Three Questions with Kevin Harvick

Jerry Bonkowski

Kevin Harvick has been perhaps the quietest driver in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Prior to being involved in a late wreck Sunday at Talladega and finishing 20th, Harvick had recorded a string of 10 top-10 finishes in the previous 11 races.

He currently sits sixth in the Chase standings, 171 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson, heading into this Saturday's Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

He spoke this past weekend about this weekend's race, as well as how he envisions the last six races of the Chase:

Q. You tested recently at Lowe's Motor Speedway, a place where you have not had a great deal of success in your career (just three top-10s in 15 career starts). How did the test go and are you optimistic coming into Saturday night's race?

A. "I was pretty happy with our car. We tried a lot of R&D pieces at Lowe’s and I felt like as we ended, our car was really good. It doesn’t have blazing speed, but it seemed like a lot of cars had a lot of fall offs (during the test). So, to me, that’s the kicker in the whole race for us. At Charlotte, we’ve run okay there a few times and we’ve struggled there more than we’ve run well. So I felt as good as I’ve felt in a long time there leaving the test and hopefully that all transfers back to this weekend."

Q. So much attention has been placed on Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, that the Chase is now just a three-driver battle. Do you agree with that?

A. "We’re just really focused on what we’re doing. Obviously our 1.5-mile stuff has been pretty good this year. It’s been really consistent. So we’ve just got to keep doing the things that we’ve been doing and try to make it a little bit better, which is what we tried to do for Charlotte. Charlotte is kind of its own beast with the hard tires and the asphalt is really, really smooth. It’s not like Atlanta or Texas or any of those race tracks so it's kind of its own unique set up I guess you could say."

Q. Being sixth in the standings and with six races left, are you in a "must-win" situation?

A. "I don’t think there is one. I think you go out and go the fastest that you can and try to make the cars better. You’re not going to force anything to happen. If it happens, it happens. And how it’s all meant to play out will happen over the next (six) weeks."

Jerry Bonkowski is National NASCAR Columnist for Yahoo! Sports, on-air personality for Sirius NASCAR Radio and a featured contributor to Gatehouse News Service. He can be reached