Behave? It’s hard to not misbehave with this group….. - Kevin Harvick
When it was announced that Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch would be teaming up together for 2014 - immediately everybody wanted Stewart-Haas Racing to build a wrestling ring for the drivers.
Though stop fearing - the wresting ring won't be needed as so far, the combination looks to be proving "therapeutic" for each of the drivers on the team.
“We’re a great support system for each other,” Stewart explained earlier this week. “Every one of us have had our battles at some time with each other or with you guys or whatever the battle has been with. But we all understand and can relate. Everyone can understand what each other is going through and be a great support system. That’s what teams are about. I think while the majority of you are leaning on of the opportunity to be a disaster, we are leaning on the opportunity of it to be positive and a great match for four great personalities and drivers to work together.”
Busch added that he feels the combination of a bunch of hard-headed personalities should help drive the company to do better.
“The competitiveness in each of us is what Gene is trying to do with this team by bringing it out and harnessing it all and producing good results for those people on that shop floor,” Busch explained. “Those people are on the floor are building the cars with a new crew chief in Daniel. With all the new people, it’s an exciting time in the building to see all the hard work go into it. It makes the anticipation of going to the track bigger than other years.”
Harvick added that he never worried about the possibility of a build-up as he came into the deal expecting everybody to act professionally.
"We can all benefit each other as we can win," Harvick added. "I truly believe that we can all benefit from pushing each other and when you have more fast cars, you have more theories, more directions and things evolve faster. You’re not going to have your four cars evolve by having one of the four cars run well; it’s not going to happen because this garage evolves way too fast."
The problem is the same hard-headed personalities that should lead to success as Busch explains have led to problems in the past. Each driver has had their own fights, whether with the media or other drivers. Though Harvick doesn't see that problem happening in the future due to them each being mature and knowing what they've done wrong in the past.
"It’s pretty obvious and you know what you need to do," Harvick added. "There’s a lot of experience and we’ve all been there, done that, and it’s all about winning races and trying to win a championship at this point so whatever it takes."
The original combination of Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart didn't bring fear to fans eyes. They're all friends and two of them have worked together before so it should be no problem. The addition of Kurt Busch and his past experiences with multi-car teams brought the fear to the surface. However, Harvick says Busch is a good addition - based on his experience with him in 2013.
Harvick explained during media day that the combination of Richard Childress Racing (Harvick's previous team) working with Furniture Row Racing (Busch's previous team) allowed for each of those teams to push each other harder and become stronger. Harvick said he wouldn't have had the season last year of finishing third in points without Busch.
"He’s very passionate about being in the car and what his car does and how he relates to the crew and very involved in looking at the information and trying to make himself better," Harvick explained. "I feel like when you ask a question, he’s going to give you a real honest answer."
Harvick says regardless of how well he felt about the news, the experience of learning of Busch joining the team was strange.
"I thought I was going to see my friend with a broken leg to make sure he was doing okay and we had a team meeting that day while he was lying in bed seven to eight days into having a broken leg," he explained. "So never had a meeting in a bedsroom while someone was lying in a bed and show up and all the management is there to deliver the news.
"So they just made sure everybody signed off and was good with it and liked you said, I was the only guy that had worked with him and in my opinion, I thought he was going to be good for the company to drive the performance of the race cars better and that’s why we’re all here is try to be fast and win races."