Friday New Hampshire Notebook

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick is back on the job after tending to his first duties as a new father. (Photo: Getty Images)

Kevin Harvick discusses parenthood, Carl Edwards has concerns about NASCAR’s substance abuse testing policy, Dale Earnhardt Jr. likes the direction of his race team and Trevor Bayne has new colors for Bristol in Friday’s news from Loudon.

HARVICK THE FAMILY MAN

Kevin Harvick is back on the job after tending to his first duties as a new father.  After wife DeLana gave birth to the couple’s first child last Sunday, when son Keelan came into the world, Harvick said things became much more complicated.

“It’s been a crazy week, to tell you the truth,” said Harvick.  “It all started in Daytona, as everybody knows.  Yeah, we went in and she did a great job and had a baby within about two hours.  Dad waited a little long to get her to the hospital.  I was obviously not her favorite person as they told her they wouldn’t give her an epidural.  She did well.  She had it all natural, no drugs or nothing.  We had a healthy baby boy and that was the most important part.  Everybody is good and at home, doing normal things.”

Harvick had a standby driver ready in Kenny Wallace last week at Daytona but says there was no question that when it came to work and his role as husband and father, which of the two would win.

"Everybody knew where I stood on that," Harvick said.  " ... I would hate for anybody to miss that.  There's nothing around here that's really even comparable to it.  Richard (Childress) has been a big supporter of that.  It's always been 'Family first, and we'll figure the rest out later.' "

EDWARDS EXPRESSES CONCERNS ON SUBSTANCE TEST

The conversation about AJ Allmendinger’s failed substance abuse test results loomed large around New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday with a variety of opinions expressed by a number of drivers.

Carl Edwards voiced his concerns about the possibility of testing mistakes being made and offered his solution - that perhaps drivers should take matters into their own hands.

“People are imperfect.  Tests are imperfect,” Edwards said.  “The people who make different products sometimes use factories – one of the first things my trainer told me when he started working with me is he said, ‘Be careful.  Anything you ingest is made somewhere and you don’t know what that factory was making the day before it made the product you’re using.’  Even if it’s just like a weight protein powder or something like that, you have to watch what you ingest.

“My point is that I think until the drivers, this is just my theory ... I think the drivers need to get together and we need to have our own group that is paid by us, that works for us, to be here in tandem with the NASCAR drug testers and have them test us at the same time so that we have not just an 'A' and 'B' sample, but an 'A' and 'B' testing facility.  And we can all agree on that facility, it’s no big deal.  I don’t think it would be a contentious thing, I think that would remove almost all doubt in any situation of a positive test.  If a driver had someone that they could go to and say, ‘Hey look, this is my representative. They tested at the same time on the same day and we have this result.’  If the results are the same, obviously I think we’d all agree that it was a positive.  If they’re different, I think it would give a different perspective.  But I think until we do that, no matter what is found to be positive, no matter what the test results are, there is always gonna be that little question of, ‘Maybe there was a mistake.’ ”

EARNHARDT JR. FEELING GOOD

What a difference a year makes for Dale Earnhardt Jr.!

The Hendrick Motorsports driver feels a lot better about things this summer than he did at this point last season.  Earnhardt has a win under his belt and comes into the weekend second in the Sprint Cup Series point standings.  But maybe more important is the positive attitude coming from the No. 88 team camp and the confidence displayed by Earnhardt.

“The summer feels a whole lot better because we're having some good runs,” Earnhardt said during his media availability in Loudon.  “I never know what I’m going to do when I go to Sonoma, so we just kind of look at the other races ... Pocono, Michigan and coming here.  Last year, we struggled a little bit through the summer and this year, we are doing better.  We feel good about it.

“I think it has a lot to do with the team getting a lot better, Steve (Letarte, crew chief) getting a lot better.  My relationship with him is getting a lot better, us understanding the setups and the patterns that we are seeing, and the things I like and what I’ve run well with, and understanding what to put under the car.  We show up at the racetrack fast instead of having to dial it in when we get there.  We show up really close.

"The team is doing great.  I’ve been in this sport and had teams at times where everybody is just getting it and everything is working and the cars show up ready and fast, and that is happening for us.  I just hope we can keep it going.”

BAYNE TO HONOR COACHING LEGEND

There will be some Tennessee pride on display next month when NASCAR returns to Bristol Motor Speedway.

Trevor Bayne will honor University of Tennessee coaching legend Pat Summitt with a special paint scheme.  Bayne will drive an orange-themed car in the Food City 250 Nationwide Series race on Friday night, Aug. 24.

The Knoxville resident, a big U-T fan, will drive a “We Back Pat”-themed Roush Fenway Racing Ford sponsored by YourRaceCar.com.  The promotion is designed to raise national awareness of the Pat Summitt Foundation's mission and contribution to the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history who won eight women's national championships while leading the Vols, was diagnosed in August 2011 with early onset Alzheimer's disease.  She retired in April of this year and now serves as head coach emeritus for the Lady Vols.

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