Peace And Quiet

GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick has been running hard for nine of the past 10 race weekends. Unlike most NASCAR Nextel Cup Series regulars, he's a regular participant in companion events put on by the NASCAR Busch Series or Southwest Tour Series. If that wasn't available, there were times when he went out of his way to go racing at a local track nearby.

This weekend's Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, however, is a crucial stop for Harvick, who considers this one of his tougher racetracks. In his seven trips at the complicated tri-oval, he's finished in the top-10 only once and has yet to post a top-five finish. To better those efforts, the Bakersfield, Calif., native has decided to take it easy this weekend and focus solely on the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

"Pocono is very important because it is one of the only places left on the schedule where we have consistently struggled," explains the 2001 Winston Cup Rookie-of-the-Year. "I had an opportunity to race this Saturday, but have decided to relax and stay focused for Sunday's race. We're vulnerable at ninth in the points and can't take any chances."

What's interesting about Pocono is that Harvick and Team GM Goodwrench were well on their way to posting their second top-10 finish at the 2.5-mile racetrack since July of 2002 when an incident with Matt Kenseth and subsequent penalties by NASCAR dropped the silver and black racing machine back 10 spots to 20th.

A solid run with no incidents is exactly what this team needs to gain momentum for next weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where they are the defending champions.

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