Kevin Harvick Is In High Gear And Prepared For The Chase

Kevin Harvick pit stop

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Sept. 13, 2016)For the second straight season, Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing, scored more NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship driver points in the 26-race regular season than any other driver. However, with the points reset to start the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoffs after last weekend’s regular-season finale at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, Harvick will start fresh this weekend in Sunday’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.


Luckily, the sponsor on the hood of the No. 4 Chevrolet, Jimmy John’s, always starts fresh when making its sandwiches and knows what it takes to deliver in “Freaky Fast” fashion.


Jimmy John’s, founded in 1983 by then-19-year-old Jimmy John Liautaud approximately 163 miles from Chicagoland Speedway in Charleston, Illinois, serves up ridiculously fresh sandwiches quicker than you can say “Turkey Tom,” a customer favorite which, ironically, is No. 4 on the menu. Jimmy John’s is all about the freshest ingredients, the fastest service and “Freaky Fast” delivery. While most people are more than impressed with the quality of Jimmy John’s sandwiches, it’s the speed with which they are prepared and delivered that really puts the Champaign, Illinois-based chain ahead of the rest.


Harvick is hoping to use the same principles to deliver a freaky fast win early in each three-race round of the 10-race Chase to help him advance to the final four and add to his 2014 Sprint Cup championship.


Harvick qualified for the 10-race Chase by virtue of his two wins at Phoenix International Raceway in March and Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in August. His regular-season victories were each worth three bonus points. Harvick carries his six bonus points into the Chase to slot fourth among the 16 drivers.


The Bakersfield, California native led the 26-race regular season with 876 points prior to the Chase driver standings reset following Richmond.


This is his seventh consecutive playoff appearance and his 10th since the inception of the Chase in 2004. He finished fourth in his Chase debut in 2006, 10th in 2007, fourth in 2008, third in 2010 and 2011, eighth in 2012, third in 2013, won his first Sprint Cup championship in 2014 and finished runner-up to Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch in 2015.


Harvick already has two Sprint Cup wins at Chicagoland and three wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He won the inaugural Sprint Cup race there on July 15, 2001, and made it back-to-back Chicagoland wins as he reached victory lane again on July 14, 2002. His three Xfinity Series wins came in September 2005, July 2007 and September 2014.


The No. 4 Jimmy John’s team is hoping it can continue its approach of winning early and apply it to each round of the Chase. A win in the Round of 16 that features races at Chicago, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and Dover (Del.) International Speedway, would automatically advance a team to the Round of 12. A win in the Round of 12, consisting of races at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, guarantees a spot in the Round of Eight. A win in the Round of Eight, consisting of races at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and Phoenix International Raceway, guarantees a spot in the Championship Four finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


Harvick is looking to ride his “Freaky Fast” Jimmy John’s Chevrolet all the way to a second Sprint Cup Series championship.


KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
Do you change anything in your preparation or in your own life to prepare for those final 10 weeks?

“My attitude. My attitude changes a lot. It’s all offense. Be greedy for your team. Do what you have to do.”


How can Chicago take you by surprise in the Chase?

“I think every track has its way of being able to get the best of you. A lot of those are just circumstances that – whether your car is just not cooperating that weekend or you can’t get a grasp of what you need for your driving style or whatever the case may be – you just have to adjust to. Every team in the garage has a situation or a weak spot that they feel like they need to maximize. Really, the weekends that aren’t going well or the weekends that you have to overcome, those are the weekends that really make the championship within reach when you’re able to turn those weekends around and can make something out of it. The easy weekends are when you have a good car and go out and you win the race – those are the weekends that are the easiest. The hard weekends are when things are bad and you have to turn that around and get a good finish and move on to the next week.”


Is it a given that the top teams will advance through the first round?

“I don’t think there are any givens in really anything you do. I think you have to go out and earn it. You have to be able to overcome situations, capitalize on situations, and you have to be able to perform for 10 weeks in order to put yourself in position to win a championship. You at least have to perform for nine of those 10 to put yourself in position to compete for a championship. It’s just a much different feeling in the atmosphere, in the approach, in the style of the things that you do than it is during the regular season, especially if you’ve won races and you won races early in the year.”


You’ve worked with Jimmy John’s for a few years. What makes Jimmy John’s unique?

“I’ve known Jimmy since 2009 and I’ve personally seen how driven he is and how his work ethic is embraced by Jimmy John’s franchisees. He wants to be the best, period. And he’ll outwork everyone to be the best. That’s the same mindset we have in racing.”

Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report

Round 27 of 36 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 – Chicagoland Speedway

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

Danica Patrick – No. 10 Nature’s Bakery/April O’Neil Chevrolet SS

Tony Stewart – No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS

Kurt Busch – No. 41 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: 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. 4-1009:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS built on Chassis No. 4-1009 in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. Built new in 2016, Chassis No. 4-1009 is slated to make its Sprint Cup debut in race competition this weekend in Joliet. However, this is not the first time that the chassis has been to Chicagoland Speedway as it participated in the Aug. 23 open test in Joliet.


Chicagoland 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. Since their pairing at the beginning of 2014, Harvick and Childers combined to produce 10 victories, nine poles, 50 top-five finishes and 69 top-10s; led 5,642 laps; won the 2014 Sprint Cup title; and finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch.
  • Points Position: Harvick finished fifth Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway to complete the Sprint Cup regular season with 876 points – more than any other driver. It marks the second consecutive season he has led the Sprint Cup points after the 26-race regular season. Harvick is now seeded fourth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup heading into Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois with 2006 points by way of the six points he scored for two victories during the regular season.
  • 2016 Race Winner: Harvick is one of 13 Sprint Cup winners through the first 26 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.
  • 2016 Loop Leader: According to NASCAR Stats and Information, Harvick leads all Sprint Cup drivers in 2016 in top-five finishes (13), top-10 finishes (21), driver rating (110.3), average finish (8.5), average running position (8.231), pass differential (305), fastest laps run (830), percentage of fastest laps run (13.7), laps run on the lead lap (7,231), percentage of laps run on the lead lap (98.05), laps in the top-15 (6,643), percentage of laps in the top-15 (90.2). He ranks second in miles led (1,235.43) and bonus points (30). He ranks third in laps led (1,211), percentage of laps led (16.4) and is tied for fourth 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 97 total races. The pairing has finished either first or second in 34 percent of the Sprint Cup races since the start of 2014.
  • 10,000 Laps Led: After leading 214 laps at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway two weekends ago, 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 26 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 26 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 Chicagoland: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 will mark Harvick’s 16th career Sprint Cup start at Chicagoland. Harvick has two wins (July 2001 and 2002), eight top-five finishes and nine top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval. The 40-year-old driver has led 373 laps, has an average starting position of 17.1, an average finish of 11.7, and has completed 98.1 percent (3,933 of 4,008) of the laps he’s contested there.
  • Career Totals: Harvick has 33 wins, 150 top-five finishes, 278 top-10s and 15 poles in 564 career Sprint Cup starts heading into Sunday’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400.


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