Harvick Hopes for Michigan Repeat
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on June 17, 2011 | 4:28 P.M. EST
Harvick heads to Michigan fourth in the points. (Photo: Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, Mich. – Kevin Harvick looks to follow his win last August at Michigan International Speedway with another trip to Victory Lane in Sunday’s Helluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400.
The Richard Childress Racing driver scored his first career Sprint Cup Series Michigan win in his 20th start last August, but Harvick understands that’s no guarantee to having a successful day on Sunday.
“It all just depends on how your car is working and how it’s handling,” said Harvick, who comes to Michigan after a fifth-place run a week ago at Pocono Raceway. “We were fortunate to win the last race that we ran there.
“The tires wear out a lot. You have a lot of options as a driver to move from the bottom to the top of the race track. I think that’s why everyone likes going there. It’s a fun race track to race on. You have to have good fuel mileage. You have to have a good handling car. You have to have the whole package.”
Harvick has had the whole package at least three times this season when he’s gone to Victory Lane. That leads the series heading into Sunday’s 15th race of the season but Harvick’s not surprised at all at how strong his team has been this year after going down to the final race in last year’s title run.
“We’ve won some races that we shouldn’t have won,” Harvick said. “We’ve lost some races we should have won. I think last year, we should have won more races. We were able to capitalize on some races that we should have been able to capitalize on last year.
“The performance has been good for the last couple of years. The capability of the team has been there for a couple of years, and we’ve just been able to get off on a good start and make it happen. So it doesn’t surprise me.”
Harvick’s crew chief Gil Martin will be surprised if his driver changes his approach or style this weekend despite his probationary period ending, which was handed down after Harvick and Kyle Busch tangled in Darlington last month.
“I don’t think that’s going to change things at all,” Martin said. “We plan to just go about our business and do what we always try to do and that’s get to victory lane.”
However, there is the possibility that Harvick and Martin will adjust their approach in one way and that’s in advance of this fall’s Chase. With three wins and a berth in the playoffs all but assured, the 29 team may try a thing or two this weekend in the way of Chase preparation.
“Well we’ve already been down the experiment road and have cleaned up some things that needed to be cleaned up as far as packages at different race tracks,” Harvick said. “We’ve already been going down that road. As far as winning races, that’s really what it’s all about for us right now. We’re trying to put ourselves in position to capitalize on that and hopefully capitalize on a few more before the Chase starts.”