Harvick eyeing title, even if it isn't the one he wants most
Kevin Harvick has a little bit on his plate this weekend in Phoenix, planning on running all three NASCAR races on the track he knows best, writes Mark Ashenfelter.
- Kevin Harvick will be gunning for three victories as a driver this weekend, not to mention a championship as an owner. Other than that, it'll be a restful weekend in the desert.Harvick wouldn't want it any other way, unless he was also battling for a championship in the Nextel Cup Series. That, though, will be settled between Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, with Clint Bowyer -- Harvick's Richard Childress Racing teammate -- having an outside chance if both Johnson and Gordon stumble.So for Harvick, the focus will be on winning, whether driving his Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet in Friday's Craftsman Truck Series race, or his RCR entries in Saturday's Busch race (4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) and Sunday's Cup event (3 p.m. ET, ABC). And he's won at the track in each series, so it will be tough to rule him out all weekend."I think Phoenix is a measuring stick for us," Harvick said of his Todd Berrier-led Cup team. "If we go there and we are off a little we know that we need to go back to the drawing board and work on our stuff."At the beginning of the season, we were able to go and lead some laps and then had a parts failure that set us back a little. Going back, we should run in the top five and if we don't we will be very disappointed."In nine Cup races at PIR, Harvick has two wins and three top-5 efforts. In the Busch Series, he has a win and six top-5s in just 10 starts. He also has a pair of wins in the truck he co-owns with wife, DeLana.And on Friday, Ron Hornaday will look to close the gap on current points leader Mike Skinner in Kevin Harvick Inc.'s No. 33 Silverado. Harvick can certainly aid the cause if he finishes ahead of Skinner, but Harvick will simply be looking for another win at a track that's played a big role in the career of the Bakersfield, Calif., native."Phoenix is one of those places that I grew up racing on. I raced a lot in the Southwest Tour, Winston West and Truck Series races at Phoenix," Harvick said. "I have learned the characteristics of the racetrack and the little things that you can do when your car is not handling perfect. I like the flat racetracks. Racing on Phoenix my entire career has also translated into flat-track success on the entire circuit." Crew chief Wally Rogers is looking forward to the truck race."This truck is brand-new, but I know that all the guys in the shop have put a lot of work into it," Rogers said. "We just need to go out there and be competitive and hopefully give our teammate, Ron Hornaday, some help as he continues to work hard in his championship run."
DeLana does play a key role in everything we do at KHI, but we have been fortunate to put a lot of good people in good places here at our race shop to kind of run things when we are not here. This is kind of what I do when I'm away from my normal job and able to spend time at the shop.
-- Kevin Harvick
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- Stars' Peverley collapses, game postponed
- Sources: If no trade, Bucs likely to cut Revis
- Jets release Holmes, create more cap space
- Staying in the nest: Seahawks retain Bennett
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
ESPN.com: Help | Press | Advertise on ESPN.com | Sales Media Kit | Interest-Based Ads | Corrections | Contact Us | Site Map | Jobs at ESPN | Go.com