INDY OPPORTUNIY: Ricky Carmichael always had an interest in racing in NASCAR. It wasn’t until his last full-time season in Motorcross race at the former Indianapolis RCA dome that he invited friend and Sprint Cup Series driver, Kasey Kahne, to check out his first Motorcross race, and that is where the 15-time American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) champ’s NASCAR dreams would begin to take shape. It was Kahne who set up Carmichael’s first test session, and is still a huge supporter of Carmichael’s NASCAR career. Kahne recently attended one of Carmichael’s test sessions.
“I think that for Ricky [Carmichael], the opportunity to work with Kevin Harvick is a huge benefit,” said Kahne. “You can tell that he really cares about his team and the input he gives really helps the drivers in that organization. Ricky and I are friends and I have always been a huge fan of his from the motorcycle days. I went with Ricky to a Late Model test at Hickory [Motor Speedway in North Carolina] and watched as he made some laps.”
Carmichael will return to Indianapolis but not on two-wheels at the RCA Dome, but on four wheels in his No. 4 Monster Energy Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) Chevrolet this weekend at O’Reilly Raceway Park (ORP).
X-GAMES BOUND: While the Truck Series heads to Nashville Superspeedway, Carmichael will return to the X-Games to participate in two events. Carmichael will take his Suzuki to compete in the Best Whip competition as well as defend his 2008 gold medal in the Step-Up competition. Carmichael is a two-time X-Game gold medalist.
BEFORE THE RACE: QUOTES WITH DRIVER RICKY CARMICHAEL:
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON SHORT-TRACK RACING?
“I like short-track racing. To be honest I like racing everywhere. Anytime I have the opportunity to climb behind the wheel of the No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet I get excited. I think that short-track racing is a little more challenging than some of the 1.5-mile tracks because you really have to keep your eyes open as to what is happening around you and it is tougher to pass.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE HARDEST PART OF RACING ON A SMALL TRACK LIKE ORP?
“For me the hardest part is that I have never been to most of the short tracks that we race on in the Truck Series. However, I do use some of my experiences from the Camping World East Series. Last year, we traveled to more short tracks where I learned a lot and I can use that experience racing this year.”
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO THE BRICKYARD OR THE INDY 500 AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY?
“I actually have. I went to an F1 practice at the Brickyard a few years ago. It was a really awesome experience. I watched Juan Montoya run his F1 car. It was unbelievable how fast those cars come down the backstretch and just dive down into the corners.”
WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER CLIMBING BEHIND THE SEAT OF AN OPEN-WHEEL CAR?
“I have no desire to get into one of those cars. I would much rather be enclosed in a stock car. If I am in danger of hitting the wall head on, I’d like to have a cage around me. I spent the better part of my life out in the open, I think for the next chapter I will stay in something.”
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 4 Monster Energy team will unload truck chassis No. 032 at ORP. Chassis 032 last competed as a No. 2 truck with KHI co-owner Kevin Harvick behind the wheel at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in March. Harvick drove No. 032 to victory lane at Martinsville, recording KHI’s first Truck Series win of 2009.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Last week at Kentucky Speedway, Carmichael began the race from the third starting position. Kentucky marks the third time that Carmichael has started from the third position in the 2009 season, which is his career-best qualifying effort. Carmichael and the No. 4 team ran in the top 10 the majority of race. Carmichael was caught one lap down to the leaders during a round of green-flag pit stops, but was able to get the “lucky dog” award late to get back on the lead lap. Carmichael made a late-race charge and was able to cross the finish line in the seventh position. The run marks his career-best finish.
ONLINE MEDIA KITS: Media members can now access KHI media kits online at KevinHarvickInc.com. Included on the site are driver bios, driver and team images, KHI history and statistics, team profiles and schedules. Please contact Jessica Stroupe (JStroupe@kevinharvickinc.com) or Alicia Deal (ADeal@kevinharvickinc.com) at KHI for access to the new site.
About Monster Energy
Monster Energy supports the sport, no matter how radical or extreme. Be it Ricky Carmichael’s high-speed, high-banked NASCAR racing program, supercross, rally, insane distance jumping, motocross, MotoGP, roadracing, supermoto, off-road, freestyle motocross, skate, MTB, rock crawling, wake, mini bikes, surf, snow, BMX – the list goes on – the athletes that participate in these unique forms of athleticism are sparked by Monster Energy. Available in Original Monster Energy, Monster Lo-Carb, Monster Assault, Monster Khaos, Monster’s fruit juice hybrid dubbed “M-80,” the party-friendly MIXXD, the ground-breaking Java Monster premium coffee & cream drink line (supercharged with our Monster Energy blend), as well as the new Monster Energy “Hitman” energy shot, there’s something for everyone. Wherever they go, Monster Energy beverages power the Monster Army of athletes. Be sure to check out their never-ending series of adventures at www.monsterarmy.com and www.monsterenergy.com.
About Kevin Harvick Inc.
Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI), established in 2001, is a 70,000 sq. ft. facility located in Kernersville, N.C. KHI houses two full-time Truck Series teams, including the 2007 series champions. The No. 33 team is led by three-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday and the No. 4 KHI All-Stars team is comprised of Ricky Carmichael, the most successful motocross racer in American history, J.R. Fitzpatrick and a variety of NASCAR Sprint Cup stars. KHI is also home to the No. 33 Nationwide Series team competing full-time with drivers Kevin Harvick (a two-time Nationwide Series champion), 2008 Daytona 500 champion Ryan Newman, Ron Hornaday, Cale Gale and Kelly Bires. The 2009 season marks KHI’s sixth year of full-time competition in NASCAR’s elite divisions. Visit www.kevinharvickinc.com for more information.
July 24, 2009
O’Reilly Raceway Park
AAA Insurance 200 presented by JD Byrider
Race length: 200 Laps/ 137.2 Miles
Banking/Turns: 7.5-degrees in turns, 2-degree straight-a-ways;
Track layout: 0.686-mile
Practice: 3:15 p.m. - 4:50 p.m., EST
Final Practice: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., EST
Qualifying: 3:30 p.m., EST
TV: The AAA Insurance 200 presented by JD Byrider can be seen on SPEED at 8:00 p.m., EST
Radio: The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will broadcast live at 8:00 p.m., EST
No. 4 Chevrolet Silverado Specs:
No. 4 Monster Energy Truck
KHI All-Star team
NASCAR Truck Series
Remaining Scheduled Starts:
August 29 Chicago
September 5 Iowa
September 12 St. Louis
September 26 Las Vegas
October 24 Martinsville
October 31 Talladega