TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
July 13, 2012
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 RHEEM CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and discussed the birth of his son, how he is relaxed at the race track now that his son has arrived, how he is approaching races with the Chase coming up and much more. Full transcript.
TELL US WHAT THIS LAST WEEK HAS BEEN LIKE.
“It’s been a crazy week to tell you the truth. 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 good. 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.”
ARE YOU GETTING SOME SLEEP?
“Yeah, the sleeping pattern is different for sure, but we’re fortunate to have a lot of help obviously with her mom being right there we’ve been able to incorporate her into everything that is going on. It’s definitely been a change but nothing as bad as everybody made it sound like for sure. It’s been great.”
CONGRATULATIONS FROM EVERYONE AT NASCAR. IT IS DEFINITELY THE HARDEST AND MOST REWARDING THING YOU WILL EVER DO.
“Yeah, it was definitely the most rewarding. That was the best moment I’ve ever got to experience in my life. So it is pretty neat.”
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT COMPETITION WISE BEING AT NEW HAMPSHIRE THIS WEEKEND.
“You know it’s nice to come to the race track now to be honest with you. Over the last few weeks, the anxiety of just everything that was going to happen with having a baby and knowing that everything is settled at home and everybody is healthy. That was the part I was worried about the most. Definitely the most relaxed that I’ve been able to be in weeks coming to the race track. I think as we get to the track this week, everybody is excited that we don’t have anything to worry about except for the race cars. No back-up drivers or situations that could pop up. So, it’s good to come to the track. Obviously this is a place that Shane (Wilson, crew chief) and his guys have had a lot of success at. We’ve been fortunate to run well here as well in the past, so we are just looking forward to getting on the race track and it should be a good weekend.”
IS THERE A STORY BEHIND THE STORY OF THE FACT THAT KEELAN HAS HIS OWN TWITTER PAGE?
“Well Keelan has his own everything because I didn’t want some crazy ass fan getting hold of his twitter name or his website, so he has everything that you could imagine from top to bottom just as more of a personal security piece of mind than anything. So, that’s really the only reason.”
SO THERE IS A WEBPAGE AS WELL?
“We own them all. He doesn’t have one or need one. More of just kind of protecting him than anything.”
IS THERE A GO-KART YET?
“We’re hoping for no go-karts. We’re hoping for golf clubs. We’re hoping that we go in a different direction there. But, whatever he wants to do.”
YOU’RE KIND OF IN A FUNNY SITUATION WHERE YOU ARE ALMOST CERTAINLY IN THE CHASE, BUT I’M SURE YOU ARE NOT REALLY EXACTLY WHERE YOU WANT TO BE WITH STILL LOOKING FOR THE FIRST WIN. HOW DO YOU APPROACH THESE SUMMER RACES THAT YOU ARE KIND OF IN THE MIDDLE THERE?
“I think you approach them just like you would any other week. If we were in the Chase or it was the first race of the year, you’re going to go out and try to get the best finish that you can. Obviously you don’t want to take any huge risks at this point, being that there are seven or eight weeks to go. But, really for us last week has kind of been the story of kind of the first part of this year for us. My going into turn three thinking we are going to come out of turn four with a chance to probably win the race to waded up in a mess there. So, it’s just been one of those deals where we’ve been in position to win a few races. We made a lot of mistakes and we haven’t caught the breaks that we need to. Last year we caught a lot of breaks, and that stuff just goes in cycles. So, you just ride it out and you try to keep putting yourself in position and the tide turns at some point.”
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO (AJ) ALLMENDINGER’S SUSPENSION AND WERE YOU SURPRISED NASCAR TOOK SOMEBODY OUT OF THE CAR JUST A FEW HOURS BEFORE THE RACE?
“Well we’ve been busy this week so I haven’t had a huge chance to keep up with where that has all progressed to. But, obviously I know the situation that you are referring to. The timing obviously, I don’t necessarily understand 100 percent the timing of why that takes so long. It seemed like an odd situation to be right before the race. I think as we go through the next weeks and obviously I think there is a B test that is going to happen. I really want to wait and just kind of see all the facts and really understand exactly where everything is at. The timing did seem unique to be honest with you for the team and everybody to react. But, obviously that is all handled from the outside company. You hate to see all that happen and hopefully it’s something that can be explained to everybody so we know if there is something that is out of bounds that is something from over the counter or something that is just pretty obvious. So, we’ll just wait and see all the facts as they come out.”
WAS IT HARD AS THE WEEKS KIND OF PILED UP TO STAY FOCUSED WORRYING ABOUT DELANA AND EVERYTHING, DID YOU FIND THAT MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT? IS THERE A VISIBLE SENSE OF RELIEF?
“There’s a huge sense of relief. And all of you that have had kids, there’s just that anxiety as you get closer you just want to know is everybody going to be good. There’s just those thoughts in your mind of all the things that could go wrong. Really Sonoma was the first time that it actually hit me just for the fact that we had (David) Mayhew there just in case something happened. As we went through the next weeks, you just couldn’t get it out of your mind. It’s definitely a huge sense of relief to be able to come to the track and everybody is smiling and healthy. That makes me feel a lot better.”
YOUR TEAMMATE JEFF BURTON IN 2000 LED EVERY SINGLE LAP IN THIS RACE, BEFORE THAT IT WAS 22 YEARS BEFORE SOMEBODY HAD DONE THAT AND NOBODY HAS DONE IT SINCE. IS THAT ANOTHER THING WITH ALL THE STUFF THAT GOES ON TODAY IN RACES THAT WE MAY NEVER SEE AGAIN?
“I think as you look at sports it will happen again at some point, it’s just it might not be in our lifetime. All records at some point are going to be at least matched or broken. Especially in today’s day and age it would be very difficult with the restarts and the way the strategies play out at a lot of these tracks to do that. It’s definitely a record that’s a pretty good one and obviously you’re not going to break it. You might tie it, but you’re not going to break it.”
