Can Harvick Backup His 2017 Win At Sonoma?

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick completed the Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway sweep in 2017 by winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race on Saturday before following it up with a dominant performance on Sunday in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Harvick wheeled his No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing across the finish line first ahead of teammate Clint Bowyer after leading twice for 24 laps.

Harvick is aiming for a second straight NASCAR Cup Series win at Sonoma when he returns for this weekend’s Save Mart 350k on the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course nestled in California wine country.

The demands on both man and machine throughout a road-course race can test even the most talented drivers and sophisticated mechanical equipment. Thankfully, Harvick has an equally impressive partner in Mobil 1, an entity known for standing up to the toughest challenges.

Mobil 1 is the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR” and the Mobil brand of lubricant products are the “Official Lubricants of NASCAR.” Mobil 1 engine oils have long been the lubricant of choice for race teams competing in the most demanding and popular motorsports series around the globe.

The history of Mobil 1 in motorsports dates back to rally competition during the early 1970s. However, its involvement in racing became more official in 1978 through sponsorship of the Williams Formula One team and the 1987 sponsorship of Rusty Wallace’s No. 27 car in NASCAR.

From that time, the presence of Mobil 1 on racetracks and circuits has grown by global proportions. Today, Mobil 1 is relied upon for its ability to deliver exceptional engine performance and protection even under some of the most extreme conditions. Automotive technicians, racecar drivers, team owners and the world’s leading automotive manufacturers can all testify to the advanced technology delivered by Mobil 1 lubricants.

In addition to its high performance on the racetrack, ExxonMobil will highlight its newest synthetic motor oil, Mobil 1 Annual Protection, which allows drivers to go one full year – or up to 20,000 miles (whichever comes first) – between oil changes for all vehicle types. Guaranteed.

On Friday, June 22,Harvick and comedian Casey Webb of Man vs. Food, both stars of the latest Mobil 1 television commercials, are teaming up for the Mobil 1 Annual Protection “20K Road Trip” event at the first 5,000 mile “pit stop” at Sonoma Raceway, which marks the first of four legs of the cross-country journey.

The Mobil 1 20K Road Trip features two cars, including a 2014 Ford Fusion Titanium, which will drive 20,000 miles across 48 states experiencing a variety of climates, altitudes, elevations and driving styles over the next four months. The first pit stop at Sonoma marks the end of the road trip’s first 5,000 miles.

Harvick will be available to speak about the 20K Road Trip, the motor oil testing involved in this endeavor, and his NASCAR season. In addition, some lucky onsite fans will be selected to have their vehicle’s motor oil changed with Mobil 1 Annual Protection, completed by Harvick and Webb with help from ExxonMobil partner, Yoshi.

Harvick, the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion who is currently ranked second in points, knows how to stand up to the demands of road-course racing. His win last year came from 12th in the 38-car field, and it enabled Harvick to become one of only three active Cup Series drivers who have won at both, purpose-built road courses on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule – Sonoma and Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are the other two drivers.

A second Sonoma victory would be on top of Harvick’s series-leading five wins already this season, which has allowed him to earn 26 playoff points in his quest for a second NASCAR Cup Series title. As Mobil 1 kicks off its 20K Road Trip, Harvick will kick it into gear, literally and figuratively, on the twists and turns of Sonoma.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
What is the first thing that comes to mind of when you think of Sonoma?

“The first thing I think of when we are going to Sonoma is that we are going road racing. It’s definitely the first road race of the year and Sonoma is a very technical, slower-type road course. I’ve been fortunate to race there for a long time and look forward to going there every year.”

 

Sonoma is widely regarded as the more technical of the two road courses that have been mainstays on the Cup Series schedule. What are the big differences between Sonoma and Watkins Glen? 

“I think the biggest difference between Sonoma and Watkins Glen is that the speeds are drastically different. Sonoma is a much tighter course with sharper corners and a lot less speed, where you don’t really even use fourth gear, unless you’re saving gas. It’s a much slower track than Watkins Glen and the tires fall off a lot more than they do at The Glen. So, you’ve got to get your car to technically be very good as it turns the corner, but also keep track of the forward grip as you go through a run.”

 

You have an added advantage with Mobil 1 as a sponsor. It’s more than a sponsor, with its technology directly benefiting how you perform on the racetrack. How advantageous has this relationship with Mobil 1 been since you joined SHR in 2014?

“It was really mind-blowing when I first came to Stewart-Haas Racing. Every time we went to qualify, we really didn’t do anything different from the driver’s seat, but we’d always pick up a tenth-and-a-half or two-tenths of a second, and it literally came down to the oils in the engine, the oil in the transmission, the oil in the rear gear and the things they did from a lubricant standpoint – those were the biggest changes we made to the car before we would go and qualify. So, when you see that level of technology and commitment to the things that go in your car, every piece of it adds up to a pretty big chunk of speed. It’s pretty remarkable.”

