Will Harvick be “Freaky Fast” At Dover?

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is looking to break into the win column for the first time in 2017 when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Dover (Del.) International Speedway Sunday afternoon. Luckily, Harvick likes to emulate his sponsor, Jimmy John’s, who is known for being

In terms of pure speed, Harvick has been one of the fastest at Dover since joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014, scoring one win, one pole and two top-five finishes. What is more impressive is that he has led 810 of 2,405 laps in six races there – nearly 33.7 percent of the total laps raced since the beginning of 2014. Jimmie Johnson ranks second during that span with 389 laps led – 421 laps fewer than Harvick.

Harvick’s most impressive Monster Mile performance came in October 2015, when the No. 4 team arrived at Dover ranked 15th in the playoff standings and trailing Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 23 points for the final transfer position into the Round of 12. A solid finish wouldn’t do – Harvick needed a win to advance. With everything on the line, he delivered the most dominant race of his NASCAR Cup Series career. He started 15th after rain cancelled qualifying Friday afternoon, but he quickly raced his way to the front and led 355 of 400 laps to beat runner-up Kyle Busch to the finish line by 2.639 seconds.

According to NASCAR Stats and Information, he registered a 149.7 driver rating out of a possible 150.0, narrowly missing his fourth perfect driver rating in a NASCAR Cup Series race. He previously registered perfect 150.0 driver ratings at Phoenix International Raceway on three occasions – November 2006 and 2014, and March 2015.

However, luck has not always been on the side of the No. 4 team at Dover.

In June 2014, Harvick started eighth, led 24 laps, but finished 17th as the first car one lap down after he had a valve stem issue during a pit stop that caused a tire to go down on the following restart.

He won the pole at Dover in September 2014, when he turned a lap of 22.095 seconds at 162.933 mph in the second round of qualifying. On race day, he stayed at the front of the field for 223 laps but had to settle for a 13th-place finish after another valve stem issue led to a flat tire following a pit stop and caused him to fall a lap down to the leaders.

Harvick started from the pole after qualifying was rained out in May 2016. He led 117 laps early in the race before he was caught in an 18-car accident and finished one lap down in 15th.

The 2014 Cup Series champion has been the class of the field when it comes to Cup Series qualifying in 2017, scoring three poles through the first 12 races. No other driver has scored multiple poles this season.

While Harvick has raced up front and scored 388 points to rank fourth in the Cup Series standings with three stage wins to his credit, he is still in search of his first Cup Series race win of the season. He would like to add his second career Dover win to go with his October 2015 victory. If he succeeds, he will secure his spot in the 2017 NASCAR playoffs.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Why is Dover one of the more challenging racetracks on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule?

“I think as you look at Dover, if you look at our history, when I was at RCR (Richard Childress Racing), it was probably one of our worst racetracks. It’s been one of our best since I came to SHR in 2014. For me, the thing I love about Dover is just the fact it’s hammer down and you’re up on top of the wheel for 400 laps there. It’s violent. Everything about Dover is violent. It’s fast. You can just be aggressive with the car and you have to get in there and wrestle that thing all day because it’s bumpy, slings you up out of the corners, dumps you down in the corners, and there’s just a lot going on. The car is bouncing around a lot and, with as rough as the cars have been just as the ride goes, we are in for a rough ride when we get to Dover this weekend. It’s one of my favorite racetracks to go and race on.”

 

Describe what it’s like to take a lap around Dover.

“Dover is the racetrack where you feel the sensation of speed more than anything. It’s a place where you drop off into the corner and slam into a lot of banking and then, as you come out of the corner, it’s kind of like jumping out of a hole and up onto the straightaway. It’s a really fun place to race. You feel that sensation of speed and you can be really aggressive.”

 

Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report

Round 13 of 36 – AAA 400 Drive for Autism – Dover International 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: Chris Clayton

Hometown: Modesto, California

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 AAA 400 Drive for Autism Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Built new in 2017, Chassis No. 4-1038 made its NASCAR Cup Series debut in April at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Harvick won the pole at Texas with a lap of 27.217 seconds at 198.405 mph. He went on to lead 77 laps en route to a fourth-place finish.​

 

Dover International Speedway Notes of Interest:
· Freaky Fast Since 2014: Harvick is in 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 the AAA 400 Drive For Autism ranked fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings with 388 points after an eighth-place finish at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. He trails leader Martin Truex Jr. by 103 points.

 

· Leading Laps: Through the first 12 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series events of 2017, Harvick ranks third in laps led with 514 of 3,900 total laps contested – more than 13.1 percent. He trails series-leader Martin Truex Jr. by 255 laps. Harvick has led at least one lap in eight of the 12 points-paying events of 2017, including at least 10 laps in six consecutive points-paying events. Harvick ranks second in the Cup Series in miles led with 828.29.

 

· Harvick at Dover in the NASCAR Cup Series: Harvick will make his 33rd NASCAR Cup Series start Sunday at Dover. He scored his lone win at the concrete mile oval in October 2015, when he started 15th, led 355 of 400 laps and beat runner-up Kyle Busch by 2.639 seconds. Harvick earned his first Cup Series pole at Dover in September 2014 with a time of 22.095 at 162.095 mph. Harvick has two career Cup Series runner-up finishes at Dover, most recently in May 2015, when he started sixth, led 91 laps and finished runner-up to Jimmie Johnson. Harvick’s Dover resume shows one win, five top-five finishes, 14 top-10s and 955 laps led with an average finish of 15.0.

 

· Harvick at Dover in the Xfinity Series: Harvick has 17 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Dover but none since September 2013. He has one pole, which came in his first Xfinity race at Dover in June 2000 at a speed of 154.912 mph. He also started first in September 2003 and June 2006, when no time trials were held. He has four top-five finishes, 10 top-10s, and has led 290 laps with an average finish of 11.2.

 

· Harvick at Dover in the Camping World Truck Series: Harvick has two starts at Dover in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He started second, led 18 laps and finished fifth in his first race at Dover in May 2011. He won the pole with a speed of 158.235 mph and finished third in June 2012. He has an average starting position of 1.5 and an average finish of 4.0 with 114 laps led in his two starts.

 

· Upcoming Milestone: Harvick sits at 48 second-place finishes in the Cup Series and needs one more to break a tie with Lee Petty and take sole possession of 10th on the all-time Cup Series second-place-finishes list. Harvick also needs 245 laps led to become the 17th Cup Series driver of all-time to lead 11,000 or more laps.

 

· Career NASCAR Cup Series Totals: Harvick has 35 wins, 158 top-fives, 291 top-10s and 20 poles in 586 career Cup Series starts heading into Sunday’s 400-mile event at Dover.

 

· Harvick the TV Broadcaster: Harvick will serve as the play-by-play announcer in the FOX TV booth for the first-ever all-driver NASCAR Xfinity Series race broadcast at Pocono (Pa.) RacewayJune 10. It will mark his fifth appearance in the booth since the start of the season. He also visited the booth on Feb. 25 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, March 18 at Phoenix International Raceway, April 22 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, May 6 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, as well as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event April 1 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. He also is slated to broadcast the Truck Series races 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 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 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.

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

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