Kevin Harvick Honors A Fallen Soldier This Weekend

Kevin Harvick


Racing 600 Miles in Remembrance of Lance Cpl. Nathan Ross Elrod


KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (May 25, 2015)Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is driving in remembrance of United State Marine Corps Lance Corporal Nathan Ross Elrod, a fallen soldier and member of the extended NASCAR-industry family, during this Memorial Day weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Elrod is the brother of Christopher Elrod, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Concord, North Carolina-based Lionel Holdings LLC. Lionel Holdings is engaged in the design and marketing of model racecars and related accessories for the NASCAR industry.


Harvick’s No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS will feature LCPL Elrod’s name at the top of the windshield for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.


Elrod, of Salisbury, North Carolina, discovered at an early age that his true calling was to serve his country as a member of the military. While attending East Rowan High School in Salisbury, he was a member of the ROTC, Raider Team, Drill Team and was a Rappel Master.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps during his senior year in high school. Immediately following high school, he headed to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island located within Port Royal, South Carolina for boot camp.


He completed his infantry training at Camp Geiger, part of the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune complex based in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and received his Military Occupational Specialty as a Machine Gunner. After completing infantry training, he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.


His skill as a Machine Gunner was quickly noted by a Chief Warrant Officer during training exercises at the Marine Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California. The Chief Warrant Officer was in charge of the Personal Security Detail for Lt. Colonel of 1st Battalion, 6th Marines and selected Elrod as his Machine Gunner.


Elrod’s first deployment came just six months after completing boot camp, when he was sent to Fallujah, Iraq. The Personal Security Detail securely escorted the Lt. Colonel to town meetings, school openings and meetings with various tribal leaders of Al Anbar Province. While the detail was fired upon numerous times during the deployment, no one in the detail was injured.


The 1st Battalion, 6th Marines were called back early for their second deployment. The Marine Unit they were replacing suffered so many losses that it had to be replaced early. During the period between Sept. 19 and Oct. 21, 2006, Elrod’s battalion came under fire numerous times while providing security for the United States Army.


Elrod skillfully engaged the enemy with his machine gun from the turret of his vehicle and helped successfully defeat enemy attacks on his platoon on Sept. 19, Sept. 24 and Sept. 26.


Elrod courageously provided security for a route-clearing operation on the streets of Ramadi, Iraq on Oct. 20 to 21. He made the ultimate sacrifice for his country when his vehicle was attacked by an improvised explosive device.

Elrod was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device for his actions from Sept. 19 to Oct 21.


The Charlotte Military Entrance Processing Station chose Elrod from among all of the heroes from North Carolina who gave their lives to name their Ceremony Room in his memory – The Lance Cpl. Nathan Elrod Ceremony Room.


While Elrod’s name will be proudly displayed at the top of the windshield of Harvick’s racecar on the 1.5-mile Charlotte oval this weekend, Harvick would like to also see the name appear in victory lane at the conclusion of the longest race on the Sprint Cup circuit.


The 2014 Sprint Cup champion is no stranger to victory lane in the Coca-Cola 600, having won the event on two occasions. His first Coca-Cola 600 win came in his 11th attempt in 2011. He was racing in second position on the white-flag lap when race-leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of gas as he was racing down the backstretch. Harvick was able to take the lead coming off the final corner to win his first Coca-Cola 600. He led only two laps in the race, but the final lap was the most important.


It didn’t take the Bakersfield, California native long to record his second Coca-Cola 600 win. In 2013, he held off defending race-winner Kasey Kahne and current SHR teammate Kurt Busch in a 10-lap shootout to become just the 14th driver to score multiple Coca-Cola 600 wins on Memorial Day weekend.


While Harvick would like to score his third Coca-Cola 600 trophy this weekend, if he is successful this Sundayat Charlotte Motor Speedway, it will be in remembrance of Lance Cpl. Nathan Ross Elrod.


KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
Is the Coca-Cola 600 more physically or mentally challenging?


“It just depends on how hot it is, honestly. If it’s a good weekend and the weather is nice, then it’s more mentally challenging than physically challenging. Either way, it’s still challenging both mentally and physically in some way, shape or form. The hardest part mentally is just getting yourself to overcome that last hundred miles because you are used to the 400- or 500-mile races.”


Your career stats at Charlotte weren’t overly impressive until just a couple of years ago. What changed to help you become more successful at Charlotte?


