Harvick Hopes To Erase The Goose Egg From His Cup Texas Winning Tallies

Kevin Harvick

The most important number for Kevin Harvick heading into Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth is his number of trips to victory lane in the Cup Series at the 1.5-mile oval – ZERO.

The driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) is still looking for his first NASCAR Cup Series win there even though he has had success there in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Harvick has five wins and two poles at Texas in the Xfinity Series. He’s also scored 10 top-five finishes, 16 top-10s and led 779 laps. He has an average starting position of 7.0 and finish of 7.5.

In the Truck Series, Harvick has one Texas victory, which came in 2011. He also has two top-fives and led 64 laps in four starts.

In 28 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas, Harvick has six top-five finishes and 16 top-10s with an average finish of 12.0.

While he is still chasing that elusive Cup Series win at Texas, Harvick’s recent starts there show he may be close to finally breaking through. He has finished in the top-10 in eight of his last 10 races at Texas, including five straight dating back to November 2014, and he’s led 110 laps in his last five starts.

What should make Texas even more challenging this time around is the new surface on the 1.5-mile tri-oval. Since the series last visited the speedway in Fort Worth, the track laid an entirely new asphalt surface that no drivers or teams have had the opportunity to test. The one constant with most repaved racetracks in recent history is that the racing typically changes significantly.

Six races into 2017, Harvick is ranked 10th in the championship driver standings with 154 points, but has struggled to find the finishes he has over the previous three seasons to start the season. Since joining SHR prior to the start of the 2014 season, Harvick has never gone to Texas Motor Speedway in April without a win to his credit. The string of tough luck has included a pit-road speeding penalty at Atlanta that cost the No. 4 team a win; a cut tire at Las Vegas resulting in a 38th-place finish; and a damaged nose coming to the green flag at the start of the race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, followed by a cut tire in the same race, which forced Harvick to battle back from two laps down to finish 13th.

The No. 4 team also had to work without veteran crew chief Rodney Childers last weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway as he was serving a one-race penalty for an infraction discovered after the race at Phoenix.

Harvick and the No. 4 team are hoping their luck changes Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway and he can win a brand new cowboy hat and, most importantly, add one more racetrack to his list of NASCAR Cup Series victory lane appearances.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Normally you have a test or some helpful information before heading to a newly resurfaced racetrack for the first time. Does it feel like you’re going in blind this weekend at Texas?

“It does feel like we’re going in somewhat blind. I think there might be some rough data, maybe, and some video of people driving pace cars around the racetrack, but it’s going to be a unique weekend just for the fact that the track is different in turns one and two. Eddie Gossage spent a lot of time talking to the drivers and really trying to figure out what they could do to make their racetrack better since they were going to have to repave it. Texas was at a point where they were going to repave it because they basically just had a big sponge. They couldn’t get the water out of the ground in the asphalt and they had to repave their track. Turns one and two are much wider with a little bit less banking. The hope is that we’ll be able to carry a little more speed in there and have to use some brakes to slow the cars down. Turns three and four are virtually the same. They put a lot of thought into making things different. But, we’re just showing up at the racetrack and having two hours of practice basically for the Cup cars and then a couple Xfinity practices before jumping in the car to qualify. It’s going to be very unique because, usually, we have an open day of testing in these situations. I think it’s going to be a great challenge. It’s like going to the roller-coaster park and getting on a roller coaster that scares you to death the first time. There’s nothing like going out there and getting scared to death, sliding around trying to figure out where you’re going. There’s a lot more to think about than normal.”

Does running both the Xfinity and Cup races at Texas work as a benefit for you?

“I think the progression throughout the weekend is definitely going to feed off both cars. This is the second race that I get to drive the No. 41 Xfinity car. It’s the first weekend that we’ve got Hunt Brothers Pizza with their four races on the Xfinity car this year. When we picked Texas, it was just a racetrack I like to race at and a market they wanted to be in. Little did we know it was going to be part of a repave and now it’s part of this weekend. It’s really going to be beneficial for me to see how the racetrack evolves and progresses throughout the weekend. To get a race underneath my belt on Saturday before we have to get in the car on Sunday is something where you can take a lot of information from the same tires and same air pressures. Just from the driver’s standpoint, to see where to drive on the racetrack is going to be very beneficial.”

Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report

Round 7 of 36 – O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 – Texas Motor Speedway

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

Headquarters: Moorseville, North Carolina


Engine Specialist: Robert Brandt

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama


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: Matthew Custer

Hometown: Bedford, Pennsylvania


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. 4-1038:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 4-1038 in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Built new in 2017, Chassis No. 4-1038 will make its NASCAR Cup Series debut this weekend.​


Texas Motor Speedway Notes of Interest:

· Freaky Fast 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.


· Points Position: Harvick arrives at Texas Motor Speedway ranked 10th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings with 154 points after a 20th-place finish Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. He trails points leader Kyle Larson by 114 points.


· Leading Laps: Through the first six NASCAR Cup Series events of 2017, Harvick has led 342 of 1,808 laps. That’s nearly 19 percent of the total laps contested. That ranks second in the Cup series to Kyle Busch’s 413 laps led.


· Missing From The Trophy Case: Harvick has reached victory lane at 19 of the 23 stops on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit. The four tracks where he has yet to visit victory lane in the NASCAR Cup Series are Texas, Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.


· Harvick in the NSCAR Cup Series at Texas: The O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 will mark Harvick’s 29th career NASCAR Cup Series start at Texas. He has six top-five finishes and 16 top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval. The 41-year-old driver has led 116 laps, has an average starting position of 17.9, an average finish of 12.0, and has completed 96.5 percent (9,009 of 9,335) of the laps he’s contested there.


·  Harvick in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Texas: Harvick has made 19 starts in the Xfinity Series at Texas. He has five wins (March 2001, and November 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2012), two poles (April 2008 and 2014), 10 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s. He has led 779 laps, has an average starting position of 7.0, an average finish of 7.5, and has completed 99.3 percent (3,700 of 3,727) of the laps he’s contested there.


·  Harvick in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Texas: Harvick has made four starts in the Truck Series at Texas. He has one win (November 2011), two top-five finishes and two top-10s. He has led 64 laps, has an average starting position of 16.8, an average finish of 12.2, and has completed 92.6 percent (573 of 619) of the laps he’s contested there.


· Double Duty:Harvick will compete in the NASCAR Cup Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 and also the Xfinity Series My Bariatric Solutions 300 this weekend at Texas. He will drive the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for SHR in the Cup Series race and the No. 41 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang for SHR in the Xfinity Series event.


· Career NASCAR Cup Series Totals: Harvick has 35 wins, 154 top-fives, 286 top-10s and 18 poles in 580 career Cup Series starts heading into Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas.


· Harvick the TV Broadcaster: Harvick has served as a broadcaster in the FOX TV booth for the NASCAR Xfinity Series races Feb. 25 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and March 18 at Phoenix, as well as the Camping World Truck Series event on April 1 in Martinsville. He also 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. He is slated to broadcast the NASCAR Truck Series racesJuly 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 host Happy Hours on SiriusXM Radio. The show debuted March 28 and airs 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.


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