I just have to go as hard as I can go and see
where I fall with all that stuff.”
No. 29 GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick about Talladega
Superspeedway and the Chase…
Do you race non-Chase drivers differently than Chase contenderse?
“I don’t think so. I know there has been a lot made of racing guys
differently. I have been on that side of it the last couple years.
No matter what series you are in, the last couple races of the year,
if you are racing the guys who are racing for the championship, you
give them a little extra room. When you are out on the racetrack,
everybody has something at stake. Everybody is trying to win the
race, and everybody is trying to get as high in the points as they
can. If you get caught up in all that, you are probably putting more
into it than necessary.”
How do you stay loose and relaxed during the Chase?
“There really is no need to make more out of it than we need to. It
is just another race. We are doing everything we can do to be at the
top of our game, putting out the equipment on the racetrack that we
have. The rest of it is circumstances like luck and making the right
calls when they need to be made. We feel like the things we can
control, everybody has done a good job putting things together. The
rest will just kind of fall into place.”
Points of Interest…
· Track Stat…
In 11 starts at Talladega, Harvick has three top-five and five
top-10 finishes. He started 42nd and finished 10th in this race a
year ago and 23rd in May. Harvick has led in seven of his 11
Talladega appearances for a total of 54 laps.
· Avg. Start/Avg. Finish...
Harvick’s average starting position at Talladega is 18.8, with his
best start of first coming in 2005 (he went on to finish 12th). His
average finishing position is 14.4, which is second among Chase
contenders. Harvick has two runner-up finishes at Talladega (April
2003, October 2004).
· Talladega Race in May…
After starting 42nd, Harvick and the No. 29 GM Goodwrench team
persevered in the rain postponed Aaron’s 499 to finish 23rd. On Lap
9, Kyle Busch brought out the first caution when he tangled with
Martin Truex Jr., causing Harvick to check up and be hit from behind
by Hermie Sadler. The damage to the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevy was
so severe that crew chief Todd Berrier brought the car down pit road
four times to make adjustments. On Lap 39, Harvick found himself
with a right-front tire down as he made his way through the
tri-oval, which brought out the second caution of the day. On Lap
172, Harvick was black-flagged by NASCAR because his right rear
corner panel was flapping from the early contact with Sadler.
Harvick went on to finish a lap down to race winner Jimmie Johnson
and was classified 23rd.
· Chase for the NEXTEL Cup…
Harvick finished 15th at Kansas Speedway last weekend to retain his
fifth-place spot in the standings. He has ranked in the top 10 in
the last 23 races, since Texas in April. Harvick has 15 top-10
finishes in 2006 and has never won a restrictor-plate event.
· Runnin’ It...
Harvick will be behind the wheel of chassis No. 087 this weekend at
Talladega. This chassis competed at Talladega in May, where it
finished 23rd. The No. 29 GM Goodwrench team also ran chassis No.
087 last year at both Daytona and Talladega races.
· #29 Goodwrench Expertise Challenge...
Four events remain in the Expertise Challenge, in which a total of
29 lucky fans will receive an all-new 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche if
Harvick wins 2 of 12 selected NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races. With one win
in the record books, Harvick only needs one more to complete the
Expertise Challenge. GM Goodwrench also will establish a $200,000
scholarship fund to encourage young men and women to pursue careers
as automotive technicians following the two victories. Fans can join
the challenge by visiting a Chevrolet dealership or a Chevy display
at select NASCAR events to get a ticket with an official promotion
code. They can also visit goodwrench.com/expert to get a promotion
code and complete the registration process. The next Expertise
Challenge race will be at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on October 14th.
· We Have A Winner…
As part of the #29 Goodwrench Expertise Challenge promotion, Chris
Heikkuri of Holly, Mich. received an all-new 2007 Chevy Avalanche
thanks to Kevin Harvick’s victory in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 on
Sept. 9th. Heikkuri was on hand on Friday, Sept. 29th at Al Serra
Chevrolet in Grand Blanc, Mich. to accept the keys to his new 2007
· Start time…
UAW-Ford 500 coverage will begin at 1:30 p.m. EDT Oct. 8th on NBC.
If you can’t catch the race on TV, it can be heard on your local MRN
Radio affiliate and XM Satellite Radio (Channel 144) starting at the
same time. Remember to check your local listings as dates and times
of the race may change.