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2013 Daytona 500: Kevin Harvick NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Feb 20, 2013 - 06:38 AM
2013 Daytona 500: Kevin Harvick NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest

Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS team return to Daytona International Speedway (DIS) this week for the second half of Budweiser Speedweeks, which concludes with Sunday’s 55th running of “The Great American Race” – the Daytona 500.


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Hitching a Ride… On Wednesday, Harvick and wife DeLana will honor Ormond Beach, Fla., Marine veterans with a home delivery of Daytona 500 tickets via the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch. Jayson and Justin Ryter, 22-year-old twin brothers, both completed four years of active duty in the United States Marine Corps and recently returned home after being honorably discharged to pursue college degrees at Daytona State College.

Draught-ing School… While on-track at DIS, drivers focus on drafting, but on Wednesday night Harvick will learn about draught beer as he and Budweiser’s own Scott Seggi host a private Budweiser Draught School event in Daytona Beach, Fla., for local retailers.

Budweiser Clydesdales… DIS fans can get a close look at the Budweiser Clydesdales, an enduring symbol of Anheuser-Busch’s heritage, tradition and commitment to quality for nearly 80 years. The Budweiser Clydesdales will be stationed in the DIS midway for the remainder of Budweiser Speedweeks. In addition, the hitch, consisting of eight Clydesdales, the famous red, white and gold beer wagon, and two drivers seated next to the hitch’s signature mascot Dalmation will take part in a pre-race parade lap prior to the Budweiser Duel on Thursday and the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

Dueling for a Spot… Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team posted the 25th-fastest lap in the Daytona 500 qualifying session on Sunday, earning the team a 13th-place starting spot in the first Budweiser Duel race on Thursday. The twin 150-mile races will set the field for Sunday’s Daytona 500. SPEED will provide live television coverage of the qualifying races starting at 2 p.m. EST.

Chassis Info… The No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team will utilize chassis No. 407 from the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) stable for the Daytona 500. It is a brand new race car that will see its first racing action in Thursday's Budweiser Duel.

Daytona Stats… Harvick has 23 starts at DIS, including 11 in the Daytona 500. In that time, he’s scored two wins - the 2007 Daytona 500 and the 2010 Coke Zero 400 - and has accumulated five top fives and 10 top-10 finishes at the superspeedway. Harvick has led 178 laps at DIS and holds an average starting position of 15.8 and an average finish of 15.4. He has completed 94 percent of the laps run in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition at DIS since July 2001 (3,768 of 4,025).

Loop Data... Harvick holds several impressive Loop Data statistics at DIS, including: first in fastest laps run (80 laps); third in green flag speed (188.195 mph); eighth in green-flag passes (3,056); ninth in driver rating (84.7); and 10th in laps led (100).
Harvick on the Daytona 500
You've won this race before. Is there a point during Speedweeks where you knew that you had enough to win this race?
“The great thing about these races is you can have the fastest car and not even come close to winning. You can have the slowest car and win the race. We just feel like anytime we come here or Talladega (Superspeedway) that you can put yourself in a position to have a chance to win.”

Does winning the Sprint Unlimited give you any confidence for the Daytona 500?
“Well, for us we came down here with the intention of having a pretty big handling race and I think some of the speed in our car is not there because of the weather. I think as the week heats up hopefully that will kind of come to us a little bit more from a handling aspect. I still don’t think you are going to get the full effect of how the draft is going to work until you get all those cars out there. Just like Saturday night, the side draft is so effective to slow those cars down. When they don’t have a line of cars behind them you can just stop them. It’s going to be much different when you get all the cars out there.”

How do you prepare for the unknowns at Daytona International Speedway?
“You have to be ready for anything. I think as we go through the week, Speedweeks is always a little bit different from any other race because the week kind of evolves from start to finish. I’ve been through weeks where you wreck everything in sight and I’ve been through weeks where you’ve won races and been successful. You just have to stay calm and not get too high on the highs or too low on the lows, and be ready for Sunday.”

How much will you rely on drafting during the Daytona 500?
“It all depends on what time of the race it is. As you get to the end you’re going to probably have to throw it all out there and hope for a little bit of help at least down the straightaways. Sometimes we tend to wreck more on the straightaways than we do in the corners anyway, so it’s a tough balance.”

What have you learned about restrictor plate racing that you can utilize to get yourself in the right position?
“I think the biggest thing is you have to try to be around at the end. We’ve been successful in strategies as we’ve gone through the years running around in the back, but I think that the safest place to be, especially right now, is running around up front to be able to understand the cars. You wind up with a little more experience on when to make the move, so we’re going to race hard and see where we fall in the end, and hopefully we miss the wrecks.”

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