Kevin Harvick Looks To Continue His Domination

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1/Busch Beer Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is going into the Coca-Cola 600 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race this weekend looking for a performance to celebrate. Luckily, the No. 4 Ford Fusion is riding with Mobil 1 and Busch Beer, one partner with a proven track record of performance and another that knows how to celebrate success, as Harvick attempts to tackle the longest, most grueling race on the Cup Series schedule.

 

Stewart-Haas Racing’s (SHR) technology partnership with Mobil 1 is a unique combination of experience, expertise and innovative thinking that strives to consistently deliver performance-enhancing results on the track. The partnership allows the SHR teams to head into the series’ only 600-mile event with a level of confidence that its cars will be there to compete at the end.

 

Mobil 1 continues to perform rigorous testing with the SHR teams in the garage with its products and support to improve on-track performance, including the reduction of frictional loss in the engines to maximize fuel mileage, increase horsepower and turn more rpm. Mobil 1 works to reduce engine temperatures to increase engine efficiency. The products allow the No. 4 racecar to reduce rolling resistance, which contributes to increased acceleration on restarts on the way to reaching top speed.

 

The Mobil 1 products reduce friction in the suspension components, as well, providing maximum tire grip and helping to reduce steering compliance to give precision control and improved handling for Harvick behind the wheel.

 

Harvick and the No. 4 team hope the benefits provided by Mobil 1 products and technology will help carry them to victory lane in the Sunday’s traditional Memorial Day-weekend event, during which their racecar will honor a fallen soldier on the windshield header as part of NASCAR’s “600 Miles of Remembrance” initiative.

 

The name of Lance Cpl. Patrick Ryan Adle of the United States Marine Corps will be featured on the No. 4 Mobil 1/Busch Beer Ford Fusion this weekend.

 

Adle, of Bel Air, Maryland, became an Engineer Equipment Operator (MOS: 1345) while in the Marine Corps.  On his 2nd Tour in Iraq, while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, Adle was assigned to the Marine Corps Reserve’s 6th Engineer Support Battalion, 4th Force Service Support Group, Folsom, Pennsylvania, when he was killed by an improvised explosive device on June 29, 2004, while conducting combat operations near Baghdad, Iraq.

 

He was a 2001 graduate of Fallston (Maryland) High School, where he played varsity football and lacrosse and earned varsity letters in both sports all four years. He helped the Fallston Cougars to a lacrosse state title in 2001 playing defense and was remembered for his aggressive play and leadership.

 

Adle joined the Marine Corps following his 18th birthday because he wanted to protect his family and country.

 

Having Adle’s name on the car brings added pressure to perform for Harvick, but pressure and performance are nothing new to the 2014 Cup Series champion.

 

Harvick has raced up front and has scored a Cup Series-best five wins, six stage wins and has led 820 laps this year. But he will be chasing another significant mark when the green flag drops Sunday afternoon as he attempts to become the first driver to score three consecutive points-paying wins twice in a season since Dale Earnhardt accomplished the feat in 1987.

 

He has two Coca-Cola 600 wins in his career and would like to celebrate his third in one of NASCAR’s top races Sunday afternoon with a cold, crisp and refreshing Busch Beer in victory lane.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1/Busch Beer Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule. How do you manage that extra 100 miles on the engine?

“It definitely throws a kink into things because you wind up with fewer practice laps. This comes from the engine department because this year you have to run your engines twice and you have to take care of them as much as you can. There’s also been a much bigger interest in where you shift and the temperatures during practice. So from that standpoint, that’s where you see the extra 100 miles in the race that makes a difference. It’s always an interesting weekend to be able to practice enough to still run the same tolerances with engines being pushed for 600 miles instead of 500, and you get there by taking that time out of practice.”

 

Is the Coca-Cola 600 more physically or mentally challenging?

“It just depends on how hot it is, honestly. If it’s a good weekend and the weather is nice, then it’s more mentally challenging than physically challenging. Either way, it’s still challenging both mentally and physically in some way, shape or form. The hardest part mentally is just getting yourself to overcome those last hundred miles because you are used to the 400- or 500-mile races.”

 

You have an added advantage with Mobil 1 as a sponsor. It’s more than a sponsor, with its technology directly benefiting how you perform on the racetrack. How advantageous has this relationship with Mobil 1 been since you joined SHR in 2014?