Mobil 1 Racing Team Report

Round 16 of 36 – Save Mart 350k – Sonoma

At-Track PR Contact: Ryan Barry, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388 ext. 812, Ryan.Barry@TrueSpeedCommunication.com)
Primary Team:
Driver: Kevin Harvick
Hometown: Bakersfield, California
Crew Chief: Rodney Childers
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Car Chief: Robert Smith
Hometown: Whitewater, Wisconsin
Engine Builder: Roush-Yates Engines
Headquarters: Mooresville, North Carolina
Engine Specialist: Robert Brandt
Hometown: Mobile, Alabama
Spotter: Tim Fedewa
Hometown: Holt, Michigan
Over-The-Wall Crew:
Gas Man: Justin White
Hometown: Lynnville, Tennessee
Front Tire Changer: Eric Maycroft
Hometown: Algonquin, Illinois
Rear Tire Changer: Daniel Smith
Hometown: Concord, North Carolina
Jackman: Stan Doolittle
Hometown: Ninety-Six, South Carolina
Tire Carrier: Mike “Shrek” Morneau
Hometown: Oxford, Maine
Road Crew:
Truck Drivers: Rick Hodges and Stephen Mitchell
Hometowns: Raleigh, North Carolina, and Woodville, Ohio, respectively
Tire Specialist: Chris Rock
Hometown: Steubenville, Ohio
Shock Specialist: Michael McCarville
Hometown: Kensington, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Engineers: Dax Gerringer and Billy Keubler
Hometowns: Gibsonville, North Carolina, and Saline, Michigan, respectively
Mechanics: Richie Bean and Allen Mincey
Hometown: Bradford, Vermont, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, respectively

Interior Specialist: Matt Custer

Hometown: Bedford, Pennsylvania

Chassis No. 4-1034:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 4-1034 Sunday in the Save Mart 350k at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. Built new in 2017, Chassis No. 4-1034 made its debut at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June when it started 12th and led 24 laps en route to the victory over SHR teammate Clint Bowyer as the race ended under caution. Its most recent start came in August 2017 at Watkins Glen, where Harvick started 20th and finished 17th.

 

Sonoma Notes of Interest:
·   Harvick and comedian Casey Webb, both stars of the latest Mobil 1 television commercials, are teaming up for the Mobil 1™ Annual Protection “20K Road Trip” event at the first 5,000 mile “pit stop” at Sonoma Raceway, which marks the first of four legs of the cross-country journey. Harvick will be available at 9:45 a.m. PT on Friday, June 22 at the north end of the main paddock, behind the main grandstand at Sonoma Raceway to speak about the 20K Road Trip, the motor oil testing involved and his NASCAR season. In addition, some lucky onsite fans will be selected to have their vehicle’s motor oil changed with Mobil 1 Annual Protection, completed by Harvick and Webb with help from ExxonMobil partner, Yoshi. The 20K Road Trip demonstrates the newest ExxonMobil synthetic motor oil, Mobil 1 Annual Protection, which allows drivers to go one full year – or up to 20,000 miles (whichever comes first) – between oil changes for all vehicle types. Guaranteed. Two cars, including a 2014 Ford Fusion Titanium, will drive 20,000 miles across 48 states experiencing a variety of climates, altitudes, elevations and driving styles over the next four months. The first pit stop at Sonoma Raceway marks the end of the first 5,000 miles of the road trip.

·   The Save Mart 350k will mark Harvick’s 626th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 18th career NASCAR Cup Series start at Sonoma.

·   Harvick has career totals of 42 wins, 23 poles, 179 top-fives, 319 top-10s and 12,049 laps led in 625 starts.

  • Ø His most recent Cup Series win came four races ago at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (May 12, 2018)
  • Ø His last Busch Pole came also came four races ago at Kansas Speedway(May 11, 2018).

·   On Point – Harvick arrives at Sonoma second in the championship standings with 589 points after his runner-up finish in the series’ most recent race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Harvick currently trails series leader Kyle Busch by 75 points.

·   Sonoma Numerology – Harvick has one win, five top-fives, eight top-10s and has led a total of 60 laps in his 17 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Sonoma. His average start is 16.0, his average finish is 13.8 and he has a lap-completion rate of 99.9 percent, completing 1,878 of the 1,879 laps available.

·   Harvick at Sonoma since 2014 – The combination of Harvick competing at Sonoma in SHR equipment is impressive. In his last four NASCAR Cup Series starts at Sonoma – all of which have come with SHR – Harvick ranks second in total points with 141, trailing Joey Logano by a single point. He also has one win, two top-fives and three top-10 finishes. And of the 60 total laps Harvick has led at Sonoma dating back to his rookie year in 2001, 50 (83 percent) have come with SHR despite only four (23.5 percent) of his 17 Sonoma starts being with SHR.

