Saturday, Dec 09

Ford Performance NASCAR: Phoenix 1 (Kevin Harvick Media Availability)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang met with media members at Phoenix Raceway Saturday morning.


KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang -- DO YOU BELIEVE THE APRON WILL BE DIFFICULT TO LEARN HOW TO APPROACH THAT WITH THIS NEXT GEN CAR? “I am not really sure. I think a lot of things have been less difficult than a lot of us had anticipated. I think our goal is to let somebody else try it first and see if their diffuser falls apart.”




DO YOU ANTICIPATE A STEEPER LEARNING CURVE? PEOPLE HAVE TALKED ABOUT NUMBNESS WITH LEGS: “I have not experienced any of that. I think we will use less brake.”


YOU HAVE BEEN THE MASTER OF PHOENIX FOR A LONG TIME. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE KEY TO GETTING YOUR MAGIC BACK WITH THIS NEXT GEN CAR? “Well, we are done with the Next Gen. This is just ‘the car’ now. It isn’t ‘next’ anymore. We are here racing the car now. I don't think it has been any different over the last several years. We have been in the mix. You win some and lose some. You just keep doing the same thing.”


HOW DID THE CAR DRIVE AERO WISE AT LAS VEGAS COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS GENERATION CAR? “There is really no comparison but the cars drove pretty well at Las Vegas. I think everybody having a week under their belts at California with extreme situations as far as travel and all the things that we were able to experience. Everybody got to go home and put their heads together and the cars raced pretty well at Las Vegas. I think as you look at that, that has been a pleasant surprise for everybody. With the way that the tires wore out and the things that happen during a run it allowed you to move around the race track and there was fall-off and comers and goers and I think that is the real key. When you have one of the tires that goes down to the cords and wears out and some guys could make it last longer and do different things, that is really what you want. I thought Vegas was very reasonable to drive and I think everybody had a good time racing the cars.”


WHAT WILL ATLANTA LOOK LIKE DO YOU THINK? “I have no idea. I don't even want to get in the middle of making a comment about that place.”


YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO SCORE 18 CONSECUTIVE TOP-10 FINISHES THIS WEEKEND WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? “I don't even really think about it. It wouldn’t really mean anything.”


HOW MUCH DOES ALL YOUR SUCCESS AND FINESSE AT THIS TRACK OVER THE YEARS STILL APPLY WITH THIS NEW CAR? “I think a lot of the things that were finesse kind of went away when they put the resin and the PJ1 up there so that anybody could do that groove. I think that kind of took away some of the apron stuff. Our cars have run good in that too. You just have to keep chipping away at it and try to keep yourself in contention and that is really what it is all about. We are still learning. You guys want me to answer all these questions and we have never even raced here. It is impossible to answer the questions. We have a lot better answers for California and Vegas. I am not a speculator and not a stat guy. I don't look at that stuff. It is what we did last week and what we did the week before. Those are the building blocks that you have going forward. What you have done here in the past is really irrelevant just because of the fact that it is a different car and a different style of racing. There are so many different things. I know you guys all want to write a story but there is  no story to write yet because there are no facts.”


SO YOU REALLY DON'T KNOW IF THE MAGIC YOU HAD HERE STILL APPLIES UNTIL YOU GET OUT THERE? “You don't even know how it is going to race. You have to race. The only way to learn what you need to do is to race. You don't even know what you are actually trying to figure out until you go out and race. We have really two weeks of what the car does and what you need to think about and the things you are fighting. You don't really know until you go out and do it. It is a guess.”


WHERE IS YOUR PERSONAL COMFORT LEVEL AT WTH THIS CAR AND HOW HAS IT IMPROVED OVER THE LAST THREE WEEKS? “I think racing has definitely helped that with just understanding what you are looking for and what you are fighting. I think we are all a lot more confident. We actually got our car through tech this week and that was a good hurdle this week. There are a lot of things that are different and you are trying to do them from opposite ends of the country and a short amount of time from my standpoint with practice and trying to figure all that out. We probably had a sixth or 10th place car last week and had a decent car at California, we just kept having little things go wrong and just continue to chip away at it and see where it falls.”


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