WILL HARVICK MAKE HISTORY AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY ON JULY 13?

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On July 13 Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet, will be gunning for his name to be written in the record books by winning his third Tropicana 400 in a row. No driver in recent NASCAR Winston Cup Series history has ever won the first three races at any track.

Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Richard Petty have set the standard with two consecutive wins at a new track, but no driver has made it three in a row. ?This track just really fits my driving style,? said Harvick of Chicagoland Speedway. As a rookie in 2001 Harvick held off Robert Pressley in a stirring late-race sprint to the finish line. Pressley gave Harvick a few taps during the final caution but that didn?t rattle the cage of the California-native.

In 2002 it looked as though Harvick wouldn?t make it two in a row but his chance to make a move came on lap 197. Trying to pass Kurt Busch, Harvick cut low, going below the white line. He lost control and skidded across the paved apron area and the yellow flag soon went out. When everyone else had to pit for fuel on lap 242, Harvick and Gordon stayed on the track. After the restart both Harvick and Gordon had Gatorade Victory Lane in their sights, but Harvick was too strong for Gordon. ?Unless Kevin made a mistake,? Gordon said, ?there was virtually no way I could pass him.? After hitting his marks and putting Gordon behind him, Harvick took his second Tropicana 400 checkered flag by .812 seconds.

"I think the biggest thing is that when you have an opportunity to come to a race track and win three races in a row, you want to make sure you make the right changes to the car," said Harvick during a June test at Chicagoland Speedway. "We've changed bodies and usually when you have a newer race track such as (Chicagoland Speedway), things can change. So, we wanted to come back to make sure all the stuff we've had in the past is somewhat close, and it is."

Harvick has his eyes set on making history, but he will have to hold off some of NASCAR?s hottest drivers such as Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch. The sold-out 267-lap Tropicana 400 will take place at Chicagoland Speedway on July 13, 2003. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 2:00 p.m. (CT) and be televised live on NBC.

Click here for more information about the July 11-13 NASCAR/IROC eeekend.

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