Skip to content

Harvick: We can get “aggressive” on strategy after Phoenix

Mar 3, 2014, 12:55 PM EDT

Kevin Harvick AP

With Sunday’s win at Phoenix International Raceway effectively putting them into the Chase, we’ll perhaps see Kevin Harvick and his comrades on the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet push the envelope a bit more on race strategy in the remainder of the regular season.

Neither Harvick or his crew chief, Rodney Childers, believed the Phoenix triumph would change their overall game plan for next weekend’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

But Harvick did think it would give the team more opportunity to experiment as the season wears on.

“For [Childers], I think it allows him to stretch fuel windows and do a few things,” Harvick said after his first win for Stewart-Haas Racing. “For the guys in the shop, it allows them to really broaden their horizon on thought processes and things like that.

“You can really get aggressive on really everything.”

As for Childers, he was already looking ahead to the Vegas weekend, which begins in earnest on Thursday with a four-hour block of testing on the 1.5-mile oval.

“We feel like the cars we’re building right now are really good,” he said. “Thankfully, we have a little bit of a test session on Thursday to be able to see what we’ve got. If it’s not good, we’ve got time to work on it.

“We’ve got to keep making ourselves better. We made too many mistakes this weekend. Thankfully, we were able to overcome that. We’ve got probably a day of celebration in Vegas, but we’ve got a few other days where we need to concentrate on what we’re doing, making ourselves better, going out there and trying to win the race.”

There’s no doubt that NASCAR’s decision to make wins more important with the new points structure has rubbed off on the drivers.

Whereas Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano downplayed their Top-5 runs yesterday with essentially the same “winning is all that matters” line of thinking, Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. was able to not worry too much about potentially running out of fuel late (a prospect that was negated anyway by a rash of late-race cautions).

“Normally, you’re just biting your fingernails when [the crew chief] says, ‘We’re two laps short, we have to find two laps,'” said Earnhardt, who finished second to continue his strong start to 2014. “The yellows are coming out, you think you’re saving, but you don’t know how much.

“Today, if we ran out, we run out, no big deal. We can gamble with a better conscience.”

And now, Harvick and his team can do the same starting at Las Vegas, which has not been an especially successful place for him over the years.

His best finish there is a second-place effort in the 2010 race, which was his last Top-5 result at the track. However, he did collect a Top-10 (ninth) there last year with Richard Childress Racing.

Latest Posts
  1. Red Bull GRC: Rhys Millen wins Race 2 in L.A.; Ken Block takes championship lead

    Sep 21, 2014, 8:43 PM EDT

    GRCLogo

    Millen scores his second win of 2014, while YouTube icon Block takes an 18-point lead in the championship with two races left in the season.

  2. Schumacher (TF), C. Force (FC), Connolly (PS), Hines (PSM) are NHRA winners at Texas

    Sep 21, 2014, 7:51 PM EDT

    (Photo courtesy NHRA) (Photo courtesy NHRA)

    Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Courtney Force (Funny Car), Dave Connolly (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the winners in Sunday’s final rounds of the NHRA FallNationals in Ennis, Texas.

  3. Kyle Larson steady at New Hampshire in runner-up effort

    Sep 21, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Sylvania 300 - Practice Getty Images

    The talented rookie continues to duel with the Chasers at New Hampshire before finishing second to Joey Logano.

  4. Chase’s version of musical chairs: nine drivers to battle for five advancement spots at Dover

    Sep 21, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT

    Aric Almirola was much happier at Loudon, with a sixth-place finish Sunday. But he's still ranked last in the Chase chances with one race left to stave off elimination. (Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

    As the Chase for the Sprint Cup moves to Dover for next Sunday’s third race of the playoffs, nine drivers will be fighting elimination by vying for five advancement spots there.

