Kevin Harvick and No. 29 Budweiser is Back Team Martinsville Advance

K[media-credit name=”” align=”alignright” width=”272″][/media-credit]evin Harvick discusses Martinsville Speedway:

Talk about coming to Martinsville Speedway this spring as the defending race winner. “It feels good. Obviously we’ve been fast at Martinsville a lot and to be able to put together a complete day like we did last time at the end of the race we were able to capitalize on a fast car and win the race. We had a lot of things to overcome on that particular day and were able to pull out a win.”

You’ve won in Truck, Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series competition at Martinsville Speedway. What is it about Martinsville that suits your driving style? “I just like the short tracks. I grew up, as a lot of us did, racing short tracks and Martinsville has always been a place I’ve enjoyed racing at.”

American Muscle

Martinsville Speedway is a track that’s kept a foothold in our sport while NASCAR has expanded out across the country. Talk about why a track like Martinsville is important to our sport. “I think you can look back at the history of Martinsville and watch a lot of races and see a lot of things that have happened there. To be able to still race on that particular track today in virtually the same setting is cool for the sport and cool for the competitors to be able to do that year after year.”

Looking to Martinsville, you have three straight top-four finishes at the track, including winning your first grandfather clock there last spring. Are you excited to get the monkey off your back of having good runs derailed by wrecks or mechanic failure and having solid runs and being able to finish? “For us it was good to get the win out of our way and getting those solid finishes over the last couple of years has been good for us. We felt like we have always run fairly well there, we just never could put together a complete day. Really, the spring race last year, when we won, we had a tough go at it in the first half of the race, and actually wrecked and got a car tore up and were able to fix it and keep ourselves on the lead lap and make our car a lot better as we went through into the second half of the race. You know, it all worked out in the end. So it’s a race track we feel confident at. All of our cars have run well there in the past. It’s really keeping yourself out of trouble and getting to the end and hopefully by the end of the day you’re in position to do something in the top-five.”

How substantial is it to have your cars run extremely well in terms of sharing data and making sure you have the right brake package and right setups to make sure you can perform well on long runs when we get those 90-lap runs at Martinsville that happen late race? “There are directions for the company that obviously work better for us than others. It tends to change every time you go there to be honest with you, just for the fact the tire might change a little. I haven’t heard anything that it’s supposed to change this time. But I think as you go to these racetracks and you see the different trends, all of us kind of drive a little bit different, so you wind up with differences in your car but most of the time they are down a very similar path. It’s just fine tuning those cars and being able to get it the driver’s liking, but any time you can go to a race track…Martinsville is a great example, of company-wide, we seem to run very well at (that race track) and that always makes things a lot easier for the simulation engineers and the planning from each team’s perspective.”

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