“Freaky Fast” Harvick Has Led The Points For 19 of 25 Races in 2016

Kevin Harvick

KEVIN HARVICK

Freaky Fast Regular Season

 

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Sept. 7, 2016)Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has led the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings following 19 of the 25 events so far in 2016. He holds a 43-point advantage over second-place driver Brad Keselowski heading in to the final event of the 26-race regular season this weekend at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

 

Harvick needs to finish 38th or better Saturday night at Richmond to claim the 2016 regular-season title. It would mark the second season in a row he has finished the regular season with the most points.

 

The Bakersfield, California native won the 2015 Sprint Cup regular season, besting Joey Logano by 30 points after the 26th race last September. However, after the points reset for the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs, Harvick, with two wins during the regular season, was seeded fifth behind Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth, each of whom scored four wins in the first 26 races, and Joey Logano, who had three regular-season wins. Each regular-season win added three bonus points to the 2,000 points each for the 16 Chase drivers starting the playoffs the following weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.

 

Harvick battled through last year’s 10-race Chase to finish runner-up to Kyle Busch by 1 point for the 2015 Sprint Cup championship following the full 36-race schedule.

 

In 2014, Harvick finished the regular season ranked seventh, 126 points behind points leader Jeff Gordon following Richmond, but went on to score three wins in the Chase to claim the Sprint Cup title by one point over Ryan Newman.

 

Despite his two regular-season wins so far this season, Harvick will start this year’s 10-race Chase at Chicagoland no better than third regardless of the outcome Saturday night. Both Keselowski and Busch have claimed four Sprint Cup wins each thus far for a total of 12 bonus points to start the first round.

 

With only Richmond remaining before the start of this year’s Chase, Harvick still would like to add his third Sprint Cup win of the season Saturday night. He scored his first of the year in the season’s fourth race at Phoenix International Raceway, and his second in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

 

Harvick clinched his spot in the playoff field with his fourth-place finish Aug. 1 in the Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, securing a Chase spot for the 10th time in his career. He only needs to attempt to qualify Friday at Richmond to make his playoff status official.

 

While Harvick and the No. 4 team are locked into the Chase field by points and wins, gaining bonus points for additional wins is now their top priority this weekend at Richmond.

 

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
Do you have a favorite win at Richmond?

“I remember the ones I lost more than the ones I won. The first one, where Ricky Rudd and I were racing in 2001, was pretty cool. But, as you look back at the last one we won in 2013 as part of a green-white-checkered finish, I think we came from seventh to win, so I didn’t really expect to win that one. I think the other two were probably fairly strong nights for us.”

 

Is there a special energy racing under the lights at Richmond in the last race before the Chase.

“The second Richmond race each year is especially intense just because you know there’s a lot on the line. There are a lot of people racing for different things. It’s the end of our regular season. If you’re not in the Chase, it’s your last chance to win a race. There are some guys who will probably be fighting for points spots as you go in there, but Richmond is kind of your perfect short track. It has good speed, a short-track feel to it, and the tires wear out. That’s kind of what we all grew up racing on. It’s got a little bit of everything and that makes it a fun place to race.”

Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report

Round 26 of 36 – Federated Auto Parts 400 – Richmond International Raceway

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 Code 3 Associates/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: Eric Maycroft

Hometown: Algonquiin, Illinois

 

Second Gas Man: Marc Wulf

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

 

Front Tire Carrier: Matt Holzbaur

Hometown: New Egypt, New Jersey

 

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. 899:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS built on Chassis No. 4-899 in the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Built in 2014, Chassis No. 4-899 made its debut that September at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, where it started sixth, led 79 laps and finished fifth. Since its debut, Chassis No. 4-899 has started on the front row three times, including twice from the pole position, and recorded three top-five finishes, five top-10s and led 686 laps through eight Sprint Cup starts.
Richmond International Raceway 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.
  • Points Position: Harvick finished second Sunday night at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway to extend his lead in the Sprint Cup standings. He now leads second-place driver Brad Keselowski by 43 points heading into the final race of the regular season Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
  • 2016 Race Winner: Harvick is one of 13 Sprint Cup winners through the first 25 races of 2016. He scored his second win of the season in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, where he started 24th, led 128 laps and beat runner-up Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by 1.933 seconds. He scored his first 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 Sprint 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.
  • 2016 Loop Leader: According to NASCAR Stats and Information, Harvick leads all Sprint Cup drivers in 2016 in points (840), top-five finishes (12), top-10 finishes (20), driver rating (110.9), average finish (8.6), average running position (8.148), pass differential (285), fastest laps run (828), percentage of fastest laps run (14.5), laps run on the lead lap (6,824), percentage of laps run on the lead lap (97.93), laps in the top-15 (6,283), percentage of laps in the top-15 (90.3.8) and miles led (1,235.43). He ranks second in bonus points (30), laps led (1,211), percentage of laps led (17.9) and is tied for third in wins (two).
  • First or Second: Since joining SHR at the beginning of 2014, Harvick and Childers have teamed to score 33 top-two finishes – 10 wins and 23 runner-up efforts in 96 total races. The pairing has finished either first or second in 34.4 percent of the Sprint Cup races since the start of 2014.
  • 10,000 Laps Led: After leading 214 laps at Darlington, Harvick became just the fifth active full-time driver to lead 10,000 laps in his Sprint Cup career. He joins Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. Harvick led 139 laps in the Good Sam 500k at Phoenix earlier this season to surpass 9,000 laps led for his Sprint Cup career.
  • 1,000 Laps Led for the Third Consecutive Season: Harvick has led 1,211 laps through the first 25 points-paying races of 2016. He has now led 1,000 laps for a third consecutive season. He has led at least one lap in 18 of 25 points-paying Sprint Cup events this season. Prior to joining SHR in 2014, Harvick’s season-high was 895 laps led in 2006.
  • Harvick in the Sprint Cup Series at Richmond: The Federated Auto Parts 400 will mark Harvick’s 32nd career Sprint Cup start at Richmond. Harvick has three wins (September 2006 and 2011, and April 2013), one pole (September 2005), 10 top-five finishes and 19 top-10s at the .75-mile oval. The 40-year-old driver has led 1,050 laps, has an average starting position of 14.5, an average finish of 10.6, and has completed 99.0 percent (12,291 of 12,409) of the laps he’s contested there.
  • Harvick in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Richmond: Harvick has made 27 starts in the Xfinity Series at Richmond. He has seven wins, three poles, 18 top-five finishes and 21 top-10s. He has led 1,387 laps, has an average starting position of 8.4, an average finish of 6.8, and has completed 99.9 percent (6,754 of 6,763) of the laps he’s contested there.
  • Richmond Sweep: Harvick won both the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series races at Richmond in September 2006. In the Xfinity race, he started fifth, led 154 of 250 laps and beat runner-up Greg Biffle to the finish line by .925 of a second. In the Sprint Cup race, he also started fifth, led 54 laps and beat runner-up Kyle Busch to the finish line by .153 of a second.
  • Career Totals: Harvick has 33 wins, 149 top-five finishes, 277 top-10s and 15 poles in 563 career Sprint Cup starts heading into Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond.

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

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