·   Five Points-Paying Wins for No. 4 – Harvick’s five points-paying wins in 2018 is tied for his most wins in a season. He also won five races in 2014. This is the sixth time Harvick has scored at least four wins in a season. Harvick also scored a non-points-paying win in the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race on May 19 for the second time in his career.

·   Freaky Fast Qualifier – Harvick has qualified in the top-10 in every NASCAR Cup Series race this season where he has made a qualifying attempt. An accident in practice April 13 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway prevented him from making a qualifying attempt. He also failed to make an attempt at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 due to an issue in the prequalifying inspection. Harvick scored his first Busch Pole of the year at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, where he recorded a lap of 49.247 seconds at 194.448 mph. He scored his second pole of the season at Kansas, where he recorded a lap of 28.600 seconds at 188.811 mph.

·   Starting on the Front Row – Harvick has started on the front row six times this season. The most recent came on June 3 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, where he started second to polesitter Ryan Blaney.

·   Dynamic Duo – While this isHarvick’s 18th year in the NASCAR Cup Series, it’s only his fifth with crew chief Rodney Childers. Since joining forces at SHR in 2014, Harvick and Childers have combined to produce 19 points-paying victories, 17 poles, 79 top-five finishes and 110 top-10s while leading 7,623 laps. They won the 2014 championship, finished runner-up in the 2015 title chase to champion Kyle Busch, finished eighth in 2016 and third in 2017. The team has qualified for the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway three of the last four seasons. The duo also won the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

·   Back-To-Back – Harvick first scored back-to-back wins this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and made it three wins in a row the following week when he reached victory lane at ISM Raceway near Phoenix. He also scored back-to-back points-paying wins at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and Kansas Speedway. He scored a third straight win on May 19 when he won the non-points paying Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte.

·   Three-Peat Notes – Harvick’s three consecutive wins at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix markedonly the 24th time in NASCAR’s modern era (1972 to present) that a driver won three consecutive races. Nine of the 23 previous times a driver won three consecutive races in a season, that driver has gone on to win the championship. Prior to Harvick’s three-peat, Busch was the most recent driver to win three in a row – in 2015, when he went on to score his first and, so far, only championship. Ironically, Busch has also won three straight races this season – April 8 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, April 16 at Bristol, and April 21 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.

·   Lap Leader – Kevin Harvick led his 12,000th lap in NASCAR Cup Series competition June 3 at Pocono. He is one of only 15 drivers to lead 12,000 laps in his Cup Series career. He joins Jimmie Johnson and Busch as the only two active drivers to accomplish that feat. Harvick’s laps-led total since 2014 is 7,623, which is 3,197 laps more than the total from his 13 previous seasons before joining SHR (2001 to 2013). Harvick has already led 958 laps in 2018, which ranks as the fourth-best single-season total of his career – and there are still 21 races remaining.

·   Already Playoff Bound – Harvick qualified for the 2018 NASCAR playoffs with his wins at Atlanta, Phoenix, Dover, and Kansas. He currently has the series lead in playoff points with 26. He gained five playoff points for each race win at Atlanta, Phoenix, Dover, and Kansas, and an additional point for each of his stage wins at Atlanta, Texas, Dover, Pocono and Michigan (total of six). The No. 4 team’s race win at Las Vegas does not count toward the team’s playoff qualification due to a post-race penalty.

·   Make Your Mark – With his win on May 12 at Kansas, Harvick stands alone at 18th on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series win list. Among active drivers, Harvick ranks third behind only series leader Johnson (83 career wins) and Kyle Busch (47 career wins).

·   Earning It at SHR – Harvick has earned 19 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series victories since joining SHR in 2014, in addition to the non-points-paying 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race.

·   103 and Counting – Harvick scored his 100th career win in NASCAR’s top-three series when he won the Cup Series race at Las Vegas and his 101st at Phoenix the following week. He now has 103 total victories – 42 Cup Series wins, 47 in the Xfinity Series and 14 in the Camping World Truck Series. Only four drivers in NASCAR history have passed 100 wins in NASCAR’s top-three series: Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Kyle Busch and Harvick.

·   Harvick’s Happy Hours on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio – Harvick is in his second year as the co-host of the award-winning radio program Happy Hours on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90. The show debuted on March 28, 2017. It airs 7-9 p.m. ET on Tuesdays and features Harvick’s distinctive perspective on the sport and life outside the track. Harvick and co-host Matt Yocum take calls from listeners and give NASCAR fans a unique view on the driver’s life and interests when he is away from the racecar. On April 12the show won the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards “Radio Program” category. Other finalists in the category included SiriusXM’s Basketball and Beyond with Coach K, as well as the Dan Le Batard Show, Dan Patrick Show and Jim Rome Show.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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