Kevin Harvick Wants To Make Some Noise At Bristol

Kevin Harvick

 Kevin Harvick is headed to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for this Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 looking to make some noise on track at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile.

The driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has three Cup Series wins early in the 2018 Cup Series campaign, scored in back-to-back-to-back fashion at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway near Phoenix, both over runner-up Kyle Busch, and Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Brad Keselowski was the runner-up.

Harvick nearly added his fourth Cup Series win of the season last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, but finished runner-up to Kyle Busch by .300 of a second. The driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford has now finished first or second in four of the first seven races of the 2018 campaign and has a total of five top-five finishes.

The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion proves to be just as fast early in the weekend, where he has qualified in the top-10 for each Cup Series event of the season. He has scored a series-best average starting position of 5.9.

He also leads the Cup Series with 520 laps led, 768.24 miles led, a 115.1 driver rating, three wins and five top-five finishes. In addition he ranks fifth with 1,830 laps in the top-15.

The speed of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford continues to lead the way throughout the weekend, which is why the team ranks first, in what may be the most important category, so far in this early season – playoff points. The 12 playoff points through the first seven events is five more than the next closest competitors – Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.

This weekend at Bristol, Harvick has a chance to add to those statistics. The driver of the No. 4 Ford has scored two Cup Series wins at Bristol in April 2005 and August 2016. Harvick’s win in the 2005 Food City 500 at Bristol came in convincing fashion as he led three times for 109 laps and beat Elliott Sadler by 4.652 seconds. His most recent win at Bristol came in August 2016, when the race was postponed due to inclement weather and raced during the day Sunday afternoon. Harvick went on to lead 128 laps and beat runner-up Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to the finish line by 1.933 seconds to score his second NASCAR Cup Series win at the .533-mile oval. The win marked Busch Beer’s first appearance in victory lane as the sponsor of Harvick and the No. 4 team.

Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has one win, three top-five finishes and five top-10s at Bristol. He also ranks second with 442 laps led and fourth in points with 247.

Heading into this weekend, the No. 4 team ranks fourth with 257 Cup Series points, trailing leader Kyle Busch by 59 markers. That number is significant considering Harvick and Busch have finished 1-2 in three of the first seven events of the season – with Harvick in the higher position in two of the three.

While Harvick leads the Cup Series with three wins and 12 playoff points through the first seven races, he still would love nothing more than to win the race and both stages to add some space in the playoff point standings over second-ranked Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Busch.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
What makes Bristol unique and how do you expect the weekend to go?

“Things happen so fast at Bristol. You’ll see as the weekend goes, you’ll have that PJ1 at the bottom of the racetrack and once it gets burned into the bottom, you’ll be tearing it up on the bottom. Then the next thing you know you’ll be half-way through race practice on Saturday and Kyle Larson will be up there throwing rocks and dirt trying to do everything that he can to get the high groove going. Then you’ll have Ty Dillon, Jamie McMurray and a couple others will follow him up there and they’ll get the top going pretty good. Then during the Xfinity race the top will get burned in pretty good and the top will be the preferred groove by the time it’s all said and done. Putting that PJ1 on the bottom of the racetrack just allows you an option when you’re going through lap traffic and it keeps everyone from being locked into that top groove. Putting that PJ1 gives you just enough grip on the bottom to be able to shoot down there to pass lapped cars or get some grip on the restarts and be able to try and make a pass.”

 

Is it hard to communicate inside the racecar at Bristol because everything happens so fast?

“It’s definitely loud and hard for the teams to hear. One of the hardest things at Bristol is just to see what’s going on. I have crashed at Bristol and gone back to watch it on TV and you’re like, ‘what in the hell were you doing? You just ran into four or five cars that have been sitting there for two seconds.’ But, Bristol is a very demanding racetrack. It’s very hard because things happen so fast, communication is hard. It’s easy to make a mistake or pile into a wreck. It’s easy to wreck somebody or to get into a fight. It’s easy to do a lot of things because there is just so much happening. It’s a tough place to race, to put it all together and mentally and physically exhausting.”

Busch Beer Racing Team Report

Round 8 of 36 – Food City 500 – Bristol Motor Speedway

At-Track PR Contact: Ryan Barry, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388 ext. 812, Ryan.Barry@TrueSpeedCommunication.com)
Primary Team:
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: Mooresville, North Carolina
Engine Specialist: Robert Brandt
Hometown: Mobile, Alabama
Spotter: Tim Fedewa
Hometown: Holt, Michigan
Over-The-Wall Crew:
Gas Man: Justin White
Hometown: Lynnville, Tennessee
Front Tire Changer: Eric Maycroft
Hometown: Algonquin, Illinois
Rear Tire Changer: Daniel Smith
Hometown: Concord, North Carolina
Jackman: Stan Doolittle
Hometown: Ninety-Six, South Carolina
Tire Carrier: Mike “Shrek” Morneau
Hometown: Oxford, Maine
Road Crew:
Truck Drivers: Rick Hodges and Stephen Mitchell
Hometowns: Raleigh, North Carolina, and Woodville, Ohio, respectively
Tire Specialist: Chris Rock
Hometown: Steubenville, Ohio
Shock Specialist: Michael 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

Interior Specialist: Matt Custer

Hometown: Bedford, Pennsylvania

Chassis No. 4-841:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 4-841 in the Food City 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Chassis No. 4-841 made its Cup Series debut in March 2015 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix, where it scored a dominant win from the pole and led 224 laps to score Harvick’s second win of 2015. At Phoenix in November 2015, Harvick started eighth and again dominated the race by leading 143 of 219 laps before finishing second when the race was called due to rain. It won its first race of 2016 when it started 18th and led 139 laps en route to victory lane at Phoenix. In September 2016 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Harvick started 19th, led eight laps and won the race. Chassis No. 4-841 has three wins, three runner-up finishes, nine top-fives, 10 top-10s, a 42nd-place finish, and has led 656 laps in 11 Cup Series starts.

