Harvick Has Won Five Of The Last Six Phoenix Races

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finds himself in a familiar, albeit uncomfortable, position as he arrives to Phoenix International Raceway for the Can-Am 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race needing a win to advance to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.

Harvick needed a win at Phoenix in November 2014 to advance to the winner-take-all championship race at Homestead, and he delivered one of the most dominant wins of his Sprint Cup career when he started third, led 264 of 312 laps and beat runner-up Jeff Gordon to the finish line by 1.636 seconds.

In 2015, Harvick was able to advance to the Championship 4 with a second-place finish in the rain-shortened event at Phoenix.

Harvick’s career numbers at Phoenix feature a series-high eight Sprint Cup wins, including five in his last six outings. He became the only Sprint Cup driver to win four consecutive races there when he won the November 2013 race, swept the 2014 races and won again in March 2015. Only five drivers have won consecutive Sprint Cup races at Phoenix and Harvick is the only one to win consecutive races twice. He swept both races in 2006 to go with his back-to-back wins in 2014. His most recent Phoenix win was this past March.

According to NASCAR loop data, Harvick is the only driver to score a perfect 150.0 driver rating on three different occasions at Phoenix. Harvick scored his first perfect rating at the mile oval in November 2006, when he started second and led 252 of 312 laps on his way to victory lane. He accomplished the feat a second time in winning the November 2014 race. His third perfect score came in March 2015, when he won the pole, led 224 of 312 laps and beat Jamie McMurray to the finish line by 1.153 seconds.

Harvick also leads all Sprint Cup drivers with 1,484 laps led – 17.6 percent of his total laps contested – and 757 fastest laps run. He ranks second in average running position at 8.8, in driver rating at 111.2, in average finish at 8.9, and he has 5,790 laps in the top-15, or 80.8 percent. Harvick’s only Sprint Cup pole at Phoenix was in March 2015, when he recorded a lap of 25.577 seconds at 140.751 mph in the third round.

In addition to his series-high eight Sprint Cup wins, Harvick has four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins and one in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The defending Sprint Cup champion won the Truck Series events at Phoenix in 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009. He scored his lone Xfinity win at Phoenix in 2006.

Thirty-four races into this season, Harvick has been a model of consistency as he has recorded four wins, 15 top-five finishes, 25 top-10s and he’s also led 1,305 laps with an average finish of 10.3.

While consistency has been key for Harvick throughout the season, his appearance in the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup Round of 8 came anything but easily. The 2014 Sprint Cup champion has an average finish of 16.25 in this year’s Chase.

He raced his way out of the Round of 16 with a win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon following a sub-par 20th-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. He suffered a mechanical failure the following week at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and finished 37th.

In the Round of 12, Harvick finished 38th with another mechanical issue at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, but followed that with a win at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and seventh at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway to advance to the Round of 8.

The Bakersfield, California native kicked off the Round of 8 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway with another 20th-place finish, then scored a sixth-place finish Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. He stands 18 points behind the fourth-place driver heading into the final race in the Round of 8 and the penultimate race of the 2016 season.

If Harvick plans to advance to the Championship 4 for the third consecutive season, he will need to have a freaky fast afternoon at the mile oval in the Arizona desert this weekend and finish the day standing in victory lane.


KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

What makes racing at Phoenix unique?
“Phoenix is a really flat racetrack where you want to have the freshest tires possible, but track position is really important. A lot of what happens at Phoenix depends on the weather and how hot it is – how much fall-off and how you have to manage track position throughout the day. The cooler the day is, the more you have to manage your track position. The hotter the day, the more you have to manage the fall-off. Better-handling cars will have a little easier time of getting through the field.”


When you go to Phoenix, do you feel like you have an edge over the rest of the field?
“I feel like that can be gone at any point. That’s the hardest thing about having success. You have to have an open mind to try new things to keep moving forward. If you don’t have an open mind or are not willing to try a fresh approach, then it will get stagnant. You’re going to become stale and get left behind. As we go to Phoenix, we have to look at the things that we’ve done well. Obviously, we’ve done a lot of good things. We look at the race tape and pay attention to the lines and braking, steering, throttle and all the things that you have access to and you try to mimic that immediately when you get on the racetrack. The hard part about our sport is the conditions are never the same. You never know if it’s going to be 100 degrees or if it’s going to be 50 degrees. That makes a big difference on the balance of the car, how much downforce it makes and how much tape you can run on the front. There are all kinds of things to navigate through once you get there. There are a lot of good racecar drivers and lots of circumstances that could play out to have things go wrong. You go there with a fresh start like you’ve never won there before and try to get the car dialed in.”


Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report

Round 34 of 36 – Can-Am 500k – Phoenix International Raceway

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

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: 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. 4-841:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS built on Chassis No. 4-841 in the Can-Am 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. Chassis No. 4-841 made its Sprint Cup debut in March 2015 at Phoenix, where it scored a dominant win from the pole and led 224 laps to score Harvick’s second win of 2015. At Phoenix in November, Harvick started eighth and again dominated the race by leading 143 of 219 laps before finishing second when the race was called due to rain. It won its first race of 2016 when it started 18th and led 139 laps en route to victory lane at Phoenix. In its most recent appearance, Harvick started 19th, led eight laps and won the September 2016 race at Loudon. Chassis No. 4-841 has three wins, three runner-up finishes, eight top-fives, nine top-10s, a 42nd-place finish, and has led 656 laps in 10 Sprint Cup starts.​


Phoenix International Raceway 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 the 105 Sprint Cup events since their pairing at the beginning of 2014, Harvick and Childers combined to produce 12 victories, 10 poles, 52 top-five finishes and 73 top-10s; led 5,736 laps; won the 2014 Sprint Cup title; and finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch.


​• Trophies of 2016: Harvick is one of 13 Sprint Cup winners through the first 34 races of 2016. 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. 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 third win of the season Sept. 25 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, where he started 19th, led eight laps and finished .442 of a second ahead of runner-up Matt Kenseth. He scored his fourth and most recent win of the season on October 16 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, where he started 11th, led 74 laps and beat runner-up Edwards by 1.183 seconds.


​• Survive and Advance: Harvick’s Oct. 16 win in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas locked him into the Chase for the Sprint Cup Round of 8. He advanced to the Round of 12 by winning the Bad Boy Off Road 300 at New Hampshire Sept. 25. Harvick finished the regular season with 876 points – more than any other driver. It marked the second consecutive season he has led the Sprint Cup points after the 26-race regular season.


​• First or Second: Since joining SHR at the beginning of 2014, Harvick and Childers have teamed to score 35 top-two finishes – 12 wins and 23 runner-up efforts in 106 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.


​• 10,000 Laps Led: After leading 214 laps at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, 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 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 1,305 laps through the first 34 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 21 of 33 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 Phoenix: Sunday’s Can-Am 500k will mark Harvick’s 28th career Sprint Cup start at Phoenix. Harvick has a series-high eight wins, 12 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s at the mile oval. The 40-year-old driver has led 1,484 laps, has an average starting position of 16.3, an average finish of 10.3, and has completed 99.7 percent (8,391 of 8,413) of the laps he’s contested there.


​• Topping the All-Time Sprint Cup Win List at Phoenix: Harvick’s series-high eight career Sprint cup wins at Phoenix tops a list that shows Johnson next-best with four career wins, followed by Davey Allison, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Edwards and Mark Martin with two wins each.


Winner of Five of the Last Six at Phoenix: Harvick has won five of the last Sprint Cup races at Phoenix and six of the last eight. He is the only driver to win four in a row. He won the November 2013 race, swept the 2014 races and won in March 2015 before ending his streak with a runner-up finish in November 2015. Jimmie Johnson is the only other driver to win three straight when he won the November 2007 race and swept the 2008 races. Only five drivers have won consecutive Sprint Cup races at Phoenix and Harvick is the only driver to win consecutive races twice. Harvick also swept both races in 2006. He has led 1,064 laps in his last six races at Phoenix.


​• Perfection at Phoenix: Harvick has scored a perfect 150.0 driver rating at Phoenix on three occasions. His first was in November 2006, when he started second, led 252 of 312 laps and reached victory lane. His second was in his November 2014 win, when he started third and led 264 of 312 laps. His third came in his win last March, when he started first and led 224 of 312 laps.


​• Career Totals: Harvick has 35 wins, 152 top-five finishes, 282 top-10s and 16 poles in 572 career Sprint Cup starts heading into Sunday’s Can-Am 500k.



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