No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet
Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway
Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest
• Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, enters Sunday’s Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway with an impressive resume. In nine Daytona 500 starts, Harvick has earned one win, four top fives and five top-10 finishes.
• Harvick posted the 14th-fastest lap in last Sunday’s qualifying session and will start ninth in the first 150-mile qualifying race on Thursday. The finishing line ups from the two qualifying races will determine the starting grid for Sunday’s Daytona 500.
• On Friday, Harvick will be available to members of the media in the Daytona International Speedway infield media center at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 18.
• On Tuesday night, Budweiser hosted a comedic roast of Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort in Daytona Beach, Fla. In front of an audience of more than 250 people from the NASCAR community, members of the media and Budweiser guests, nationally known comedians Jon Reep, Jeremy Hotz and Earthquake took turns roasting Harvick. The comedians were joined on stage by Tony Stewart, Elliott Sadler, Ron Hornaday, Mike Dillon and Harvick’s wife, DeLana Harvick, all of whom took their turn at the microphone to tell jokes and share stories at the expense of Harvick. The two-hour Budweiser Roast of Kevin Harvick was filmed, and an hour-long edited version will air on SPEED on Saturday, Feb. 19 at 9 p.m. ET. The TV show will also feature pre-recorded comments from teammates Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer, Harvick’s crew chief Gil Martin and members of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team.
• On newsstands now: The Feb. 21 issue of ESPN The Magazine, “The Speed Issue,” features Harvick’s No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet on the cover. Inside the magazine, a two-page spread on Harvick titled “Back in Black” examines the growth of the driver’s career in the past 10 years, his ability to come to terms with being the driver who replaced Dale Earnhardt and his drive to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
• This week in Budweiser Racing history: On Sunday, Feb. 15, 2004, Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet to Victory Lane in the Daytona 500. He led the field on five occasions for a total of 59 laps that day and took the checkered flag with a 0.273-second margin of victory.
• 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 Daytona and the upcoming Daytona 500:
Is the idea for the twin Duel 150 qualifying races to get your (Daytona) 500 car through there safely? You’re a race car driver and you like to win races, so how do you marry those two things?“We’re just going to go for it. If they’re going to write a check and give out a trophy, then we’re going to go as hard as we can. The only way to race at these speedways is to push and shove, and you’re going to have to push and shove, or you’re going to get left behind. You have to go out and do what you have to do. The team has plenty of time to tune up and get everything straightened out, so we’ll race as hard as we can and see what happens.”
Is going three-wide a lot hairier at Daytona than it is at Talladega? “It’s a lot hairier. It’s a lot easier now with the pavement, and the grip level that you have on the race track. It’s not that big of a deal, but definitely a lot hairier than Talladega.”
How much less room do you feel like you have? “At Daytona, it feels like it’s half the width of Talladega. It’s just a lot narrower than Talladega is. You definitely feel like you have a lot less room.”
With the way you ran last season and the way things are going, especially with the power that’s under the hood, could this be the year to win that second Daytona 500? “Well, last year, I think we led the most laps in the (Daytona) 500. We won the 500, but we lost the 520. With the way that the rules are now, the green-white-checkers at the end are difficult to know exactly where you need to be. I think I know where I need to be with where you want to be coming to the checkers at this particular race. It’s one of those things where we just have to keep working on our cars, nickel and diming them to get every ounce of drag out of them that we can, and the guys in the engine shop will do their part on the power. We just need to keep racing and putting ourselves in the right spot to be in those positions with fast cars. To be able to be competitive, you have to work on them constantly.”
Do you still remember what it felt like to win the Daytona 500? “There isn’t anything that compares to winning the Daytona 500, just for the fact of the magnitude and the attention that comes with that particular race. There’s nothing else that even comes close. I remember that day like it was yesterday. There’s no better feeling of winning a race than that one.”