Skip to content

Harvick: Rookies struggle now because Nationwide, Trucks are “too slow”

Oct 10, 2013, 7:15 PM EDT

Sylvania 300 - Practice Getty Images

Rookies haven’t had a particularly easy time of breaking into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in recent years. However, series debutantes are in the spotlight for this weekend’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as three drivers will be making their Cup debuts.

Chip Ganassi’s top prodigy Kyle Larson and Richard Childress Racing development driver Brian Scott have been previously announced as entrants for Charlotte this Saturday night. Blake Koch is a late add to those two, in the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Ford.

Kevin Harvick, who won in only his third ever Sprint Cup start (Atlanta, 2001, in a memorable photo finish over Jeff Gordon), said it’s harder for younger drivers to come in because the cars in the Nationwide Series and trucks in the Camping World Truck Series simply don’t measure up to Cup cars.

“There’s not as good of a training ground as there used to be,” Harvick said Thursday at Charlotte. “The Nationwide cars and Trucks are so slow. The Cup car and the driving style is so drastically different, so it makes the experience of Cup drivers more valuable. When I started, the cars were more similar. We raced on same tire pretty much every week and cars were faster. It would be good for our sport for the guys coming in – Larson I hope will be successful – and do what he needs to do. The chances aren’t there as much to take chances on the younger guys. The training ground not as good as it used to be.”

Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson added the comparative lack of testing is also an issue.

“For me it’s more the limited testing,” he said. “I got 24 test days to sort stuff out. We didn’t race at Martinsville yet, or Pocono, so we could test there and get me up to speed.”

Johnson’s first full season was in 2002; this weekend marks 12 years since his Cup debut in the fall race at Charlotte in 2001. Johnson’s team could test at Martinsville and Pocono because the No. 48 team was not yet a full-time entrant. When teams reach that full-time status, they can only test at tracks that do not hold Sprint Cup races, as Martinsville and Pocono do.

Latest Posts
  1. Red Bull GRC: Rhys Millen, Hyundai score Daytona win

    Aug 23, 2014, 3:50 PM EDT

    GRCLogo

    Millen becomes the fifth different winner of the GRC season in his Hyundai Veloster, beating out Ken Block and Bucky Lasek for the victory at Daytona International Speedway.

  2. Belgian GP Paddock Notebook – Saturday

    Aug 23, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    All of the latest news, reports and analysis from the Belgian Grand Prix paddock at Spa-Francorchamps.

  3. WATCH LIVE: Lucas Oil Pro Motocross ends seasons in Utah at 3 p.m. ET

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT

    Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice

    Click here to watch live coverage of the final round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on NBC Sports Live Extra today at 3 p.m. ET.

  4. IndyCar: Ryan Hunter-Reay fastest in first Sonoma practice

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:03 PM EDT

    Iowa Corn Indy 300 - Day 1 Getty Images

    RHR leads the way with a 1 minute, 17.7150 lap around the Sonoma Raceway road course in first practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

  5. WATCH LIVE: Red Bull Global Rallycross Daytona at 2:30 p.m. ET

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    GRCLogo

    CLICK HERE for stream links to Round 6 of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross championship from Daytona International Speedway.

  6. Ecclestone: No concerns about taking F1 to Russia in six weeks’ time

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Germany Getty Images

    F1 supremo confirms that he has no problems with taking F1 to Russia in October.

  7. Roczen, Dungey will settle championship fight at Motocross season finale today

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

    Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice

    The 450 Class championship battle between Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen has come down to the final race of the season. Who will leave Utah with a title in hand?

  8. Alonso matches best 2014 qualifying result at Spa

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Ferando Alonso AP

    Fourth place a welcome surprise for Fernando Alonso and Ferrari.

  9. WATCH LIVE: Utah National qualifying and pre-show at 1 p.m. ET; Tomac, Martin currently top the charts

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:40 PM EDT

    Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice Photo credit: ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice

    The final round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship has arrived. Watch the second qualifying session at 1 p.m. ET and the pre-show at 2:15 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra.

  10. Bianchi impresses once again to make Q2 for Marussia

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    Jules Bianchi AP

    For the second year in a row, Bianchi managed to upset some of the bigger names during qualifying at Spa.

  11. McLaren not planning to leave driver decision until off-season

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Practice Getty Images

    Racing director Eric Boullier says that a decision will be made before the season is out.

  12. Report: Darlington returning to Labor Day weekend on 2015 NASCAR schedule

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT

    Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson AP

    The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series had raced at the track “Too Tough To Tame” on Labor Day weekend from 1950-2003.

  13. Mistakes from Hulkenberg result in Q1 elimination

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    P18 on the grid goes down as the Hulk’s second-worst qualifying result in F1.

  14. Vettel: Third the best Red Bull could achieve today

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    Defending world champion qualifies a distant third behind the two Mercedes cars on Saturday at Spa.

  15. Brake problem hinders Hamilton in Q3, but he is pleased with P2

    Aug 23, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    2008 world champion secures his first top five qualifying result since the Canadian Grand Prix back in June.

  16. Rosberg delighted with “awesome” pole position at Spa

    Aug 23, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Qualifying Getty Images

    Mercedes locks out the front row of the grid for the first time since the Canadian Grand Prix back in June, with Rosberg claiming pole at one of the sport’s most famous circuits.

  17. Hamilton: Beating Rosberg when he’s at his best “more painful”

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Lewis wants to beat Rosberg when the German is at the peak of his powers, as the two drivers fight for this year’s F1 world title.

  18. Rosberg tames wet conditions to claim Belgian GP pole

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT

    Belgium F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    German driver takes pole at a damp Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday afternoon.

  19. Alonso accepts Ice Bucket Challenge, nominates Montezemolo and Briatore (VIDEO)

    Aug 23, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    Monaco F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    The Ferrari driver took the plunge after being nominated by Felipe Massa and soccer player Juan Manuel Mata.

  20. WATCH LIVE: Belgian GP qualifying – can anyone stop Mercedes?

    Aug 23, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT

    Nico Rosberg AP

    You can watch qualifying from Spa-Francorchamps live on CNBC and Live Extra from 8am ET.

Video from NASCAR America

Why Bristol is such a unique track
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1644)
  2. K. Harvick (1344)
  3. I. Vences (1268)
  4. B. McReynolds (1106)
  5. K. Busch (1083)