Harvick: Dover Is Where Your Really Feel The Speed

Kevin Harvick

 The saying, “Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees” may take on a special meaning for Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 Ford team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) this week as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Dover (Del.) International Speedway for Sunday’s Gander Outdoors 400 to kick off the Round of 12 in the NASCAR playoffs.

Winning the first race in the Round of 12 at Dover is the immediate focus, but the big picture remains the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Championship.

This weekend at Dover, Harvick will drive the No. 4 Busch Outdoors Ford Fusion in support of the National Forest Foundation. The foundation promotes the health and well-being of 193 million acres of public lands that people use every day to hunt, fish, camp and enjoy nature.

For every lap Harvick leads at Dover, Busch Beer will donate $1,000 to the National Forest Foundation up to $25,000. Each dollar donated is approximately equivalent to one tree being planted in a national forest, so if Harvick were to lead 25 laps at Dover, Busch Beer would be donating approximately 25,000 trees to national forest lands.

The partnership is a natural move for Busch. The National Forest Foundation works tirelessly to protect healthy forests and watersheds across the country, which not only preserves their use for the public, but also contributes to high-quality beer by protecting sources of fresh, clean water – a crucial ingredient in the brewing process.

Harvick and the No. 4 Busch Outdoors team should hold up their end of the deal this weekend if recent history is any indication. Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick and the No. 4 team have led 1,011 laps in the past nine Cup Series races at Dover’s concrete mile oval. The team has also scored two wins, one pole, three top-five finishes and four top-10s there.

In addition to his outstanding performance history at Dover, the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion is the series leader with seven points-paying wins, 20 top-five finishes, 23 top-10s and 1,274 laps led.

Harvick is now second in the playoff standings with 3,050 points, 42 ahead of the final transfer position as he heads to the first race in the Round of 12. A win at Dover would mean he automatically qualifies for the Round of 8, but additional stage wins and race wins mean extra playoff points as he progresses through the playoffs.

For the No. 4 team, the focus this weekend is on the trees – starting up front, leading laps, winning stages and winning the race – but with the big-picture forest in mind of advancing to the next round of the NASCAR playoffs and winning a second championship. Whether focusing on the challenge directly ahead or the big-picture goal, Harvick and his team are going to be trying to build a forest one tree at a time starting this weekend in Dover.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Outdoors Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
Who is the man to beat at Dover these days?

“When I go to Dover, I think about one thing, and that is, ‘How can I win this race – what do we need to do as a team to focus on what we need to do?’”

Describe what it’s like to take a lap around Dover.

“Dover is the racetrack where you feel the sensation of speed more than anything. It’s a place where you drop off into the corner and slam into a lot of banking and then, as you come out of the corner, it’s kind of like jumping out of a hole and up onto the straightaway. It’s a really fun place to race. You feel that sensation of speed and you can be really aggressive.”

Busch Beer Racing Team Report

Round 30 of 36 – Gander Outdoors 400 – Dover

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: Shayne Pipala
Hometown: Frankfort Square, Illinois
Rear Tire Changer: Michael Johnson
Hometown: Andover, New York
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. 4-986:
Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Busch Outdoors Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 986 at the Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Built new in 2016, Chassis No. 4-986 made its NASCAR Cup Series debut in April at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, where it started 22nd, led one lap and finished 10th. In its second appearance, Harvick started on the pole at Kentucky in July after qualifying was cancelled due to rain, led 128 laps and finished ninth. In its final start of 2016, Harvick started fourth, finished fifth and led 33 laps in August at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Chassis No. 4-986 finished sixth at ISM Raceway near Phoenix in March in its first start of 2017. Its final start of 2017 came in October at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, where Harvick started second, led 37 laps and finished eighth. In its first start of 2018, Harvick started second at Dover and put up a dominant performance by leading 201 laps and finishing 7.450 seconds ahead of runner-up and SHR teammate Clint Bowyer en route to the win. In its most recent start, Harvick started third and finished fifth at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.
Dover Notes of Interest:
· National Forest Foundation  Harvick’s No. 4 Busch Outdoors Ford will feature the National Forest Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to protect and sustain 193 million acres of national forests. In addition to the forests’ ecological importance, these lands provide opportunities for all Americans to experience and enjoy America’s rugged outdoor landscape. From now until Nov. 30, a portion of the proceeds from specially marked 18-packs, 24-packs and 30-packs of Busch and Busch Light will be donated to the foundation to support the restoration and enhancement of national forests and grasslands across the United States, up to $175,000. Busch aims to plant 150,000 new trees as part of its 2018 partnership with the foundation.

