Harvick trying to give Ford their first championship in more than a decade

External News Wire | 11/18/17

Date: Nov. 17, 2017

Kevin Harvick, who's in Miami right now. Congratulations on such an amazing season. And I know that this is the third time that you've been part of this Championship 4. 

And I'm going to go back to something that you said in a press conference. You said that this week is different than any other week. And there's a lot to navigate. So how do you describe the process of being down there in Miami, from a driver standpoint? 

- Well, it's just-- it's out of the ordinary from what you do on a week-to-week basis, with the routine that you're in, having to go to New York on Tuesday. You see the things that happen at the shop. You see the press conference that we sat in today, and all the media that you have to do. 

So, you know, as the weekend goes on, there's more guests. There's more people. There's more thing-- more people in the garage. There's more photographers. There's more of everything. 

And you just have to know all that going in, to make sure that mentally, you're prepared for things that are different. There's meetings and things that happened this weekend that don't normally happen on a particular weekend, that disrupt the flow of when you go to the car. 

And so, just a lot of little things like that that you have to navigate. And it can eat you up. It ate me up in 2014 because I was way out of my routine. And I think '15 was better. And as I come back this year, you know, I find myself much more relaxed with everything that's going on, and just checking boxes, and not letting yourself get frustrated over the things that you should enjoy because of the fact that you're racing for a championship. 

- Kevin, we all look at stats. And your stats at Miami, they're second to none. They're quite amazing. But considering we only go there once a year. And every time we go there, it's a different rules package. And especially this format, where, pretty much, it's winner take all. Do you just throw those stats away? Everybody has a clean sheet of paper for this race? 

- Well, I think when you look at those-- you know, for me, when it lines up Phoenix, and then you go to Homestead, I don't think you could probably put two better racetracks under those last two races on the schedule than those two, for us. I think as we've gone through the years, this has just been one of those racetracks where, no matter the rules package, or the team, or what the circumstances are, it's just been a great racetrack for us. 

So I'm really looking forward to getting on the racetrack, because we finished first, second, and third here, since I've been in SHR. And hopefully we can go, one, two, three, one as we come back this time. 

- Kevin, I look on the left side of your driver's uniform. And I see the blue oval, the Ford. You guys made the change to Ford. They have not won a championship in over a decade, since 2004. How rewarding would it be for Stewart-Haas Racing and your Ford team to give them their first championship since 2004? 

- Well, I-- you know, for me there's a lot of similarities to what we did in 2014. When we joined Stewart-Haas Racing, myself and Rodney, and our whole team was formed, we didn't have anything. And in my opinion, this year, since joining Ford, has been much like that. Just for the fact that we've had to change the bodies on the car and we've hired more people, and do a lot more of the-- our own stuff within our walls than we did in years past. 

So it's been a-- it's been a building process to get things where they are today. But I think it says a lot about our race team. And I know that when you look at Ford-- I mean, I know this, and I think everybody on our team knows this, that they hired us to come win more races, and race for a championship. 

So to do all those things in the first year, like I said a minute ago, it gives you a lot of confidence in your team. And here you are in Homestead, with, you know, cars that are capable of winning races, leading laps, and having a chance to do the same thing here this weekend. 

- Hey, Kevin, I know that toast with your crew this week in the shop was probably pretty sweet. But I can imagine that toasting in victory lane, or with the championship, will be even sweeter. Good luck to you this weekend. 

- All right, guys. Thank you.

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