Overwhelming Start – First Sprint Cup Win: Following Dale Earnhardt’s death on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, Harvick was named the driver of the No. 29 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing and made his Cup Series debut at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway, where he finished 14th. The following Wednesday, as the series headed west to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Harvick married his wife, DeLana. The following Sunday, Harvick scored his first career Cup Series top-10. Then, on March 11, less than one month since his debut in NASCAR’s top series, Harvick won his first Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Freaky Fast Since 2014: Harvick enters his 18th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and his fifth at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with crew chief Rodney Childers at the helm. In their first four seasons together, Harvick and Childers combined to produce 14 victories, 15 poles, 68 top-five finishes and 98 top-10s; led 6,665 laps; won the 2014 Cup Series title; finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch, eighth in 2016 and third in 2017. The team qualified for the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in three of the last four seasons.
Points Position: Harvick arrives at Atlanta 19th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings with 19 points after a 21st-place finish in the Daytona 500. He scored nine points in the Can-Am Clash at Daytona, scored four points in the first stage of the Daytona 500 and six points for the final result. The last time Harvick was ranked 19th or worse in points was May 4, 2014 following a seventh-place finish at Talladega.
Harvick in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta: The Folds of Honor 500 will mark Harvick’s 28th career NASCAR Cup Series start at Atlanta. Harvick has one win, six top-five finishes and 12 top-10s at the 1.54-mile oval. The 42-year-old driver has led a series-best 971 laps, has an average starting position of 16.7, average finish of 17.3, and has completed 98.0 percent (8,567 of 8,740) of the laps he’s contested there. In his most recent appearance, Harvick started from the pole position, led 292 of the 325 laps, but finished ninth after a late-race speeding penalty on pit road.
Leading Laps at Atlanta: Harvick has led at least 100 laps in five of the last six Cup Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He has accumulated a series-best 835 laps in those six races. The next closest driver during that span is Joey Logano with 165 laps led. Harvick led 292 of 325 (89.8 percent) laps at Atlanta in 2017.
Harvick in the Xfinity Series at Atlanta: Harvick has won three of his last five Xfinity Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and has top-five finishes in 10 of his last 11 starts. He will make his 17th career start in the Xfinity Series there Saturday. Harvick has four wins, 10 top-five finishes and 12 top-10s. He has led 832 laps, has an average starting position of 9.2 an average finish of 7.0, and has completed 97.0 percent (2,972 of 3,064) of the laps he’s contested there.
Career Sprint Cup Totals: Harvick has 37 wins, 168 top-five finishes, 307 top-10s and 21 poles in 611 career NASCAR Cup Series starts heading into Sunday’s Folds of Honor 500 at Atlanta.
Double Duty: Harvick will make his 2018 Xfinity Series debut Saturday afternoon for Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste driving the No. 98 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang. It marks his first of five appearances in the Xfinity Series for 2018. His 2018 schedule also includes Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on April 8, Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on June 9, Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois on June 30, and Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Sept. 1.
Jimmy John’s: Jimmy John’s, maker of gourmet sandwiches with “freaky fast” delivery since 1983, will be the primary sponsor of the No. 4 Ford Fusion for 16 NASCAR Cup Series races in 2016, highlighted by the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
New Addition: Kevin and DeLana Harvick welcomed their second child, Piper Grace Harvick, on Dec. 28, 2017.
Harvick’s Happy Hours on SiriusXM Radio: Harvick is entering the second year as the co-host of Happy Hours on SiriusXM Radio channel 90. The show debuted March 28, 2017 and airs on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. ET, featuring Harvick’s distinctive perspective on the 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.
Harvick the Broadcaster: Harvick will once again appear in the television booth for FOX at select Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series races in 2018. He is set to make his broadcast debut in the Xfinity race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway on April 20 and will join the all-driver broadcast onApril 28 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. He is also slated to broadcast NASCAR Truck Series races at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta on July 12, Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio on July 18 and Talladega on Oct. 13.
Homecoming Race: Harvick announced on the Feb. 6 edition of his SiriusXM Radio show Happy Hours that he is scheduled to compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West opener on Thursday, March 15 at Kern County Raceway in Bakersfield, California. Harvick, a Bakersfield, California native, will field the No. 4 Ford for Jefferson Pitts Racing with sponsorship from FIELDS. This will marks Harvick’s first-ever appearance at the racetrack in his hometown, since he grew up racing at the now-closed Mesa Marin Raceway. Harvick has won his last two appearances in the West Series – 2007 at Iowa Speedway and 2017 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!