No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet
Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway
Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest
• With just two races remaining in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet remains third in the NSCS driver point standings entering Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). He is currently 33 markers back from point leader Carl Edwards. Harvick has scored two top-five and five top-10 finishes in the first 8 Chase races, and his average finish so far in the Chase is 10.63.
• Harvick will be available to members of the media in the PIR infield media center at 10:45 a.m. on Friday.
• The No. 29 Budweiser team will race chassis No. 353 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) stable. The No. 29 team has utilized this car three times so far in the 2011 season to earn one win (Charlotte Motor Speedway 5/29) and finishes of seventh and 10th at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Dover International Raceway (10/2), respectively.
• For the second time this season the No. 29 Chevrolet will honor the Budweiser “Bowtie” can refresh with a special paint scheme this weekend at PIR. Introduced in August, 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. Harvick’s No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet also sported this paint scheme at Chicagoland Speedway in September.
• In 17 starts at PIR, Harvick has earned two wins (both in 2006), four top-five and eight top-10 finishes. He’s led 317 laps around the one-mile track and has completed 99.6 percent (5,353 of 5,374) of the laps run at PIR in NSCS competition since 2001. Harvick’s average starting position at PIR is 19.2 and he holds a 13.8 average finish.
• Last November, the No. 29 team started 29th at PIR and Harvick raced his way up to a sixth-place finish. In February, Harvick started 17th, led one lap and scored a fourth-place finish at the one-mile track.
• Harvick holds several impressive Loop Data statistics at PIR, including: fourth in drivers fastest early in a run; fifth in laps led (317); sixth in fastest on restarts; sixth in laps run in the top 15 (2,981); seventh in average running position (11.7); eighth in green-flag speed; ninth in driver rating (95.9); 10th in fastest laps run (154); 10th in green-flag passes (506); and 10th in quality passes (281).
• On Wednesday, Harvick will host the Kevin Harvick Foundation’s Second Annual Happy’s Classic golf tournament at The Links at RiverLakes Ranch Golf Club in Bakersfield, Calif. The event will help raise funds to benefit and further the foundation’s mission. Additionally, the winner of The Kevin Harvick Collegiate Scholarship will be announced at the tournament.
• Following Wednesday’s golf tournament, Harvick will participate in Happy’s Hour presented by Advanced Distribution and Blackhole Technologies at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. The event will feature an autograph session with Harvick, a number of auction items and the comedy of stand-up comedian Craig Shoemaker. Tickets for the event are available at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace Box Office, www.Vallitix.com or by phone at (661) 328-7560.
• 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 on the re-confingured Phoenix International Raceway:
What do you expect to see this weekend at Phoenix on the re-configured track? “If the second groove doesn’t come in it’s going to be a track position game and probably somewhat physical because it’s going to be hard to pass. If the second groove comes in, it’s going to be a very entertaining race because there’s going to be a lot of room to race and the track is fun to drive. I think it has the potential to be an awesome race and it has the potential to be a disaster, but either way, we’re going there to race.
“As the test went on out there, the cars seemed to move up a little bit higher and they gained a little bit of speed. If the groove keeps moving up, I predict the cars will probably move up and hopefully that’ll help the racing.”
A lot of folks considered Martinsville a wildcard. This year do you think Phoenix would have to be considered the same with the repave? “I think there are a lot of unknowns with the repave and things that have the potential to happen. I look at Phoenix a lot like Martinsville. The Roush cars didn’t run very well there and we have to run well there. So we’re looking forward to it.”
You tested in Phoenix a couple weeks ago. What are your impressions on the track and is there any other track out there that you guys can compare it to? “I don’t think right now. It’s definitely unique. (Turns) 3 and 4 is definitely not like it was but it is similar to what it was with the new asphalt as far as the radius of the corner. The exit of Turn 2 is a lot different and the back straightaway is definitely different. They did a good job by designing the track so the fans can see the cars and I think if the second groove comes in it will be a really good race. That’s really the only concern I’ve heard from anybody and the only concern that we have is the whether the second groove comes in and if it does its going to be a good race.”
You say you hope that second groove comes in. What type of racing do you think we are going to see before that second groove comes in? “If the second groove doesn’t come in it will be a track position game with a lot of wrecks.”