Harvick Is Practicing “The Texas Two Step”

Kevin Harvick

 Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is heading to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 with a three-point advantage over the fifth-place driver in the playoff standings with two races remaining in the Round of 8.

When Harvick advanced to the Round of 8 two weekends ago, he took a good look at the AAA Texas 500 as perhaps his best chance to score the maximum amount of points and reach victory lane to automatically advance to the winner-take-all Championship 4. What makes that most interesting is that the 1.5-mile Texas oval is one of only three racetracks where Harvick has yet to record a Cup Series victory.

The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion’s optimism stems from the No. 4 team’s performance on the 1.5-mile tracks in recent history. In the last 10 Cup Series races on 1.5-mile tracks, Harvick has scored the second-most points of any driver by collecting five top-fives and nine top-10s in those 10 races, as well as leading 748 laps – second most of any driver over that span.

While Harvick is still looking for his first Cup Series win at Texas, 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 11 top-five finishes, 17 top-10s and led 779 laps. He has an average starting position of 7.4 and finish of 7.3.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 29 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas, Harvick has one pole, seven top-five finishes and 17 top-10s with an average finish of 11.7.

While he is still chasing that elusive first 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 nine of his last 11 races at Texas, including six in a row dating back to November 2014, and he’s led 187 laps in his last six starts. Harvick won his lone Cup Series pole at Texas in April with a lap of 27.217 seconds at 198.405 mph in the final round of qualifying.

Texas Motor Speedway laid an entirely new asphalt surface prior to the start of the season. The one constant with most repaved racetracks in recent history is that the racing typically changes significantly.

With just two races remaining to secure a spot in the Championship 4, Harvick got off to a strong start with a fifth-place finish last weekend in Martinsville and is hoping to continue his strong showing Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. Harvick is looking to win a brand new cowboy hat – traditionally awarded to Texas winners – and, most importantly, secure his position in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a shot at his second NASCAR Cup Series championship.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What is your outlook heading to Texas after your recent speed on intermediate tracks?

Right now, our best tracks have been the 1.5-mile tracks. I feel like we are in contention to run with about anyone at those tracks and I think we’ve proven that as we’ve gone through the playoffs so far. I think Texas is a great opportunity for us to really get to victory lane, so (track president) Eddie Gossage will leave me alone about it, finally. If I had to pick one of the three to win in this round, I would have picked Texas, just so Eddie will get off my back about not having a win at Texas. It’d be great as a team and for myself personally to kind of cross that one off the list, so then I’d just have Kentucky and Pocono to worry about as far as tracks left to win at. Performance-wise, I think Phoenix is going to be good for us, but Texas leans toward our strong suit right now.”

What gives you confidence heading to Texas?

“For us, as we went to Chicago, Dover, Charlotte and Kansas – I mean, all four of those races – I felt we had cars that were capable of contending for the win. We didn’t win, but I think as you look at the rest of the year and you look at those four races, we were able to lead laps in three of the four races, run up front and score stage points and do the things we needed to do to contend. I think right now you know that (Martin) Truex (Jr.) is going to be in there. Kyle Busch won last weekend at Martinsville, so he’s going to be in Homestead with a shot. But, you look from there down I think it’s pretty much wide open. I don’t think you can count anyone below those two out of it, or in it, for that matter.”

Mobil 1 Racing Team Report

Round 34 of 36 – AAA Texas 500 – Texas

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 Kuebler

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 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 4-1038 in the AAA Texas 500 Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Built new in 2017, Chassis No. 4-1038 made its NASCAR Cup Series debut in April at Texas. Harvick won the pole 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. In its start at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in June, Harvick started 18th and finished ninth. At Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Harvick won the pole with a lap of 27.669 seconds at 177.730 mph. He went on to lead 22 laps en route to a ninth-place result, finishing the race one lap down to the leaders. In its most recent start at Dover, Harvick started ninth and finished 17th.
Texas Motor Speedway Notes of Interest:
· Earning It 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. Since joining forces in 2014, Harvick and Childers combined to produce 13 victories, 14 poles, 65 top-five finishes and 95 top-10s; led 6,627 laps; won the 2014 Cup Series title; finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch and eighth in 2016.

 

· Points Position: Harvick arrives to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for the AAA Texas 500 ranked fourth in the driver standings with 4,053 points after his fifth-place finish Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Harvick holds a three-point advantage over the fifth-place driver with two races remaining in the Round of 8.

 

· Playoff Qualifier: Harvick clinched his position in the 2017 playoffs when he scored his first Cup Series win of the season at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June. He started 12th, led 24 laps and had more than a five-second cushion when the final yellow flag waved to end the race under caution.Harvick and the No. 4 team scored one race win and three stage wins to account for eight playoff points. They finished fourth in regular-season points to pick up an additional seven points to earn the sixth seed for the 2017 playoffs. The No. 4 team scored two additional stage wins at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in October for two playoff points.

 

· 11,000 Laps Led: Harvick led 149 laps at Charlotte to become just the 17th driver in Cup Series history to surpass 11,000 laps led for his career. Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth are the only active drivers to also accomplish the feat. After leading 37 laps two weekends ago at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Harvick now sits at 11,053 laps led for his Cup Series career.

 

· Missing From The Trophy Case: Harvick has reached victory lane at 20 of the 23 stops on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit. The three tracks where he has yet to visit victory lane in the NASCAR Cup Series are Texas, Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

 

· Harvick in the NASCAR Cup Series at Texas: The AAA Texas 500 will mark Harvick’s 30th career NASCAR Cup Series start at Texas. He has one pole, seven top-five finishes and 17 top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval. The 41-year-old driver has led 193 laps, has an average starting position of 17.3, an average finish of 11.7, and has completed 96.6 percent (9,343 of 9,669) of the laps he’s contested there.Harvick won his lone pole at Texas in April with a lap of 27.217 seconds at 198.405 mph in the final round of qualifying.

 

· Harvick in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Texas: Harvick has made 20 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), 11 top-five finishes and 17 top-10s. He has led 779 laps, has an average starting position of 7.4, an average finish of 7.3, and has completed 99.3 percent (3,900 of 3,927) 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.

 

· On The Pole: Harvick has scored four Cup Series pole awards in 2017 – three coming on 1.5-mile racetracks. He scored his first of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a lap of 29.118 seconds at 190.398 mph. His second of the season came at Texas, when he made a lap at 27.217 seconds at 198.405 mph. His third came at Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600 with a lap of 27.918 seconds at 193.424 mph. The most recent came at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, where he posted a lap of 27.669 seconds at 177.730 mph.

 

· All-Time Wins List: Harvick’s win at Sonoma in June was the 36th of his Cup Series career, which ranks him 22nd on the all-time wins list. His next Cup Series win will move him into a tie with Bobby Isaac for 21st on the all-time list. Among active drivers, Harvick ranks fourth behind leader Johnson’s 83 career wins, Busch’s 43 and Kenseth’s 38 wins.

 

· Career NASCAR Cup Series Totals: Harvick has 36 wins, 165 top-fives, 304 top-10s and 21 poles in 607 career Cup Series starts heading into Sunday’s race at Texas.

 

· Personal Announcement: On Tuesday, July 11, Harvick kicked off his SiriusXM Radio show “Happy Hours” by announcing that he and wife DeLana are expecting to add a daughter to their family around the first of the year.

 

· 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 on Tuesdays 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.

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

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