McNulty's Daytona notebook

DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:44 PM ET

Kevin Harvick has finished third the past two season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championships and this season he wants to step up to the top spot. Sort of baby steps, if you will. Harvick and his wife DeLana announced last month that the couple are expecting their first child — a boy — in July. That news was preceded by the selling off of the couple’s NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series teams. It was all, Harvick said, part of his master plan to unencumber himself so he could focus on a title for the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team. “I know the baby has set a lot of things in motion,” he said on Friday. “But, it really set a lot of things in motion that had started the analyzing of everything from home to the race teams.” And he said that will help him with his championship goal. “I feel like I have more time to spend in the shop; focusing on the cars at the track, and taking away all the outside race team stuff,” he said. “That is how we’re going to take that last step I hope. It might work. It might not.” BUSCH WILL KEEP HIS HELMET ON Kyle Busch says he hasn’t even thought of what kind of celebration he might do if he wins Sunday’s Daytona 500. In fact, he said even thinking about it might jinx his chances. “You don’t want to plan for anything thinking that you have a chance to win or thinking that you are going to win,” he said. “To me, you don’t try to plan for something like that because you could end up being like Dale Earnhardt who went 20 years before he won it.” Busch, while accumulating wins at a record pace over his first five seasons in NASCAR Sprint Cup, has also earned the wrath of fans for his sometimes boorish behaviour both on and off the track. And he takes delight in answering boos after his wins with a great bow from the top of his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. One thing for sure Busch will keep his helmet on no matter how he celebrates if he wins on Sunday. “You never know what kind of missiles that might come raining down on you (from fans),” he said. THE NATIONWIDE COPD 300 (Top 10 qualifiers for Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide COPD 300 1: Danica Patrick 182.741 m.p.h. 2: Trevor Bayne 182.715 3: Elliott Sadler 182.671 4: Dale Earnhardt Jr. 182.593 5: Austin Dillon 182.411 6: Sam Hornish Jr. 182.308 7: Tony Stewart 182.249 8: Cole Whitt 182.109 9: Brad Keselowski 182.094 10: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 181.829

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