Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest
• Following an eventful Daytona 500 that ended early Tuesday morning, Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet team will have a quick turnaround before travelling out to Avondale, Ariz., for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR).
• Media availability… Harvick will be available to members of the media in the PIR infield media center at 10:15 a.m. MST on Friday.
• Happy Anniversary… Harvick and his wife DeLana will celebrate their 11th wedding anniversary this week before traveling to Phoenix for Sunday’s race. The couple was married at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas on Feb. 28, 2001, just three days after Harvick’s first career NSCS start in the No. 29 Chevrolet.
• Baby Blogging… As the happy couple anticipates the arrival of their baby boy in July, DeLana is documenting her first pregnancy in a weekly baby blog posted on Kevin’s Website: www.kevinharvick.com.
• Boy or Girl… In addition to “Baby Harvick,” the No. 29 team is expecting another arrival in July. Team engineer Steve Hoegler and his wife Lauren are expecting their first child as well. Lauren’s due date is July 26, just three days after DeLana’s. The Hoeglers were scheduled to find out the sex of their baby on Monday, but the Daytona 500 rain delay forced them to miss the appointment as Lauren also travels the NASCAR circuit as a coordinating producer for Sprint Vision. The couple will have to wait until next Tuesday to find out if they’re having a boy or a girl.
• Chassis Info… The No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team will utilize chassis No. 365 from the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) stable for the Daytona 500. The No. 33 team raced this car three times during the 2011 season and earned a 10th-place finish at Phoenix in November.
• Statistically Speaking… Harvick has 18 prior NSCS starts at PIR. During that span, the Bakersfield, Calif., native has earned two wins, four top-fives and eight top-10 finishes at the one-mile track. He’s led a total of 317 laps there and has an average starting position of 19.7 and an average finish of 14.1. Harvick has completed 99.6 percent of the laps (5,665 of 5,686) run in NSCS competition at PIR since 2001.
• Loop Data… Harvick holds several impressive Loop Data statistics at PIR, including: fourth in fastest drivers early in the run; sixth in laps led (317); sixth in average running position (12.09); seventh in laps in the top-15 (3,157); seventh in green-flag passes (565); ninth in fastest on restarts; ninth in fastest laps run (167); and ninth in driver rating (94.8).
• Last Year… In last year’s spring race at Phoenix, Harvick drove the No. 29 Chevrolet to a fourth-place finish after starting 17th.
• Double Duty… In addition to driving the No. 29 Chevrolet on Sunday, Harvick will pilot the No. 33 Chevrolet for RCR in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition on Saturday afternoon. ESPN2 will provide live television coverage of the race starting at 4:30 p.m. EST. The radio broadcast will be carried by Sirius XM NASCAR Radio and MRN Radio affiliates.
• 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. Fans can also interact with Harvick on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OfficialKevinHarvick.
Kevin Harvick discusses racing at Phoenix:
The track went through a re-pave last year. Did it surprise you that, unlike other tracks, the new surface was racy? “The new surface was definitely racy. They did a great job prepping for the race. With the shorter tracks, the grip is greater but it’s a different environment than what you experience on the mile-and-a-half tracks. It was a great race. They spent a lot time laying the track out, taking their strength and weaknesses and thinking about the fans as to what they can see from their seats. It all played out really well and I hope to have another good race this weekend.”
Now that you had a chance to compete on the new surface, how is it different from the old configuration? “The entrance into Turn 1 reminded me of the old configuration. The center and the exit were a lot different just because of the banking. The back straightaway was the biggest difference just for the fact that it had a lot of banking and a pretty sharp turn going into Turn 3. As the weekend went on, I think everybody got braver with using the apron but Turns 3 and 4 reminded me of the old race track the most.”
What will you expect Sunday based on the last race at Phoenix International Raceway? “The first couple of laps were a little hairy getting through the dogleg because there was stuff on the tires and everybody was loose going through there. So, if everyone gives a little extra room, getting through there won’t be that bad. It does beat the cars up pretty bad and knocks the splitter up and bends the side skirts. As a driver, you don’t really see that stuff until after the race so we’ll need to take care of the car and race smart so we can be up front at the end.”