No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet
GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway
Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest
• Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team will celebrate the recent debut of the new Budweiser “Bowtie” can refresh with a special paint scheme at Chicagoland Speedway. Introduced last month, the new can design is Budweiser’s 12th since Anheuser-Busch began offering its flagship brand in cans in 1936. The focal point of the design is Budweiser’s iconic bowtie, complemented by the time-honored Budweiser creed and Anheuser-Busch medallion. The same elements are prominent on the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet for Sunday’s race.
• Sunday’s race at Chicagoland kicks off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Harvick enters the Chase on the heels of last Saturday night’s win at Richmond International Raceway, his fourth of the season, which has him seeded second in the NSCS driver point standings heading into the 10-race stretch.
• Prior to heading to Chicago, Harvick enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look at the makings of a winning college football program – that of the Virginia Tech Hokies – on Tuesday. As part of the visit, Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell presented Head Football Coach Frank Beamer with a pair of framed, lifetime suite passes to Martinsville. Harvick gave Beamer an autographed Budweiser racing helmet and in return, Beamer presented Harvick with a Virginia Tech football jersey with his name and number (29) on it.
• Harvick will be available to members of the media in the Chicagoland Speedway infield media center at 11:45 a.m. on Friday.
• The No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team will race chassis No. 378 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) stable. This is a brand new race car that will see its first on-track action at Chicagoland.
• In 10 starts at Chicagoland Speedway, Harvick has earned two wins (2001 and 2002), five top-five and six top-10 finishes. He has an average starting position of 16.1 and his average finish at the 1.5-mile track is 11.2. Harvick has led a total of 282 laps at Chicagoland and has completed 99.4 percent (2,656 of 2,673) of the laps run in NSCS competition at the track.
• In last year’s race at Chicagoland, the No. 29 team started 27th and finished 16 laps down to the leaders in 34th position after going behind the wall to address a fuel pressure issue late in the race.
• Harvick holds quite a few impressive Loop Data statistics at the 1.5-mile track leading into Sunday’s race, including: fourth in closers; fourth in drivers fastest late in a run; fourth in laps run in the top 15 (1,162); fifth in average running position; fifth in green-flag speed; fifth in speed in traffic; sixth in driver’s rating (98.5); sixth in laps led (94); seventh in drivers fastest early in a run; and ninth on fastest on restarts.
• Gil Martin, crew chief of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, will celebrate his 51st birthday on Saturday. The Nashville, Tenn., native’s motorsports career started 30 years ago with building drag racing and stock cars in his hometown.
• Matt Swiderski, engineer on the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team, will return to his home state for this weekend’s race at Chicagoland Speedway. Swiderski hails from the Garden Homes area of Chicago, just 35 miles northeast of Joliet, Ill.
• The driver of the Budweiser Chevrolet will meet fans on Thursday at the Jewel-Osco store, located at 2021 E. Laraway Road in New Lenox, Ill., at approximately 4:30 p.m. A limited number of wristbands will be available at the store prior to the appearance.
• In addition to racing the Budweiser Chevrolet in Sunday’s NSCS race, Harvick will also be at the wheel of the Kevin Harvick Inc. No. 2 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet in Camping World Truck Series competition on Friday night. Live race coverage will air on SPEED at 8 p.m. ET. MRN Radio affiliates and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio will provide the radio broadcast of the event.
• For the online version of the Budweiser Racing media guide, please visit http://www.budracingmedia.com.
• 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 on racing at Chicagoland and the start of the Chase:
Chicagoland Speedway holds the first race of the Chase this weekend and it’s a place where you’ve won just about every way you can win. You’ve won after spinning out in the middle of the race and you won the first race there. How do you feel about the track now? “We struggled a little bit there last year, but we feel like we’ve done some things to hopefully head in the right direction. It’s a very fast race track. It’s really round, so you carry a lot of momentum through the corners. Hopefully we’ve got a good plan and can get (the Chase) started off on the right foot.”
Talk about kicking off the Chase at a new venue this year with Chicagoland Speedway. “I’m excited. I love change. I think we should change it up every year. Chicago is a great city. There’s a lot going on Chicago this weekend as we go there to start the Chase and I’m looking forward to it.”
How does the win at Richmond help change your team’s momentum entering the Chase? “It definitely helps. We had a little bit of a rough summer and we got a little bit off of our game. I think a lot of that came from winning so many races early. We were able to try so many things and a lot of them, well most all of them, didn’t work. We went back to what we know over the last couple of weeks and we’ve had top-five cars and to get the win at Richmond gives us a lot of momentum going into the next 10 weeks.”
Did you learn anything last year from being in contention for the championship all the way through the last race that you’ll be able to use in the Chase this year? “I think any experience you have in situations like that never hurts. For us to have the whole team have that experience was important and it was for me as well. You’ve got to understand that there are going to be some bumps in the road and you’ve got to take what you can get out of those days and just not dig yourself a huge whole. You never know what’s going to happen and you’ve just got to take it one week at a time right now.”