“It was really mind-blowing when I first came to Stewart-Haas Racing. Every time we went to qualify, we really didn’t do anything different from the driver’s seat, but we’d always pick up a tenth-and-a-half or two-tenths of a second, and it literally came down to the oils in the engine, the oil in the transmission, the oil in the rear gear and the things they did from a lubricant standpoint – those were the biggest changes we made to the car before we would go and qualify. So, when you see that level of technology and commitment to the things that go in your car, every piece of it adds up to a pretty big chunk of speed. It’s pretty remarkable.”

 

You’ve had quite a start to the season with five points-paying wins in 12 races. What has led to this kind of performance?

“I would just point at the experience of the race team because of the fact this is our fifth year together. We’ve been through a lot of very high-pressure situations, low-pressure situations, good moments, bad moments. And everybody just gets along so well on our race team and, when you look at that as a group, it’s something that’s pretty special. I think the second thing is the fact that Ford has brought a lot to the table for our race team. It’s allowed us to expand our engineering staff over the first winter and really just brought resources to our team. So, when you add all those pieces to the puzzle up and look at the experience of the race team and you look at the partnerships we have with Ford and Mobil 1 and all the support we have from our ownership group to let us go out and explore and do the things and take the chance of switching to a different manufacturer and take the chance of bringing things into our own house and controlling more of our own parts and pieces, those things all added up.”

 

What does it mean to honor and remember a military member on your No. 4 Mobil 1/Busch Beer Ford Fusion this Memorial Day weekend?

“There isn’t any sport that honors the military any better than NASCAR. I know a lot of sports do a lot of things for our military but, when you roll into this particular weekend with the Coke 600 and you are a part of the celebration and remembrance for all the things that have happened with our military, to see the support that NASCAR and everybody in our garage gives the military, especially on this particular weekend, is something that gives you goosebumps. We are honored to carry the names on our cars.”

Mobil 1/Busch Beer Racing Team Report

Round 13 of 36 – Coca-Cola 600 – Charlotte

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. 4-1038:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Mobil 1/Busch Beer Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 4-1038 in the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor 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 with a lap of 27.217 seconds at 198.405 mph. He went on to lead 77 laps and secure 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 and scored a ninth-place result, finishing the race one lap down. At the fall Dover race, Harvick started ninth and finished 17th. In its final start of 2017, Harvick started third, led 38 laps en route to his first-ever Cup Series win at Texas, where he beat 2017 champion Martin Truex Jr. by 1.580 seconds. In its only start of 2018, Harvick dominated at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, where he started third and led 181 of the 325 lap event and crossed the finish line 2.690 seconds ahead of runner-up Brad Keselowski.

 

Coca-Cola 600 Notes of Interest:
· Dynamic Duo: While this isHarvick’s 18th year in the NASCAR Cup Series, it’s only his fifth with crew chief Rodney Childers. Since joining forces at SHR in 2014, Harvick and Childers have combined to produce 19 points-paying victories, 17 poles, 77 top-five finishes and 108 top-10s while leading 7,485 laps. They won the 2014 championship, finished runner-up in the 2015 title chase to champion Busch, finished eighth in 2016 and third in 2017. The team has qualified for the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway three of the last four seasons.

 

· Back-To-Back – Harvick is coming off consecutive points-paying wins at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. He first scored back-to-back wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and made it three wins in a row the following week when he reached victory lane at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.

 

· Three-Peat Notes – Harvick’s three consecutive wins at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix markedonly the 24th time in NASCAR’s modern era (1972 to present) that a driver won three consecutive races. In nine of the 23 previous times a driver won three consecutive races in a season, that driver has gone on to win the championship. Prior to Harvick’s three-peat, Kyle Busch was the most recent driver to win three in a row – in 2015, when he went on to score his first and, so far, only championship. Ironically, Busch has also won three straight races this season – April 8 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, April 16 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, and April 21 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. Dale Earnhardt Sr. is the last driver to win three consecutive points-paying races in a row twice in one season, when he accomplished the feat in 1987.

 

· DYK? Seven of the last 15 NASCAR Cup Series races have been won by a driver over 40 years old. Harvick, age 42, is responsible for six of those victories.

 

· Harvick has career totals of 42 wins, 23 poles, 177 top-fives, 317 top-10s and 11,911 laps led in622 starts.

– His most recent Cup Series win came on May 12 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

– His last Busch Pole also came on May 12 at Kansas.

