Kevin Harvick Is Looking For Win Number Two At Kansas

Kevin Harvick

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (May 4, 2016) Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), heads to Kansas Speedway in Kansas City for Saturday night’s Go Bowling 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race looking to keep the momentum going on his “Freaky Fast” start to the 2016 season.

The Sprint Cup points leader has continued to embrace the fundamentals that have made Jimmy John’s such a successful chain – high-speed execution – to make himself one of the most successful drivers of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

According to NASCAR Stats and Information, Harvick leads all Sprint Cup drivers with 430 fastest laps run – 135 more than next-closest competitor Carl Edwards’ 295. While Harvick ranks third with 571 laps led, he leads in miles led with 743.73, more than 212 more than second-ranked Edwards’ 530.

While racing fast laps at the front of the field is important, so is completing every lap. Harvick is joined only by his SHR teammate Kurt Busch as the only drivers to complete 100 percent of the 3,237 laps contested in 2016.

In fact, no other driver has spent more time on the lead lap or in the top-15 than Harvick, who has raced on the lead lap for all but 11 laps and spent 93.8 percent of his time on the track racing in the top-15.

The “Freaky Fast” trends should continue this weekend at Kansas Speedway.

The Bakersfield, California native won the Sprint Cup race at Kansas in October 2013, when he started from the pole position, led 138 of 267 laps and beat current SHR teammate Busch to the finish line by 1.140 seconds to score his only Sprint Cup victory at the 1.5-mile oval.

The 2014 Sprint Cup champion also owns the Sprint Cup qualifying record at Kansas, which he set on May 9, 2014 with a lap of 27.799 seconds at 194.658 in second round of qualifying. That attempt won him his second of three consecutive Sprint Cup poles at Kansas from October 2013 through October 2014.

Harvick’s 9.8 average finish at Kansas ranks second only to Jimmie Johnson’s 7.3 since the start of 2005. He is one of only three drivers with a rating over 100.0, his 102.5 trailing only Johnson’s 112.0 and Matt Kenseth’s 106.8 driver ratings during that span.

Harvick will seek his second Sprint Cup win of the 2016 season this weekend at Kansas. He scored his first of 2016 in only the third race of the season at Phoenix International Raceway. That win, by a .01-of-a-second margin over last week’s winner Edwards, tied for the 10th-closest finish in Sprint Cup history. A second win this weekend at Kansas would virtually secure Harvick’s spot in the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup and provide added bonus points to start the first round of the playoffs.

 

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
What has made you so successful at Kansas?

“I really don’t know. I think, as you look at the racetrack even before they paved it or right there before the repave, things started going well. After the repave, it seems to have gone really well, especially in qualifying the last few times. It’s just something that fits my driving style. The cars have a lot of speed and we’ve been able to capitalize on that.”

What is the importance of running well on the 1.5-mile racetracks?

“The 1.5-mile racetracks dominate the schedule, especially when you get into the Chase and end the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which is another 1.5-mile track. That’s a little bit different but, if you’re going to get to that point, you’re going to have to be successful on that style of racetrack. Kansas, Charlotte, Chicago – those types of racetracks are really where you need to make hay, I guess you could say, and get the results to be successful.”

Take us on a lap around Kansas.

“It’s definitely a little bit different just for the fact the (corner) entries are a little different than at most places. Turns three and four remind me of turns three and four at Chicagoland Speedway, but there’s a lot more grip and a lot fresher asphalt than what Chicagoland has nowadays. It’s a very high-speed racetrack. You run the middle to the bottom of the racetrack. But I’m sure, as time goes on, that the groove will move back up. But, for right now, it’s very fast and very sensitive to your line and, with all the speed and how tricky the entrance is into turn one, you can miss your line easily. So, you have to be very specific about where you put your car and pay attention to what you’re doing.”

Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report

Round 11 of 36 – Go Bowling 400 – Kansas Speedway

At-Track PR Contact: Ryan Barry, True Speed Communication (704-500-1553, Ryan. Barry@TrueSpeedCommunication.com)
Teammates:

Danica Patrick – No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS

Tony Stewart – No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS

Kurt Busch – No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet SS

Primary Team Members:

Driver: Kevin Harvick

Hometown: Bakersfield, California

 

Crew Chief: Rodney Childers

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Car Chief: Robert Smith

Hometown: Whitewater, Wisconsin

 

Engine Builder: Hendrick Motorsports

Headquarters: Concord, North Carolina

 

Engine Specialist: Jereme Jackson

Hometown: Lincolnton, North Carolina

 

Spotter: Tim Fedewa

Hometown: Holt, Michigan

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Gas Man: Justin White

Hometown: Lynnville, Tennessee

 

Front Tire Changer: Ira Jo Hussey

Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina

 

Second Gas Man: Marc Wulf

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

 

Front Tire Carrier: Todd Drakulich

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

 

Windshield: Aaron Kuehn

Hometown: Kensington, Connecticut

 

Rear Tire Changer: Daniel Smith

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina

 

