Freaky Fast Harvick Looking To Recapture The Points Lead After Bristol

Kevin Harvick

 

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Aug. 17, 2016)Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is looking to reclaim the Sprint Cup Series points lead Saturday in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

 

Harvick held the lead in the Sprint Cup standings for 13 consecutive weeks before falling to second following a 32nd-place finish two weekends ago at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. He now sits nine markers back of points leader Brad Keselowski heading into Saturday night’s race at Bristol.

 

The best news for Harvick coming into this weekend may be crew chief Rodney Childers’ record at the .533-mile bullring. He’s led four different Sprint Cup drivers to top-five finishes at Bristol. In addition to Harvick’s runner-up finish in August 2015, Childers has led Scott Riggs, David Reutimann and Brian Vickers to top-five finishes at the track affectionately known as “Thunder Valley.” Childers led Riggs to a fourth-place finish in August 2006 while both worked for Evernham Motorsports. While at Michael Waltrip Racing, Childers led Reutimann to a runner-up finish in August 2010 and Brian Vickers to a fifth-place finish in March 2012, as well as fourth-place finishes in August 2012 and 2013.

 

It also helps that Harvick is no stranger to victory lane at Bristol. In fact, he has won there in each of NASCAR’s three touring series.

 

The 2014 Sprint Cup champion won at Bristol in NASCAR’s top series in April 2005, when he started 13th and led 109 of 500 laps and beat Elliott Sadler to the finish line by 4.652 seconds. He has five NASCAR Xfinity Series wins there with his most recent coming in March 2009, when he started 13th and led 46 laps to beat runner-up Carl Edwards by .798 of a second. He also visited Bristol’s victory lane in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in August 2011, when he started sixth, led 103 of 200 laps and beat Johnny Sauter by .434 of a second.

 

Harvick would like to add his second Sprint Cup win of the year at Bristol Saturday night. He scored his first in the season’s fourth race at Phoenix International Raceway.

 

Harvick clinched his spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoff field with his fourth-place finish Aug. 1 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, guaranteeing a top-30 finish in the driver points after race No. 26 Sept. 12 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. He only needs to attempt to qualify for the remaining four regular-season Sprint Cup events to make it official.

 

While Harvick and the No. 4 team are locked into the Chase field by points and a win, gaining bonus points for additional wins is now their top priority through the next four events, starting this weekend at Bristol.

 

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
What is it that makes the Bristol night race so special?

“The Bristol night race is one that has always been circled on everybody’s list as a race that they want to win. I think when you look at Bristol, it’s probably become harder than it used to be to pass, just for the fact that you run up against the wall. Plus, you add that short-track element. It’s hot and it’s frustrating, as well, just because it’s hard to pass and you know that you have to make time. It usually ends up that you have guys who run into each other and then we all get mad. It can definitely be a place where the tempers flare.”

 

Do you remember your first time racing under the lights at Bristol, and do you still have that same feeling when you go back?

“Bristol has never been one of those places that you think about that much, to be honest with you. It just seems like all the action and everything happens during the night races there, for whatever reason. It’s a fun place to race. It’s been a place where we’ve had a lot of success. And, sometimes you go there and you have no success because you run into something. It’s kind of feast or famine as you go there and that’s kind of where we are right now at this point in our season. We want to win races and, really, nothing else matters at this point except for wins. Hopefully, when we go back to Bristol, we will be on the right side of having some success.”

Busch Beer Racing Team Report

Round 23 of 36 – Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol – Bristol Motor Speedway

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

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

Tony Stewart – No. 14 Haas Automation 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: Tim Sheets

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

 

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: Stan Doolittle

Hometown: Ninety Six, South Carolina

 

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: Dustin Keath

Hometown: Reading, Pennsylvania

 

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. 884:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Busch Beer Chevrolet SS built on Chassis No. 4-884 in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event Saturday night at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Built in 2014, Chassis No. 4-884 made its debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where it won the pole, led 12 laps and finished eighth. It also won the pole in its second appearance at Atlanta Motor Speedway in August, when it led 195 laps and finished 19th. It won its third appearance at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in October, when it started seventh and led 162 laps. Harvick drove it for his 500th career start at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth in November 2014, when he qualified fifth, led two laps and finished second. It has scored one win, five top-two finishes, six top-fives and eight top-10s in nine Sprint Cup starts.
Bristol Motor Speedway 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 12 Sprint Cup winners through the first 22 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.
  • Chasing The Cup: By virtue of his fourth-place finish Aug. 1 in the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Harvick secured a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoffs for the 10th time in his career.
  • Points Position: Harvick scored a 32nd-place finish at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International to fall to second in the Sprint Cup driver standings for the first time since April 24th following the race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. He now trails points leader Brad Keselowski by nine markers heading into the Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
  • First or Second: Since joining SHR at the beginning of 2014, Harvick and Childers have teamed to score 31 top-two finishes, including nine wins and 22 runner-up efforts, in 93 total races. The pairing has finished either first or second in more than 33 percent of the Sprint Cup races since the start of 2014.
  • 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 seven laps at Pocono, Harvick now sits at 9,693 laps led for his Sprint Cup career.
  • Leading Laps: Harvick has led 836 laps through the first 22 points-paying races of 2016. He has led at least one lap in 15 of the 22 points-paying Sprint Cup events.
  • Harvick in the Sprint Cup Series at Bristol: The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race will mark Harvick’s 32nd career Sprint Cup start at Bristol. Harvick has one win (April 2005), one pole (August 2014), 10 top-five finishes and 14 top-10s at the half-mile oval. He has led 734 laps, has an average starting position of 16.3, an average finish of 14.4, and has completed 97.6 percent (15,157 of 15,527) of the laps he’s contested there.
  • Bristol Sweep:Harvick’s win in the 2005 Food City 500 at Bristol came in convincing fashion as he led three times for 109 laps and beat Elliott Sadler by 4.652 seconds. A prelude to that win was Harvick’s victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race the day before, giving him a sweep of the Bristol race weekend.
  • Harvick in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Bristol: Harvick has made 29 starts in the Xfinity Series at Bristol. He has five wins (August 2000 and 2001, March 2003, April 2005 and March 2009), three poles (August 2000, March 2001 and 2006), 15 top-five finishes and 24 top-10s. He has led 1,217 laps, has an average starting position of 9.1, an average finish of 7.5, and has completed 99.0 percent (7,615 of 7,691) of the laps he’s contested there.
  • Harvick in the Camping World Truck Series at Bristol: Harvick has five starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Bristol. In his most recent Truck Series start at Bristol in August 2011, he started sixth, led 103 of 200 laps and beat runner-up Johnny Sauter by .434 of a second. In addition to that win, he has two top-five finishes and four top-10s. He has led 227 laps with an average finish of 8.8.
  • Career Totals: Harvick has 32 wins, 146 top-five finishes, 274 top-10s and 15 poles in 559 career Sprint Cup starts heading into Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.

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

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