KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 29 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Darlington Raceway and discussed last year’s on-track incident with Kyle Busch, the Sprint All-Star race, Mother’s Day and other topics. Full Transcript:
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON BEING DUBBED ‘THE HITMAN’ IN THE BILLBOARDS AROUND THE TRACK?
“Things are what they are. We have tried to move past them and concentrate on what we have to concentrate on. The race track has to do what they have to do to sell tickets. It’s not like it didn’t happen. You can’t really hide from that. It’s okay.”
DO TENSIONS RIDE HIGH HERE? YOU GET SO CLOSE TO THE WALL AND EVERYTHING ELSE. AT THE END OF THE RACE DO TENSIONS RIDE HIGH AND IS THAT WHY THINGS LIKE THAT HAPPEN HERE?
“It’s no different than anywhere else. Tensions are high whether you are close to the wall or not. It’s a long day whether you race 400 miles or 500 miles it’s a long day. Everybody just wants to have a good day and do the things that it takes to get a good finish. Sometimes when it doesn’t go your way, you get frustrated.”
HAVE YOU AND KYLE (BUSCH) EVER TALKED ABOUT LAST YEAR’S RACE?
“I don’t talk about Kyle (Busch) or to Kyle.”
THE PIT CREW CHALLENGE IS COMING UP WHAT WOULD IT MEAN FOR YOUR GUYS TO WIN THAT THING? HAVE THEY BEEN PRACTICING EXTRA TO GET READY FOR IT?
“Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of the pit crew challenge to tell you the truth. Every year it seems like somebody on one of our teams ends up hurt. The guys really enjoy it. They love the fact that they get to train for it and shine for it. It kind of highlights each position. For them they seem to really like it and get into it. It’s fun to see those guys get the exposure and things that come along with it. To watch them try to be the best at each position is fun to see them reach that extra level. It just scares me a little bit just for the fact that we spend a lot of time trying to get our pit crews right, every once in a while one of them has an injury. Hopefully, we can get through there clean this year.”
WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE PAST WITH YOUR GUYS?
“Everything from knees to hamstrings to ankles, you name it. Things have happened for sure.”
IS IT A RELIEF TAKING A BREAK FROM POINTS RACING TO COMPETE IN THE ALL-STAR RACE?
“It is. Our All-Star race is a lot different than other sports. With our All-Star race they put a million dollars in front of you. Anytime they put that much money in front of anybody it’s going to cause things to rise to another level. Take the points away from that and you really have some unique scenarios that have come up over the past several years in the All-Star races. It’s always fun you know there is really nothing on the line but to win. If you do that then usually there is a big check waiting for you at the end of that. It gives you some bragging rights and a lot of money.”
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE ABOUT GETTING AROUND CHARLOTTE?
“Charlotte is just one of those places that you have to have everything going well. Especially the All-Star event it seems like everybody brings their latest and greatest stuff to see if it will make it through the inspection line and not blow up. That means you have to have your best stuff there and you have to put a night together with all the short segments this year and the bonuses for trying to win the segments you’ve got to try to make something happen. It’s just a unique race.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE FORMAT (OF THE ALL-STAR RACE)? WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE AT THE END?
“Well, you want to win one of the segments to try to have the track position. If you can do that it will take some pressure off that last pit stop. If you don’t win one of those segments the best you’re going to do is fifth, or whatever it is, I think it’s fifth, going into the last segment. It’s a unique format. I think you could spin it 100 different ways and it would still be the All-Star race.”
WE HAVEN’T SEEN MANY DUSTUPS’ THIS YEAR IS THAT BECAUSE YOU GUYS ARE BEING OVERLY CAUTIOUS SO YOU DON’T INCUR THE WRATH OF NASCAR OR SO YOU DON’T UPSET YOUR SPONSORS?
“This isn’t boxing (laughs). This is racing. Sometimes you get frustrated and you have things happen and you have those dustups. It’s not something that is going to happen every week like everybody wants it to happen. There is just no way you can make things happen like that. It’s just unique events happen at unique times; it’s just not going to happen every week though. Nobody’s getting any pressure from NASCAR or sponsors or anything about it. It’s just not going to happen like everybody thinks it should.”
BEING MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND WHAT KIND OF KID WERE YOU GROWING UP? DID YOU GIVE YOUR MOM A LOT OF GRIEF?
“Oh I still give my mom a lot of grief (laughs).”
WHAT KIND OF TROUBLE DID YOU GET INTO AS A KID? DID YOU GET INTO AN AWFUL LOT?
“Yeah, she (Mom) was mad a lot (laughs). I didn’t get into a lot of trouble. Not that I would call a lot of trouble. She might envision it as being a little bit different than what I would envision it as. I spent a lot of time with my mom growing up. I left the house relatively early. I still talk to my mom every week. You always think your mom is a little bit goofy, like when they ask a lot of questions. My mom still lives on the West Coast so she asks a lot of questions that I think are just common knowledge. It’s fun to see where the conversations are going to go.”
WAS YOUR MOM HAPPY TO SEE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE?
“I don’t think so. I think my mom, she’s one of those people I think she would rather see me live there my whole life. I was happy to go and start doing my own thing.”