YOU KNOW THE TEAM OWNERSHIP GAME AS A DRIVER, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HEADACHES THAT YOU THINK (TONY) STEWART KIND OF GOES THROUGH?
“We would need a lot longer to sit and talk about this one because there are a lot of headaches that come along with it. It’s just like last weekend; we’ll use the No. 22 car as an example. As a team owner you expect your drivers to be the last people that you would get a phone call from NASCAR saying your driver is out and he can’t drive. That stuff happens a lot more with the crew guys than it does the drivers, so you are constantly having to deal with situations like that. It could be somebody falling down and breaking their arm. There is just constantly stuff like that that happens. If the cars aren’t running good, or you have somebody get into an altercation at night, whatever the case may be it just never ends. It’s a constant hassle. Obviously, I think Tony approaches it a little bit different than what I did. He has a lot more people around him and he’s a little more hands off. He’s still in it but he’s a little more hands off than we were. We were involved in every situation and that might be right or might be wrong, but it’s definitely a lot better not having to deal with any of it.”
WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH THE 2013 CAR?
“Yeah, I actually haven’t ever seen it. It sits behind these big tarps in the shop and I’ve never actually taken the time to walk over there and pull the tarp back. I didn’t know if somebody would come over and cut my arm off or fly out of the ceiling or an alarm would go off. The first thing you’ve got to do is get through all the doors in the shop to get back to it. The only thing that I really know is they are putting in a lot of work and effort and time into it. I know my first time driving it will be sometime in August at Martinsville.”
BEING A NASCAR DRIVER WERE YOU REQUIRED TO DRIVE YOUR WIFE TO THE HOSPITAL, AND HOW QUICK A RIDE WAS THAT FOR HER?
“First off, I did driver her to the hospital. The only part for me it wasn’t very fast because she was obviously in a lot of pain. Like I said, that was partly my fault because I made her wait too long. So, we didn’t make any real fast corners. We would go straight and fast. I had been to the doctor’s office several times so I knew where every bump was. So, I didn’t get yelled at on the drive over and that was my goal.
REGARDING THE NO. 17 PARTING WAYS WITH ROUSH, YOUR TEAM WENT THROUGH A SIMILAR SITUATION LAST YEAR WITH CLINT BOWYER, DOES THAT CREATE ANY AWKWARDNESS?
“I think when you talk about Clint’s (Bowyer) situation being similar to Matt’s (Kenseth) from this year, I think obviously I don’t know any of the situation between Richard (Childress) and Clint or Jack (Roush) and Matt, I would imagine that part of it is probably a little more intense than what the guys in the garage are dealing with. I think once everybody knows the direction it kind of just goes away after a week and everybody just goes into racing the car and doing their jobs. Most of these guys in this garage have been around it for a long time. It doesn’t seem like there is any animosity from anybody in Matt’s deal, so it doesn’t seem like it should be that big of a deal.”
WAS HE (CLINT BOWYER) STILL INCLUDED IN ALL THE DEBRIEFS TOWARD THE END THERE, HE WAS GOING TO A RIVAL CAMP AND YOU GUYS WERE WORKING ON STUFF, KIND OF DEVELOPMENTAL THINGS YOU WERE WORKING ON, DID THEY SHIELD HIM FROM THAT?
“Obviously you take the things and you put them a little closer to your chest than what you would have. But, on a race weekend, it’s one of those deals where its springs, and shocks, and bump stops, and pretty much the normal stuff. If you find something new, I’m sure you just put it in and don’t tell anybody.”
WERE YOU PREPARED TO MISS THAT RACE AT DAYTONA? WAS THERE A TIME WHEN YOU THOUGHT I’M NOT GOING TO RUN TODAY? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO MAKE UP FOR NOT GETTING HER TO THE HOSPITAL IN A TIMELY FASHION?
“I don’t think I have to make up for anything because everything went really smooth. I don’t think we could have asked for it to go any better. Yeah, I was actually home and prepared not to come back if that situation had come to that point. Everybody knew where I stood on that, but I had gone home that morning. I had to take her home the morning of the race about 7:30. I came back about 3:00. If things would have progressed in the direction that they did Sunday morning I would have just stayed there.”
YOU HAD ALREADY TALKED TO THE TEAM ABOUT THAT AND NO SECOND THOUGHTS I IMAGINE ABOUT BEING WITH HER?
“I would hope the team had realized that was the right thing to do. Not only for myself, for themselves. Our lead engineer is not here this weekend because he’s in the same situation but he just doesn’t have the luxuries that we’re fortunate to have as far as transportation and things like that. I would hate for anybody to miss that. There’s really nothing around here that’s even comparable to it.”
WOULD IT HAVE MATTERED IF YOU WERE ON THE CHASE BUBBLE AT ALL? CONSIDERING WHERE YOU ARE IN POINTS, DID THAT MAKE IT AN EASIER DECISION?
“No, there’s just really nothing that ever even popped up. Richard has been a big supporter in that and it’s always been family first and we’ll figure the rest out later.”
IT SEEMS LIKE THE ENTIRE GARAGE, FANS, MEDIA ARE REALLY ENJOYING THIS WITH YOUR LITTLE ONE, IS YOUR NEW YOUNG SON ANYTHING LIKE YOU OR LIKE DELANA?
“He’s got his mom, so he’s going to get some good guidance for sure. We’ll know that part for sure. It’s hard to tell who he looks like and things like that right now. As he came out and didn’t cry a lot, so maybe he is as tough as his mom. That will be a good thing. He’s just starting to get that little smile where he opens his eyes and looks at you. It’s pretty neat.”