Kevin Harvick was buttoning up his last few business obligations of the week on Wednesday, managing the empire via cellphone from the car before a rare weekend off and some down time at his beach house on Kiawah Island, S.C.
With just seven races remaining until the Chase for the Championship begins, Harvick co-leads NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series with three wins, which would move him from his current position of fourth to the top of the standings when drivers are reseeded for the 10-race playoff.
The 35-year-old said while his team learned much from its bid for a first title last season, work remains to make the team a title contender again. That said, he's prepared to deal with anyone who tries to get in his way.
There has been a different winner in the last eight Nationwide Series races.
Travis Pastrana's media/sponsor battalion is holding a contest to name his X Games-Nationwide-X Games odyssey next weekend as he makes his debut in a top-three NASCAR series while still maintaining his extreme sports presence, thanks to the miracle of modern avionics.
Our suggestion: Double Track Flip, a homage to the freestyle motocross move he immortalized at the 2008 X Games.
Pastrana, who exudes confidence when performing his
"I'm going to try to go out to Indy like I did at Irwindale [Calif., where he finished sixth in the Toyota All-Star Showdown] and really don't have expectations," he said. "I have to drive the car the best that I can drive it without overdriving it. Honestly, judging off of the K&N races, we're going to be mid-to-back of the pack. If we get a top-20, I shouldn't say happy because no driver is ever happy unless they are on top of the podium, but that would be really good for us. I would like to stay on the lead lap and I think that's going to be a difficult goal. That means we'll have to keep the car together. I have a tendency to overdrive the cars and they said that at this track it's really hot and it has a tendency to wear the tires out really quickly. If I drive like I normally drive, I might be competitive for 10 laps and then I'm going to be five laps down before we go to the first pit. I'll need to slow myself down to be more competitive."