No. 29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet
Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway
Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest
• Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet team look to rebound at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) this weekend after an engine failure resulted in a 42nd-place finish at Daytona International Speedway.
• In 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) starts at PIR, Harvick has made two trips to Victory Lane and has three top fives and seven top-10 finishes to his credit. In the last daytime race at the track in November, Harvick took home a sixth-place finish.
• In addition to his NSCS duties this weekend at PIR, Harvick will be at the wheel of the Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) No. 33 Menards Chevrolet in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at the one-mile track. The two-time NNS champion and team co-owner has one win, 13 top fives and 14 top-10 finishes in 17 NNS races at PIR. Harvick is scheduled to make 11 starts in the No. 33 Chevrolet for KHI in 2011.
• In 2011, KHI celebrates the company’s 10th year of competition in NASCAR. Team co-owner Kevin Harvick made KHI’s first start in the Truck Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in 2001, narrowly missing the win by inches to series veteran Jack Sprague. Ten years later Kevin and DeLana Harvick have two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championships to their credit and multiple wins with a host of drivers to boast in their more than 80,000-square-foot facility in Kernersville, N.C. During 2011 all KHI vehicles will carry a commemorative decal as the company celebrates the accomplishments of the last 10 years.
• In addition to celebrating KHI’s 10th anniversary, Kevin and DeLana Harvick will mark another milestone this year – their 10th wedding anniversary. On Feb. 28, 2001, Harvick married DeLana Linville at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas just three days after he made his first career NSCS start in the No. 29 Chevrolet. For their 10th anniversary, the couple will celebrate at home in Kernersville, N.C.
• This week in Budweiser Racing history: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won back-to-back NSCS races at PIR in 2003 and 2004 at the wheel of the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet. In 2003 he led 87 laps and won by a margin of 0.735 seconds. The following year he led 118 laps and took the checkered flag 1.431 seconds ahead of the second-place driver.
• Become a fan of Budweiser on Facebook. Exclusive information, photos and video footage of Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team can be found on the Budweiser Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/Budweiser.
• Follow along each weekend with Harvick and the team on Twitter. Check out @KevinHarvick for behind-the-scenes information straight from the driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet. Get live updates from the track each weekend from @Black29Car, the PR team for Harvick. Also, follow @RCRracing and @RCR29KHarvick for additional information about the Richard Childress Racing organization.
Kevin Harvick discusses racing at Phoenix International Raceway and his upcoming wedding anniversary:
With everything that goes into Daytona, is Phoenix the start of the regular season? “As we go to Phoenix, it’s a short track and as we go there this time, it’ll be the last time we get to race on that particular surface. It’s a challenging race track and it’s a big market for our sport. I think to carry that momentum from Daytona to Phoenix is going to be exciting for all of us. I know I look forward to going there just for the fact that I grew up racing there and just enjoy the race track.
“When you lead off with your biggest race, the Daytona 500, there’s really no race on the schedule that can match the hype and the anticipation of that particular race, so it is kind of the first official week of what it’s going to be like on the weekly grind as we go to Phoenix this year.”
The spring race at Phoenix is no longer a night race. With the change from being a night race to a daytime race, will the racing be different? “I love racing in the day because I love when the race track gets slick and you have to manage the car and the tires and everything that goes with that. That’s definitely something that you have to do there. It really changes the complexion of the race when it’s in the day. I think it’s the right thing to do to be racing on Sunday afternoon at Phoenix.”
After you won at Phoenix in 2006, you had some tough races there. You had solid finishes there last year, including a sixth-place run in November. Do you feel like you have a handle on it again? “Yeah. We ran well at the second race there and I think we finished decent at the first one, too. It has been a struggle for us the last couple of years and really our mile-and-half and superspeedway (programs have) been our best and our short track stuff has been the weakest. I feel like over the last 10 weeks everything was strong (last season). We’ve just got to continue to work at it.”
You and DeLana are celebrating your 10th anniversary after the race in Phoenix. “It’s the 10th anniversary of our wedding and it’s our 10th anniversary for our race team at KHI. There’s been a lot that we’ve been able to accomplish together and it’s been a lot of fun. For us, every day and week is pretty much spent together. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes that’s bad, but we’ve enjoyed it for years.”