Jackman: Mike Casto

Hometown: Proctor, West Virginia

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Mike “Shrek” Morneau

Hometown: Oxford, Maine

Road Crew Members:

Truck Drivers: Rick Hodges and Stephen Mitchell

Hometowns: Raleigh, North Carolina, and Woodville, Ohio, respectively

 

Tire Specialist: Todd Chafee

Hometown: West Winfield, New York

 

Shock Specialist: Mike 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

 

Fuel Runner: Evan Kureczka                      

Hometown: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Chassis Information – Chassis No. 858:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS built on Chassis No. 4-858 in the Go Bowling 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. Built in 2014, Chassis No. 4-858 made its debut April 7 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It made two other appearances in 2014, scoring a second-place finish at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in the Coca-Cola 600 and a third-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. It won its first start of 2015 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. In four 2015 starts, it had one win and two runner-up finishes. In its only start of 2016, Harvick started sixth, led one lap and finished seventh. In eight starts, No. 4-858 has one win, five top-five finishes, six top-10 and has led 479 laps.

 

Kansas Speedway Notes of Interest:
  • Freaky Fast Since 2014: Harvick is in his 16th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and his third at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with crew chief Rodney Childers at the helm. In their first two seasons together, Harvick and Childers combined to produce eight victories, nine poles, 37 top-five finishes and 48 top-10s; led 4,431 laps; won the 2014 Sprint Cup title; and finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch.
  • 2016 Race Winner: Harvick is one of six Sprint Cup winners through the first nine races of 2016. He scored his lone win of the season March 13 at Phoenix International Raceway in one of the closest finishes in series history, when he beat runner-up Carl Edwards to the finish line by .01 of a second. The win should secure Harvick a spot in the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup.
  • Points Position: Harvick scored a 15th-place finish Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway to reclaim the lead in the Sprint Cup points standings. He now leads second-place Kyle Busch by nine points heading into Saturday night’s race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
  • 2016 Loop Leader: According to NASCAR Stats and Information, Harvick leads all Sprint Cup drivers in 2016 in points (351), bonus points (15), driver rating (116.0), top-10s (eight), average finish (7.4), average running position (6.150), laps completed (3,237), fastest laps run (430), percentage of fastest laps run (91.9), miles led (743.73), laps run on the lead lap (3,226), percentage of laps run on the lead lap (99.66), laps in the top-15 (3,036) and percentage of laps in the top-15 (93.8). He ranks third in laps led (571) and percentage of laps led (17.6). He also ranks fourth in quality passes (909).
  • 9,000 Laps Led and Counting: Harvick led 139 laps in the Good Sam 500k at Phoenix to surpass 9,000 laps led for his Sprint Cup career. He is one of only five active Sprint Cup drivers to lead more than 9,000 laps. The others are Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. After leading nine laps at Talladega, Harvick now sits at 9,428 laps led for his Sprint Cup career.
  • Leading Laps: Harvick has led 571 laps through the first 10 races of 2016. He has led at least one lap in nine straight races, including nine laps last weekend at Talladega. The Daytona 500 is the only race of 2016 in which Harvick did not lead at least one lap.
  • 100 Percent: Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Harvick and Kurt Busch are the only two Sprint Cup drivers to complete 100 percent (3,237 of 3,237) of the laps run in the first 10 Sprint Cup races of 2016.
  • Harvick at Kansas since Joining SHR:Harvick has four Sprint Cup starts at Kansas since joining SHR at the beginning of the 2014 season and has won the pole for two of the four races and finished runner-up twice. He won the pole with a speed of 194.252 mph, led 119 laps and finished second to Jeff Gordon by 0.112 of a second in May 2014. He won the pole with a speed of 197.621 mph, led 61 laps and finished 12th in October 2014. He started sixth, led 53 laps and finished second to Johnson by 0.487 of a second in May 2015. In October 2015, Harvick started fourth, led 21 laps and finished 16th.  He has led nearly 23 percent (254 of 1,070) of the total laps in his four starts at Kansas since joining SHR.​
  • Harvick in the Sprint Cup Series at Kansas: The Go Bowling 400 will mark Harvick’s 21st career Sprint Cup start at Kansas. He has one win (October 2013), three poles (October 2013, May and October 2014), four top-five finishes and nine top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval. The 40-year-old driver has led 475 laps, has an average starting position of 15.4, has an average finish of 11.2 and has completed 97.9 percent (5,179 of 5,290) of the laps he’s contested there.
  • Harvick in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Kansas: Harvick has made 11 starts in the Xfinity Series at Kansas. He has one win (October 2006), one pole (October 2008), six top-five finishes and seven top-10s. He has led 208 laps, has an average starting position of 9.5, an average finish of 9.3 and has completed 94.4 percent (2,080 of 2,204) of the laps he’s contested there.
  • Career Totals: Harvick has 32 wins, 141 top-fives and 265 top-10s in 548 career Sprint Cup startsheading into Saturday night’s Go Bowling 400 at Kansas.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.