“I don’t exactly remember when it was, but I remember that it was somewhere around the 2009 or 2010 mark that the results started to get better. We were just off on some of the things that we were doing at that particular racetrack. The first year, I think I finished second, but then it changed and we were just off. I think we got everything straightened out over the last couple of years. Since I got to Stewart-Haas Racing, it’s been a really good racetrack for us and the results have been great.”

Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report

Round 13 of 36 – Coca-Cola 600 – Charlotte

At-Track PR Contact: Ryan Barry, True Speed Communication (704-500-1553, Ryan.

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

Tony Stewart – No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS

Kurt Busch – No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation 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. 995:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS built on Chassis No. 4-995 in the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Built new in 2016, Chassis No. 4-995 made its Sprint Cup debut Saturday night in the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte. Harvick started first, led 21 laps in the first segment and overcame a mechanical issue related to the car’s steering to finish 11th.


Coca-Cola 600 Notes of Interest:
  • Earning It 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.
  • All-Star Results: Harvick started from the first position after rain forced the cancellation of qualifying at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon. He jumped out to an early lead and led 21 of the first 25 laps before a mechanical issue related to the car’s steering caused Harvick to finish 11th.
  • Points Position: Harvick scored a 15th-place finish at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in the most recent points-paying Sprint Cup race to hold his lead in the Sprint Cup point standings. He now leads second-place Kyle Busch by 21 points heading into the Coca-Cola 600.
  • 2016 Loop Leader: According to NASCAR Stats and Information, Harvick leads all Sprint Cup drivers in 2016 in points (418), driver rating (116.2), average finish (7.6), average running position (6.136), laps led (688), percentage of laps led (17.6), fastest laps run (516), percentage of fastest laps run (110.3), miles led (860.73), laps run on the lead lap (3,880), percentage of laps run on the lead lap (99.39), laps in the top-15 (3,669) and percentage of laps in the top-15 (94.0). He ranks second in bonus points (17), top-five finishes (five), top-10 finishes (nine) and laps completed (3,903). He also ranks fourth in quality passes (992).
  • 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, Busch and Matt Kenseth. After leading 117 laps at Dover, Harvick now sits at 9,545 laps led for his Sprint Cup career.
  • Leading Laps: Harvick has led a series-best 688 laps through the first 12 points-paying races of 2016. The Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City are the only two races of 2016 in which Harvick did not lead at least one lap.
  • Harvick in the Coca-Cola 600: Harvick will make his 16th Coca-Cola 600 start Sunday. In 15 previous Coca-Cola 600 starts, Harvick has two wins (2011 and 2013), four top-five finishes, six top-10s and has led 159 laps. He finished second in his first attempt in 2001, but didn’t record another top-five finish until he won the 2011 race. Since 2011, Harvick has two wins, a second-place finish (2014), an eighth-place finish (2012) and a ninth-place finish (2015).
  • Harvick at Charlotte since Joining SHR:Harvick has four Sprint Cup points-paying starts at Charlotte and three non-points starts in the Sprint All-Star Race since joining SHR at the beginning of the 2014 season. He has scored runner-up finishes in his last two appearances in the non-points-paying All-Star Race and finished 11th last weekend. Harvick has one win, two second-place finishes and a ninth-place finish in his four points-paying starts since joining SHR. His lone win came in the Bank of America 500 in October 2014, when he started seventh, led 162 laps and beat Jeff Gordon to the finish line by.571 of a second. He finished runner-up to Jimmie Johnson in May 2014 and Joey Logano in October 2015.
  • Harvick at Charlotte in the Xfinity Series: Harvick has 26 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Charlotte. He has three poles (May 2001, May and October 2003), seven top-fives, 16 top-10s, and has led 293 laps with an average finish of 10.8. He has also scored top-fives in five of his last six Xfinity starts at Charlotte. His best Xfinity finish at Charlotte was second in October 2012, when he took the checkered flag 2.760 seconds behind race-winner Joey Logano.
  • Harvick at Charlotte in the Camping World Truck Series: Harvick has three starts at Charlotte in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He started third, led 70 of 136 laps and finished fifth in his first start in May 2003. He started sixth and finished fourth in May 2004. In his most recent Truck Series start at Charlotte in May 2007, Harvick started 24th and finished 28th after he suffered a mechanical issue.
  • Career Totals: Harvick has 32 wins, 142 top-five finishes and 266 top-10s in 550 career Sprint Cup startsheading into Saturday night’s All-Star Race.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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