tampabay.com

Harvick loves family, but not track

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published September 3, 2006


FONTANA, Calif. - Kevin Harvick doesn't particularly look forward to visiting California Speedway twice a year, even though it's only 119 miles from his hometown of Bakersfield.

The NASCAR Nextel Cup star loves visiting family and friends and having them watch him race, but the 2-mile Fontana oval is far from Harvick's favorite place.

"This is probably our worst track and so we haven't been too excited about coming here in the position we've been in," said Harvick, who has two top-10 finishes in eight races at California Speedway.

But Harvick is feeling more upbeat going into today's Sony HD 500.

Although he hasn't locked up a spot in the 10-man Chase for the Championship, Harvick is third in the standings with two races remaining until the start of the NASCAR playoffs. Harvick is 81 points ahead of fourth-place Kyle Busch.

YOUNG GUN: A year ago at California Speedway, Kyle Busch became the youngest winner in the history of NASCAR's top stock car series. He was 20 years, 4 months and 2 days old at the time.

Since then, he has won two more times and Saturday was inducted into the California Speedway Walk of Fame, joining older brother Kurt, inducted two years ago.

"It's pretty cool," the younger Busch said.

"It's extra special to be here anyway, but to be a couple spots over from my brother is pretty neat as well."

SPARK PLUGS: Kurt Busch's pole-winning lap of 184.540 mph on Friday was nearly 4 mph slower than the track record of 188.245, set by Kyle in February 2005. ... There are no Ford drivers among the top-10 starters for the fourth time this season, all in the last six races.