 

· 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 21 points-paying victories, the non-points-paying 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, 18 poles, 88 top-five finishes and 122 top-10s while leading 7,939 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.

 

· Harvick has career totals of 44 wins, 24 poles, 188 top-fives, 331 top-10s and 12,365 laps led in640 starts.

  • His most recent Cup Series win came at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (Aug. 12, 2018).
  • His last Busch Pole came at Richmond (Va.) Raceway (Sept. 21, 2018).

· On Point – Harvick arrives at Dover (Del.) International Speedway for the Gander Outdoors 400 second in points with 3,050 and is now 42 points ahead of ninth-place Chase Elliott entering Sunday’s first race in the Round of 12 of the 2018 Cup Series playoffs.

 

· Dover Numerology – Harvick will make his 36th NASCAR Cup Series start Sunday at Dover. He has two wins, one pole, six top-five finishes, 16 top-10s and has led 1,156 laps. He scored his first win at the concrete mile oval in October 2015, when he started 15th, led 355 of 400 laps and beat runner-up Busch by 2.639 seconds. Harvick earned his first Cup Series pole at Dover in September 2014 with a time of 22.095 at 162.095 mph. Harvick has two career Cup Series runner-up finishes at Dover, most recently in May 2015, when he started sixth, led 91 laps and finished runner-up to Jimmie Johnson. He scored his second win at Dover in his most recent trip to the speedway in May, when he started second, led 201 of 400 laps and finished 7.450 seconds ahead of teammate Clint Bowyer.

 

· Uncharted Territory With Seven Points-Paying Wins for No. 4 – Harvick’s seven points-paying wins in 2018 is a new single-season best for the 18-year Cup Series veteran. His previous high-water mark was five races, accomplished first in 2006 and again 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 May 19 at Charlotte for the second time in his career. Harvick’s series-best seven wins in 2018 is tied with Busch, who scored his seventh win of the season at Richmond in September.

 

· Freaky Fast Busch Pole Qualifier – Harvick has started on the front row eight times this season. The most recent came Sept. 22 at Richmond, where he won the pole with a lap of 22.153 seconds at 121.880 mph. He has started in the top-10 in 21 of the 29 NASCAR Cup Series races this season. Harvick scored his first Busch Pole Award 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 Speedway in Kansas City, where he recorded a lap of 28.600 seconds at 188.811 mph.

 

· Three-Peat Notes – Harvick’s consecutive wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway near Phoenix marked only 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 consecutive races this season – April 8 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, April 16 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, and April 21 at Richmond. Brad Keselowski also joined the group with his most recent wins at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Las Vegas. This marks the first time in NASCAR history that three different drivers have won three straight races in the same season.

 

· Lap Leader –Harvick led his 12,000th lap in NASCAR Cup Series competition June 3 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. He is one of only 15 drivers to lead 12,000 laps in his Cup Series career. He joins Johnson, Busch and Matt Kenseth as the only active drivers to accomplish that feat. Harvick’s laps-led total since 2014 is 7,903, which is 3,477 laps more than the total from his 13 previous seasons before joining SHR (2001 to 2013). Harvick has already led a series-best 1,274 laps in 2018 and has now surpassed 1,000 laps led in a season for the fourth time in his career. He’s done it three previous times, all with SHR.

 

· Playoff Qualifier – Harvick qualified for the 2018 NASCAR playoffs with his wins at Atlanta, Phoenix, Dover, Kansas, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, and Michigan. He leads the Cup Series in playoff points with 50. He gained 10 playoff points for finishing the 26-race regular season in second, five playoff points for each race win at Atlanta, Phoenix, Dover, Kansas, New Hampshire and Michigan, and an additional point for each of his stage wins at Atlanta, Texas, two at Dover in May, Pocono in June, Michigan in June, Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, Pocono in August and two at Michigan in August (total of 10). The team’s race win at Las Vegas does not count toward its playoff qualification due to a post-race penalty.

 

· Make Your Mark – With his win Aug. 12 at Michigan, Harvick is now tied with Bill Elliott at 17th on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series win list. Harvick’s next win would move him into sole possession of 17th on the all-time list and he now sits just two wins behind Buck Baker’s 46 for 16th on the all-time wins list. Among active drivers, Harvick’s 44 career wins rank third behind only series leader Johnson’s 83 and Busch’s 49 wins.

 

· 105 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 105 total victories after his most recent Cup Series win at Michigan – 44 in the Cup Series, 47 in the Xfinity Series and 14 in the Camping World Truck Series. Only three other drivers in NASCAR history have passed 100 wins in NASCAR’s top-three series: Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Busch.

 

· 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 to 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 12, the 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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