|Earning It Since 2014: Harvick enters his 17th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and his fourth at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with crew chief Rodney Childers at the helm. In their first three seasons together, Harvick and Childers combined to produce 12 victories, 11 poles, 54 top-five finishes and 75 top-10s; led 5,815 laps; won the 2014 Cup Series title; finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch and eighth in 2016.
Back Where it Started – Harvick, a native of Bakersfield, California, grew up approximately 150 miles northwest of Auto Club Speedway. He graduated from Bakersfield’s North High School in 1994. When he wasn’t racing, he competed on the high school’s wrestling team. Harvick competed at local racetracks in the Late Model division while attending high school and won the Late Model track championship in 1993 at his home track, Mesa Marin Speedway in Bakersfield. After high school graduation, Harvick decided to follow his dreams and pursue a professional racing career. He advanced to the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour full-time in 1995 and made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut late that year. Harvick kept a busy racing schedule, competing full-time in both the Truck Series and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in 1998. Harvick’s commitment to his racing career paid off as he won five races en route to the K&N Pro Series West championship. His hard-charging style and success behind the wheel caught the eye of team owner Richard Childress, who put him behind the wheel of the No. 2 car in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the 2000 season. Harvick graduated to full-time competition in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2001.
Points Position: Harvick arrives at Auto Club Speedway at Fontana, California ranked seventh in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings with 123 points after a sixth-place finish Sundayin the Camping World 500k at Phoenix International Raceway.
Leader of the Pack: Through the first four NASCAR Cup Series events of 2017, Harvick has led 342 of 1,106 laps. That’s 30.9 percent of the total laps contested. Martin Truex Jr. ranks second in laps led with 152.
Harvick in the NASCAR Cup Series at Auto Club Speedway: The Auto Club 400 will mark Harvick’s 24th career NASCAR Cup start at Auto Club Speedway. Harvick has one win, six top-five finishes and 11 top-10s at the 2-mile oval. The 41-year-old driver has led 237 laps, has an average starting position of 15.9, an average finish of 15.1, and has completed 98.6 percent (5,281 of 5,354) of the laps he’s contested there.
California Boys: Harvick is one of only three California natives to have claimed NASCAR Cup Series victories at Auto Club Speedway. The others are Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.
Harvick in the Xfinity Series at Fontana: Harvick has made 19 starts in the Xfinity Series at Fontana. In 2015, he started sixth, led 100 laps and crossed the finish line 3.317 seconds ahead of runner-up Brendan Gaughan. Harvick has one win, one pole, 12 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s. He has led 376 laps, has an average starting position of 9.6, an average finish of 6.6, and has completed 98.7 percent (2,818 of 2,854) of the laps he’s contested there.
Harvick in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at Fontana: Harvick has two starts in the K&N Pro Series West at Fontana, both driving for Spears Motorsports in 1998. He started and finished second with 32 laps led in his first start at the 2-mile oval in May 1998, when he finished runner-up to Ken Schrader by 1.314 seconds. His only other Fontana start in the West Series came in July 1998, when he won the pole with speed of 173.779 mph, led 52 of 100 laps and beat runner-up Austin Cameron to the finish line by 1.15 seconds. In his two starts, he led 84 of 200 total laps.
Career NASCAR Cup Series Totals: Harvick has 35 wins, 154 top-fives, 286 top-10s and 18 poles in 578 career Cup Series starts heading into Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.
Harvick the TV Broadcaster: Harvick has served as a featured broadcaster in the FOX TV booth for the NASCAR Xfinity Series races Feb. 25 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and March 18 at Phoenix. Healso will be in the booth for Xfinity races April 22 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway,May 6 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and June 10 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. He is slated to broadcast NASCAR Truck Series races April 1 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, July 21 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Oct. 13 at Talladega.
Harvick’s Happy Hours on SiriusXM Radio: On March 14, Harvick announced that he will hostHappy Hours on SiriusXM Radio. The show is set to debut on March 28 and air every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. ET, featuring Harvick’s distinctive perspective on his sport and life outside the track. Harvick and co-host Matt Yocum will take calls from listeners and give NASCAR fans a unique view on the driver’s life and interests when he is away from the racecar. In June, the show will begin airing every other week.
Kevin Harvick Foundation Park: On Wednesday, March 16, 2016, Harvick and baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. cut the ribbon to unveil the Kevin Harvick Foundation Park at the Boys & Girls Club of Kern County in Harvick’s hometown of Bakersfield, California. The park serves as a clean and safe environment in which local youth can play, learn and grow. The facility was the second collaboration between the two organizations, which commenced their alliance by opening the Kevin Harvick Foundation Park in Greensboro, North Carolina, in November 2015. The facility in Bakersfield is designed for multisport use, featuring four outdoor fitness stations, a rubber track surface circling the field’s perimeter, and a digital scoreboard. The park, a gift to The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Kern County, is maintained by the organization, with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and Kevin Harvick Foundation collaborating to create and implement character education programming and clinics for the children who utilize the facility.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!