Kevin Harvick: Running a modified race "on my bucket list"

Kevin Harvick enjoyed his first opportunity to drive a NASCAR modified car and said he wouldn’t go through the process if he didn’t want to one day run a race.

Kevin Harvick: Running a modified race "on my bucket list"
 Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Busch Light
Race action
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Busch Beer / Ducks Unlimited
Race action

Harvick took part in a modified test Tuesday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway at the invitation of fellow NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece, who is also a client of Kevin Harvick Inc. Management.

“For me, we’ve had a great relationship that (Preece) started with Stafford Speedway. Between Ryan and Stafford Motor Speedway, that’s why I drove three hours up here today to come up here and do this,” Harvick said.

“I wouldn’t drive it if I didn’t want to race it. Let’s just make that clear. We’ve talked about that. It’s something that will definitely be on my bucket list to go do.”

Harvick said Preece has been talking to him about getting in one of his modified cars for almost two years. The opportunity arose after Martinsville announced it was hosting its first modified race since 2010 this season as a companion event with the Cup Series the weekend of May 8-9.

Preece decided he would enter the event and arranged for the Jan. 21 test date.

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“I told Ryan this is his fault. I’m taking a lot of grief from my other half, but obviously this is a great experience for me. It’s way outside my normal, everyday routine and things that I’ve raced,” Harvick said. 

“I’ve never raced anything like this. Just to drive it was a lot of fun for me and it definitely put a smile on my face. It’s definitely a good experience for me.”

Preece is a 22-time winner in the modified series, winning the championship in 2013. The Whelen Modified Tour is NASCAR’s oldest touring series, hosting its first event on Feb. 15, 1948, on the beach course at Daytona Beach, Fla. 

The modified series is the only NASCAR-sanctioned series in which Harvick, the 2014 Cup champion, does not hold at least one start.

“There’s obviously a safety factor, and if it wasn't Ryan’s car, I probably wouldn’t have come up here today and everybody wouldn’t have been so agreeable to say, ‘Okay, go up there and drive the car,’ ” Harvick said.

“We all have a good relationship with Ryan and we know he drives the car, prepares it and does all the things to it. … I feel like doing this with Ryan you would have that quality control piece of it covered. That’s really what it comes down to.”

Check out more from Harvick and Preece at Tuesday's test at Martinsville Speedway:

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