 

Bristol Motor Speedway Notes of Interest:
· Earning It with Three Wins: Kevin Harvick scored consecutive Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway near Phoenix the second, third and fourth weekends of the season.

 

· Freaky Fast Qualifier: Harvick has reached the final round of qualifying or started in the top-10 at every race in 2018. He qualified sixth at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, third at Atlanta, second at Las Vegas and 10th at both Phoenix and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Harvick also set the Fontana track record with a lap of 38.147 seconds at 188.744 mph in the first round of qualifying. He started eighth at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway after qualifying was cancelled due to inclement weather and 10th at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth after qualifying was completed after only one round due to lightning in the area.

 

· Since 2014: Harvick is in his 18th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and his fifth at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with crew chief Rodney Childers at the helm. Since joining forces, Harvick and Childers combined to produce 17 victories, 15 poles, 73 top-five finishes and 103 top-10s; led 7,185 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 three of the last four seasons.

 

· Points Position: Harvick arrives at Bristol ranked fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings with 257 points after his runner-up finish at Texas.

 

· Playoff Qualifier: Harvick qualified for the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs with his wins at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix. He will enter the playoffs with a minimum of 12 playoff points. He gained five playoff points each for race wins at Atlanta and Phoenix and an additional point for each of his stage wins at Atlanta and Texas.

 

· 101 and Counting: Harvick scored his 100th career win in NASCAR’s top three series when he won the Cup Series race at Las Vegas and his 101st at Phoenix the following week. He has 40 Cup Series wins, 47 in the Xfinity Series and 14 in the Camping World Truck Series. Harvick and Childers also have 102 top-10s since they joined forces in 2014. Only four drivers in NASCAR history have passed 100 wins in NASCAR’s top three series: Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Busch and Harvick.

 

· Missing From The Trophy Case: Harvick has reached victory lane at 21 of the 23 stops on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit after his win at Texas Motor Speedway in November. The two tracks where he has yet to visit victory lane in the Cup Series are Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

 

· Harvick in the NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol: The Food City 500 will mark Harvick’s 35th career NASCAR Cup Series start at Bristol. Harvick has two wins (April 2005, August 2016), one pole (August 2014), 12 top-five finishes and 17 top-10s at the half-mile oval. He has led 876 laps, has an average starting position of 16.7, an average finish of 13.4, and has completed 97.8 percent (16,657 of 17,027) of the laps he’s contested there.

 

· Bristol Night Race Winner: Harvick started 24th and raced his way to the win in August 2016 in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol. The race was postponed due to inclement weather and raced during the day Sunday afternoon, when Harvick led 128 laps and beat runner-up Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to the finish line by 1.933 seconds to score his second NASCAR Cup Series win at the .533-mile oval. The race marked Busch Beer’s first appearance in victory lane on the hood of the No. 4 Ford.

 

· Bristol Sweep: Harvick’s win in the 2005 Food City 500 at Bristol came in convincing fashion as he led three times for 109 laps and beat Elliott Sadler by 4.652 seconds. A prelude to that win was Harvick’s victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race the day before, giving him a sweep of the Bristol race weekend.

 

· Harvick in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Bristol: Harvick has made 29 starts in the Xfinity Series at Bristol. He has five wins (August 2000 and 2001, March 2003, April 2005 and March 2009), three poles (August 2000, March 2001 and 2006), 15 top-five finishes and 24 top-10s. He has led 1,217 laps, has an average starting position of 9.1, an average finish of 7.5, and has completed 99.0 percent (7,615 of 7,691) of the laps he’s contested there.

 

· Harvick in the Camping World Truck Series at Bristol:  Harvick has five starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Bristol. In his most recent Truck Series start at Bristol in August 2011, he started sixth, led 103 of 200 laps and beat runner-up Johnny Sauter by .434 of a second. In addition to that win, he has two top-five finishes and four top-10s. He has led 227 laps with an average finish of 8.8.

 

· All-Time Wins List: Harvick’s win at Phoenix moved him into a tie with Mark Martin for 18th on the all-time list with 40 career Cup Series wins. Among active drivers, Harvick ranks third behind leader Jimmie Johnson’s 83 career wins and Busch’s 43.

 

· SHR at Texas: In 54 overall starts at Bristol, SHR-prepared cars have earned one win (Harvick in August 2016), nine top-five finishes and 19 top-10s, have been atop the leaderboard for 667 laps, and have completed 96.6 percent of the laps contested (26,147 of 27,062).

 

· Career NASCAR Cup Series Totals: Harvick has 40 wins, 173 top-five finishes, 312 top-10s and 21 poles in 617 career NASCAR Cup Series starts heading into Sunday’s Food City 500.

 

· 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 in his second year as the co-host ofHappy 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. On April 12, the show won the CynopsisSports Media Awards “Radio Program” category. Other finalists in the category included SiriusXM’s Basketball and Beyond with Coach K, as well as the Dan Le Batard Show, Dan Patrick Show and Jim Rome Show.

 

· 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 July 12, Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, July 18 and Talladega Oct. 13.

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

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