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Jun 29, 2011 - 08:55 PM
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2011 Daytona II (Coke Zero 400): Kevin Harvick NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jun 29, 2011 - 08:53 PM
2011 Daytona II (Coke Zero 400): Kevin Harvick NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

This Week's Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will race chassis No. 343 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Harvick has competed in this car twice so far in 2011: he led five laps before finishing 42nd when the car's engine expired at Daytona in February and scored a fifth-place finish at Talladega in April.


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Stars and Stripes ... Budweiser and Harvick will celebrate Fourth of July this weekend with a special patriotic paint scheme selected by adult NASCAR fans. The paint scheme - white with red and blue stars and stripes - won the online vote hosted on Budweiser's Facebook page by less than 700 votes after five weeks of voting.

Folds of Honor ... Harvick's No. 29 Chevrolet will also feature Folds of Honor, an organization that provides post-secondary educational scholarships for families of U.S. military personnel killed or disabled while serving their country, on the TV panel for Saturday night's race at Daytona. In addition to the special paint scheme, Budweiser has featured a limited-edition red, white and blue Patriotic Can from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July and will donate a portion of all sales, May 26 - July 10, to Folds of Honor. In total, Budweiser is raising up to $2 million to support Folds of Honor this summer*, which is expected to fund more than 400 scholarships. (*Maximum donation of $2,000,000 includes $100 for every home run hit in select professional baseball games, 5c/case of Budweiser sold 5/26-7/10, and $46,500 for Dave Winfield's 465 career home runs)

Milestone 375 ... Harvick will make his 375th start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. In the midst of his 11th season in the series, Harvick has amassed 17 wins, 83 top fives and 164 top-10 finishes, and has led a total of 3,612 laps thus far in his career.

Harvick at Daytona... In 20 starts at Daytona International Speedway, Harvick has racked up one pole award, two wins, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes. He's led a total of 162 laps and has an average starting position of 15.4 and an average finishing position of 15.8. Harvick has also completed 92.7 percent (3,237 of 3,493) of the laps run at Daytona since he joined the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit in 2001.

Last Time Around ... In last year's Coke Zero 400, Harvick and the No. 29 RCR team started first and led eight times throughout the race for a total of 28 laps. He passed teammate Clint Bowyer on the final restart and beat the competition to the checkered flag by a 0.092-second margin to score his second Sprint Cup Series points race win at the 2.5-mile track.

In the Loop ... Harvick holds a number of loop data statistics at Daytona: second in fastest laps run (63), fifth in closers, seventh in green-flag passes (2,477), eighth in green-flag speed and eighth in laps led (84).

Meet the Press ... Harvick will be available to members of the media in the Daytona International Speedway infield media center at 2:05 p.m. on Thursday, June 30.

How do you have to approach Daytona with the two-car drafting? "I think as a team we have a set strategy that we're going to go into that race with this week and see how it works. Whether that's right or wrong, I don't know. We've talked about it for a couple weeks now and have a good plan."

Do you like the racing at Daytona now? "The racing would be the same way that it is now if the race tracks - the worst thing in the world that happens to this sport is repaving race tracks. That is the absolute worst thing you can do to make the racing bad is to pave a race track. You look at some of the race tracks that have been paved for five or six years now and I don't know if it's the type of asphalt or whatever they're doing, but the racing isn't the same that it was and the race tracks just don't get bad. Basically, if Daytona and Talladega would have been paved like they are now, however many years ago and everybody would have figured out how to do - that car would have done what we do now, it's just that there's enough grip on the race track with the way that the asphalt is to allow you to do that. There's really no way to fix it as far as I'm concerned. Unless you just say, go back to the no bump drafting in the corners. That's the only way you can really fix it until the grip goes away. Paving the race tracks are a killer for the racing."

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