  5. Keselowski overcomes adversity to still finish 7th, maintains Chase points lead

    Sep 21, 2014, 6:09 PM EDT

    (Photo: Will Schneekloth/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Brad Keselowski started from the pole, led the second-most number of laps in the race (78), overcame a late wreck and still almost won Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

  6. Harvick comes up short of Chase win, but continues run of great consistency

    Sep 21, 2014, 5:49 PM EDT

    (Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Prior to last week’s opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Kevin Harvick said it would take wins and uncanny consistency to advance to the final four, winner-take-all battle in the season-ending race at Homestead.

  7. Joey Logano avoids “yellow fever,” wins at N.H. to advance in Chase

    Sep 21, 2014, 5:36 PM EDT

    GoBowling.com 400 - Practice Getty Images

    The Connecticut native joins Penske teammate Brad Keselowski in the Contender Round with his victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

  8. Another Chaser finds trouble in N.H., and this time, it’s Matt Kenseth

    Sep 21, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT

    Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Kenseth was running in the Top 10, when Paul Menard washed up into him and sent him spinning into the wall with 31 laps to go at New Hampshire.

  9. Kurt Busch wrecks, yet another Chase driver to suffer problems at New Hampshire

    Sep 21, 2014, 4:38 PM EDT

    (Photo: Will Schneekloth/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Kurt Busch had a tire rub on his Haas Automation Chevrolet when the right front tire appeared to blow on Lap 222 of the 300-lap Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, sending him hard into the wall and suffering right front end damage.

  10. Wreck involves several Chase drivers; Keselowski spins, suffers minor damage

    Sep 21, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    (Photo: Will Schneekloth/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Several drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup suffered damage to their respective race cars in a wreck that involved Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman with just over 100 laps to go in Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

  11. UPDATE: Denny Hamlin’s bad day at New Hampshire gets worse with Lap 180 crash

    Sep 21, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    (Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images) Getty Images

    4 p.m. ET – Already several laps down, Hamlin was caught in a multi-car crash that also involved Martin Truex Jr., David Ragan, and Cole Whitt.

  12. Kevin Harvick is halfway leader at Loudon, Denny Hamlin suffers strange mishap

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT

    (Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Kevin Harvick is the halfway leader of Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Joey Logano is running second, followed by Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers and Jamie McMurray.

  13. Safety car period costs Alonso possible podium finish

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Spanish driver still pleased with the race weekend in Singapore, feeling that Ferrari has made a step forwards.

  14. Wisconsin driver killed in wreck, 3rd short track fatality in less than 2 months

    Sep 21, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT

    (Image courtesy Beaver Dam Raceway) (Image courtesy Beaver Dam Raceway)

    Less than a week after a track flagman was killed at a Florida short track, a Wisconsin sprint car driver was killed following a wreck on Saturday night.

  15. Tire degradation costs Bottas five places on final two laps

    Sep 21, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Qualifying Getty Images

    Bottas finishes outside of the points for the first time in 2014, with his only other non-score the result of a DNF at Monaco.

  16. Extreme physical demands of Singapore take their toll on drivers

    Sep 21, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Kvyat and Magnussen both go without water for much of the race, leaving them dehydrated following the race.

  17. Rosberg reflects on a tough day in Singapore (VIDEO)

    Sep 21, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore Getty Images

    German driver lost the lead of the drivers’ championship for the first time in four months.

  18. Reports: 2015 Sprint Cup rules package expected to be released on Tuesday

    Sep 21, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

    Kyle Busch AP

    Less downforce? More horsepower? Or something else entirely? It sounds like we won’t have to wait much longer on what the 2015 Sprint Cup rules package will bring.

  19. Ricciardo: I expected to be faster today

    Sep 21, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore Getty Images

    Australian driver enjoys a great deal of home support in Singapore, but feels that Red Bull should have been closer to Mercedes.

  20. Hamilton: Mercedes’ reliability problems a concern (VIDEO)

    Sep 21, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore Getty Images

    Singapore GP winner admits that he had worries about the reliability of his car following Nico Rosberg’s retirement.

Video from NASCAR America

Which longshot will advance in Chase?
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. B. Keselowski (2079)
  2. J. Gordon (1507)
  3. K. Harvick (1451)
  4. M. Crafton (1230)
  5. K. Busch (1189)