“Freaky Fast” Harvick Is Heading To The Irish Hills Of Michigan This Weekend

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick is heading to the Irish Hills of Michigan with Jimmy John’s on the hood of his No. 4 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) for Sunday’s FireKeepers 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn looking to score his first win of the season.

Jimmy John’s prides itself on being “Freaky Fast” and “Freaky Fresh,” which is the perfect fit for when the NASCAR Cup Series heads north to Michigan International Speedway. The wide racing surface, long straightaways and sweeping corners make Michigan the fastest track on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

The good news for Jimmy John’s and the No. 4 team is that Harvick has been among the best in the series at the 2-mile oval in recent years, scoring top-five finishes in seven of his last eight starts there.

Harvick scored four consecutive second-place finishes at Michigan from June 2013 through August 2014. He was runner-up to Greg Biffle by 2.989 seconds in June 2013. In August 2013, Harvick finished 1.018 seconds behind Joey Logano. In 2014, he followed Hendrick Motorsports drivers Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon across the finish line in the June and August races, respectively. That’s four races, four second-place finishes, to four different drivers.

His lone finish outside the top-five over the last eight NASCAR Cup Series races at Michigan came in June 2015, when he started second and led 63 laps. But rain shortened the scheduled 200-lap event to just 138 laps and he finished 29th. He followed that by posting yet another runner-up effort in August 2015, when he started seventh, led 15 laps and finished 1.722 seconds behind race-winner Matt Kenseth.

Harvick scored back-to-back top-five finishes at Michigan in 2016. In June, he started 29th and raced his way to a fifth-place finish. His next start in August, he started fourth, led 33 laps and finished fifth.

For his career, Harvick has been to victory lane at Michigan in each of NASCAR’s top three national touring series.

He scored an Xfinity Series win at Michigan in August 2003, when he led 10 laps and beat Kasey Kahne to the finish line under caution. His NASCAR Cup Series win came in August 2010, when he led 60 laps and outran Denny Hamlin to the finish line by 1.731 seconds. He scored a Camping World Truck Series win in August 2011, when he led 13 laps and finished ahead of Timothy Peters as the race ended under caution.

The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion would like to add a fresh Cup Series win to his resume on Sunday at Michigan. A win would be Harvick’s first of the 2017 season and secure his place in NASCAR’s 2017 Playoffs.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What does it take to have a good finish at Michigan?

“How you finish at Michigan depends on how your day is going. If you’re having a good day, it’s not really hard to tell your guys what you need and everyone is in a good mood. If you’re having a bad day, you can get behind at Michigan really fast. Usually, when you’re hooked up at Michigan, the leaders have clean air and move through traffic pretty well. But, if you’re in the middle of the pack, you find yourself getting behind and going a lap down pretty quickly. You’re going to end up with a green-flag pit stop and a whole bunch of green-flag laps. You just have to be going from the time the green flag drops and keep yourself in position at the end.”


Do you enjoy racing at Michigan International Speedway?

“I think we’ve finished really well there over the last couple of years and scored a lot of second-place finishes and top-fives. I learned a long time ago that sometimes those things happen, so it’s better to be on a top-five streak than a 10th-place streak. The good thing about the racetrack is that it has definitely aged and the groove has spread out over the last couple of races, so you have a lot more options than you did a few years ago when they repaved it. Every time we go back there, it gets a little more racey. When we go back this time, there should be lots of room to race and you’ll see lots of speed. As we go through the restarts and traffic and different things, we’ll have to see how it all goes, but it should be interesting.”


Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report

Round 15 of 36 – FireKeepers 400 – Michigan 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. 4-429:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 4-929 in the FireKeepers Casino 400 NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Built new in 2016, Chassis No. 4-929 made its Cup Series debut at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in October, when it won the pole with lap of 27.547 seconds at 196.029 mph, led 12 laps, but failed to finish the race due to a mechanical issue. It made its second appearance in the 2016 season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway, when it won a second consecutive pole with a lap of 30.399 seconds at 177.637 mph. In its 2017 debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March, Harvick won his third consecutive pole with chassis 4-929 with a lap of 29.118 seconds at 190.398 mph in the final round of qualifying. He went on to dominate the majority of the event, leading 292 of 325 laps before suffering a pit-road penalty that led to a ninth-place finish. Its second race of the season came at Kansas, where Harvick started eighth, led 10 laps and finished third.


Michigan 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 FireKeepers 400 at Michigan ranked third in the NASCAR Cup Series standings with 480 points after a runner-up finish at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. He trails leader Martin Truex Jr. by 104 points. Harvick is not currently qualified for NASCAR’s playoffs as he has yet to record a win in 2017.


· Leading Laps: Through the first 14 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series events of 2017, Harvick ranks fourth in laps led with 514 of 4,466 total laps contested – more than 11.5 percent. He trails series-leader Martin Truex Jr. by 362 laps. Harvick has led at least one lap in eight of the 14 points-paying events of 2017.


· Harvick in the NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan: Harvick will make his 33rd NASCAR Cup Series start Sunday at Michigan. Harvick’s lone win at Michigan came in 2010, when he started eighth, led 60 laps and beat Denny Hamlin to the finish line by 1.731 seconds. He also won the Cup Series pole at Michigan in June 2014 with a speed of 204.557 mph. His Michigan resume shows one win, one pole, 10 top-five finishes, 15 top-10s and 323 laps led with an average finish of 12.7. He has finished in the top five in seven of his last eight Cup Series starts at the 2-mile oval, including five runner-up finishes.


· Harvick at Michigan in the Xfinity Series: In 10 starts at Michigan in the Xfinity Series, Harvick has one win, four top-five finishes and eight top-10s. His lone win came in August 2003, when he started fifth, led 10 laps and beat runner-up Kasey Kahne when the race ended under caution.


· Harvick at Michigan in the Camping World Truck Series: Harvick has four starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Michigan. In his most recent Truck Series start there in August 2011, he started sixth, led 13 laps and was leading runner-up Timothy Peters when the race ended under caution. In addition to that win, he has two top-five finishes and three top-10s. He has led 24 laps with an average finish of sixth.


· Passing a Legend: Harvick scored his 49th career second-place finish in the NASCAR Cup SeriesSunday at Pocono, breaking a tie with Lee Petty and taking sole possession of 10th on the all-time Cup Series second-place-finishes list.


· Upcoming Milestone: 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, 159 top-fives, 292 top-10s and 20 poles in 588 career Cup Series starts heading into Sunday’s 400-mile event at Michigan.


· Harvick the TV Broadcaster: Harvick served as the play-by-play announcer in the FOX TV booth for the first-ever all-driver NASCAR Xfinity Series race broadcast at Pocono Raceway last Saturday. It was 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.


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