|Dynamic Duo: While this is Harvick’s 18th year in the NASCAR Cup Series, it’s only his fifth with crew chief Rodney Childers. Since joining forces at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in 2014, Harvick and Childers have combined to produce 22 points-paying victories, a victory in the non-points-paying 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, 19 poles, 90 top-five finishes and 126 top-10s while leading 8,597 laps. They won the 2014 championship, finished runner-up in the 2015 title chase to champion Kyle Busch, finished eighth in 2016 and third in 2017. The team has qualified for the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway four times in the last five years – including the current season – since the current championship format was introduced. Harvick won the championship in 2014.
Harvick has career totals of 45 wins, 25 poles, 190 top-fives, 335 top-10s and 13,023 laps led in645 starts.
His most recent Cup Series win came at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (Nov. 4, 2018).
His last Busch Pole came at ISM Raceway near Phoenix (Nov. 9, 2018).
Championship 4: Harvick makes his fourth appearance in the Championship 4 since its inception in 2014. He is tied with fellow Championship 4 driver Busch for the most appearances in the Championship 4 since 2014. Harvick (2014) and Busch (2015) and Martin Truex Jr. (2017) have raced to a championship in the current format. Truex and Joey Logano are each making their third appearance since 2014. The Championship 4 drivers have combined to score 22 wins, 13 poles, 74 top-five finishes, 100 top-10s and lead 5,230 laps.
Homestead-Miami Numerology: Harvick has one win, one pole, nine top-five finishes, 15 top-10s and has led a total of 315 laps in his 17 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His average start is 12.4, his average finish is 6.8 and he has a lap-completion rate of 99.9 percent – 4,544 of 4,545 laps available. Harvick’s 6.8 average finish ranks as his best at any track in the NASCAR Cup Series and his 12.4 average starting position ranks second among Cup Series tracks. He has an average starting position of 9.5 at Homestead.
Harvick At Homestead Since Joining SHR: In four Cup Series starts at Homestead since joining SHR at the beginning of 2014, Harvick ranks first with a 2.5 average finish, top-five finishes with four, is tied for first in wins with one and top-10 finishes with four. He ranks second in total points with 157, one Busch Pole Award and 179 laps led. He also ranks fourth with an average starting position of 7.0, five wins, a runner-up finish, eight top-five finishes, nine top-10s, 1,032 laps led, a Busch Pole and an average finish of 2.4. He ranks fifth in average starting position at 9.8 among drivers who have started every race during that time.
Uncharted Territory With Eight Points-Paying Wins for No. 4: Harvick’s eight points-paying wins in 2018 is a new single-season best for the 18-year Cup Series veteran. His previous high-water mark was five wins, accomplished first in 2006 and again in 2014. This is the sixth time Harvick has scored at least four wins in a season. Harvick also scored a non-points-paying win in the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race May 19 at Charlotte for the second time in his career.
Freaky Fast Busch Pole Qualifier: Harvick has started on the front row 11 times this season. The most recent came Nov. 11 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix. He has started in the top-10 in 26 of the 35 NASCAR Cup Series races this season. Harvick scored his first Busch Pole Award of the year at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway with a lap of 49.247 seconds at 194.448 mph. He scored his second pole of the season at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City with a lap of 28.600 seconds at 188.811 mph. He scored his third Busch Pole of the season at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in September with a lap of 22.153 seconds at 121.880 mph. He scored his most recent Busch Pole last weekend at ISM Raceway where he recorded a time of 25.836 seconds at 139.340 mph. Harvick’s four Busch Pole Awards is tied for the second most in a single season in his 18-year Cup Series career. He scored eight Busch Pole Awards in 2014 and four Busch Pole Awards in 2017.
Three-Peat Notes: Harvick’s consecutive wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway near Phoenix marked only the 24th time in NASCAR’s modern era (1972 to present) that a driver won three consecutive races. 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, 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 consecutive races this season – April 8 at Texas, April 16 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, and April 21 at Richmond. Keselowski also joined the group with his most recent wins at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Las Vegas. This marks the first time in NASCAR history that three different drivers have won three straight races in the same season.
Lap Leader – Harvick led his 13,000th lap in NASCAR Cup Series competition Nov. 11 at Phoenix. He is one of only 12 drivers to lead 13,000 laps in his Cup Series career. He joins Jimmie Johnson and Busch as the only active drivers to accomplish that feat. Harvick’s laps-led total since 2014 is 8,597, which is 4,135 laps more than the total from his 13 previous seasons before joining SHR (2001 to 2013). Harvick has already led a series-best 1,932 laps in 2018 and has now surpassed 1,000 laps led in a season for the fourth time and 1,500 laps led in a season for the third time in his career.
Make Your Mark – With his win two weeks ago at Texas, Harvick surpassed Bill Elliott and is now in sole possession of 17th on the all-time win list and he now sits just one win behind Buck Baker’s 46 for 16th on the all-time wins list. Among active drivers, Harvick’s 45 career wins rank third behind only series leader Johnson’s 83 and Busch’s 49 wins.
106 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 now has 106 total victories after his most recent Cup Series win at Texas – 45 in the Cup Series, 47 in the Xfinity Series and 14 in the Camping World Truck Series. Only three other drivers in NASCAR history have passed 100 wins in NASCAR’s top-three series: Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Busch.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!