 

· Five Points-Paying Wins for No. 4 – Harvick’s five points-paying wins in 2018 is tied for his most wins in a season. He also won five races in 2014. This is the sixth time Harvick has scored at least four wins in a season. Harvick scored a non-points-paying win last weekend when he won the Monster Energy All-Star Race for the second time in his career.

 

· Feels Like the First Time – This is the first time Harvick has won five races in the first 12 races of a season. The last time a driver had five wins in the first 12 races of a season was Jeff Gordon in 1997, who won 10 times that year.

 

· On Point – Harvick arrives at Charlotte third in in the championship with 484 points after his win at Kansas. It was his seventh consecutive top-10 finish and 10th of the year.

 

· Charlotte Numerology – Harvick has two poles, three wins, four second-place finishes, eight top-threes, 16 top-10s and has led a total of 528 laps in his 34 career NASCAR Cup Series points-paying starts at Charlotte. His average start is 15.3, his average finish is 14.8 and he has a lap completion rate of 96.6 percent, completing 11,780 of the 12,191 laps available.

 

· There’s No Place Like Home, aka Intermediate Tracks – Of Harvick’s 42 NASCAR Cup Series wins, 17 have come at intermediate-style racetracks (1.5-miles in length or longer, and not including restrictor-plate tracks). Three of Harvick’s five wins this season have come at intermediate tracks – Atlanta, Las Vegas and Kansas. Harvick also finished runner-up April 8 at Texas.

 

· Harvick at Charlotte since 2014 – The combination of Harvick competing at Charlotte in SHR equipment is impressive. In his last eight points-paying NASCAR Cup Series starts at Charlotte – all of which have come with SHR – Harvick has a win, two poles, three runner-up finishes and only one finish worse than eighth (38th in October 2016). And of the 528 total laps Harvick has led at Charlotte dating back to his rookie year in 2001, 494 of those laps have come with SHR (93 percent), despite only eight of his 34 Charlotte starts being with SHR (23.5 percent).

 

· To Xfinity and Beyond – Harvick has made 28 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Charlotte. He has three poles (May 2001 and 2003, and October 2003), eight top-fives and 18 top-10s with a total of 351 laps led.

 

· Freaky Fast Qualifier – Harvick has qualified in the top-10 in every NASCAR Cup Series race this season where he has made a qualifying attempt. An accident in practice April 13 at Bristol prevented him from making a qualifying attempt. Harvick scored his first Busch Pole of the year at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, where he recorded a lap of 49.247 seconds at 194.448 mph. He scored his second pole of the season last week at Kansas, where he recorded a lap of 28.600 seconds at 188.811 mph.

 

· Starting on the Front Row – Harvick has started on the front row five times this season. The most recent came from the pole on May 12 at Kansas.

 

· Already Playoff Bound – Harvick qualified for the 2018 NASCAR playoffs with his wins at Atlanta, Phoenix, Dover and Kansas. He will enter the playoffs with a minimum of 24 playoff points, currently the most of any driver. He gained five playoff points for each race win at Atlanta, Phoenix, Dover and Kansas, and an additional point for each of his stage wins at Atlanta, Texas and Dover (total of four). The No. 4 team’s race win at Las Vegas does not count toward the team’s playoff qualification due to a post-race penalty.

 

· Make Your Mark – With his win on May 12 at Kansas, Harvick stands alone at 18th on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series win list. Among active drivers, Harvick ranks third behind only series leader Johnson (83 career wins) and Busch (46 career wins).

 

· Earning It at SHR – Harvick has earned 19 NASCAR Cup Series points-paying victories since joining SHR in 2014.

 

· Out Front – Harvick’s laps-led total since 2014 is 7,485, which is 3,059 laps more than the total from his 13 previous seasons before joining SHR (2001 to 2013).

 

· 103 and Counting – Harvick scored his 100th career win in NASCAR’s top three series when he won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas and his 101st at Phoenix the following week. He now has 103 total victories – 42 Cup Series wins, 47 in the Xfinity Series and 14 in the Camping World Truck Series. Only four drivers in NASCAR history have passed 100 wins in NASCAR’s top three series: Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Kyle Busch and Harvick.

 

· Harvick’s Happy Hours on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio – Harvick is in his second year as the co-host of the award-winning radio program Happy Hours on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90. The show debuted on March 28, 2017. It airs 7 to 9 p.m. EDT on Tuesdays and features 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 12the show won the Cynopsis Sports 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.

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

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