2012 was not a typical year for Kevin Harvick: the Sprint Cup Series driver is winless so far with just five races remaining in the season, with just 11 top 10 finishes in 31 races. He sits 10th in points going into the Sunday, October 21st Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, a track where Harvick has six top 10 finishes in 13 races. In spite of being 56 points behind points leader Brad Keselowski, Harvick isn't about to change his race-to-race approach.
"I really think for 99% of the guys, the approach is going to be to go out and run as fast as you can," said Harvick in a recent NASCAR teleconference. "Our approach really doesn't change. We're going to bring the best car we have in the shop and we're going to put an effort into it the same every week to try to go out and win the race. If you can't win the race, you try to get the best finish you can…A lot of people talk about points, approaches, what you change, do different. We don't do anything different. We go to the racetrack every week and take the fastest car and try to win the race."
The Chase for the Sprint Cup meets up with something of a "wild card" track this weekend in Kansas - it was repaved following the spring event, but the series is getting some extra testing sessions at the track. "With the restarts being very important, as we lead into the race, really not knowing what to expect as you go into this first corner side-by-side for the first time how much grip is going to be there, if you remember back to the first Pocono race," said Harvick. "There's a lot of unknowns, a lot of things that could go wrong. I think track position is going to be very important. There's a lot on our agenda this week to try to make our own cars go better. I think when it comes race time, it's going to be about restarts and strategy."
Sitting in 10th-place is an unusual place for Harvick in the Chase - he finished third in each of the last two seasons. But the Richard Childress Racing driver believes there could still be a shake-up in points in the last five races - and it might very well come this weekend. "I think Kansas is much more of a wild card than Martinsville at this point," said Harvick. "I think, look, any race can be a wild card. You can have some crazy things happen that we've seen in the past, whether it's Martinsville or Kansas repave, going to Homestead, and Phoenix is still a relatively new racetrack. I really think every race is a wild card at this point, especially if you're in the championship race and need every point that you can get. You never know what's going to happen, when the caution is going to fly, blow a tire, whatever the case may be. Anything can happen."
Source: "Transcript: NASCAR Cam Teleconference with Kevin Harvick," NASCAR Media, October 16, 2012
Paula is a long-time NASCAR fan who also covers the sport at Skirts & Scuffs and Examiner.com.
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