It’s A Small World After All!

Kevin Harvick

In 1998, some 21 years ago, Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick competed at the now-closed Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Florida.

Harvick, driver of the No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Truck for Wayne Spears Racing, started 16th and finished 18th in the first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series event on the 1998 schedule, which was conducted Sunday, Jan. 18. Six days later, on Saturday, Jan. 24, Tony Stewart started first, led 132 of 200 laps and won the IndyCar race driving the No. 2 Glidden/Menards G-Force Oldsmobile for Team Menard.

Even Tony Raines, who now spots for Harvick’s teammate Daniel Suarez, was in the 1998 Truck Series race at Disney and finished two spots ahead of Harvick.

Who could have ever believed that, 21 years later, all three would be working, and succeeding, at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). As it is stated on that lovely ride at Walt Disney World, “It’s a small world, after all.”

Stewart, along with his partner Gene Haas, will be in the owner role this week, Raines will be spotting for Suarez, and Harvick will be driving the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang for SHR as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

Harvick has had plenty of success at the concrete mile oval as he has two wins, one pole, six top-five finishes, 17 top-10s and has led 1,442 laps.

He scored his first Dover win in October 2015, when he started 15th, led 355 of 400 laps and beat runner-up Kyle Busch by 2.639 seconds. Harvick then earned his first Cup Series pole at Dover in September 2014 with a time of 22.095 at 162.095 mph. He scored his second Dover win a year ago this weekend, when he started second, led 201 of 400 laps and finished 7.450 seconds ahead of SHR teammate Clint Bowyer.

Harvick is hoping he can score another victory this week as he has come a long way since racing at Walt Disney World 21 years ago. And so has Jimmy John’s. In 1994, there were 10 sub shops but, by 2002, the company had grown to 160 and, in 2019, Jimmy John’s has more than 2,800 locations across 43 states.

It’s fitting that, also in 1998, Fatboy Slim released one of his best albums, “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby,” because Harvick, Stewart, Raines and Jimmy John’s certainly have.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
What do you think about heading into Dover?

“When I go to Dover, I think about one thing, and that is, ‘How can I win this race – what do we need to do as a team to focus on what we need to do?”

 

Describe what it’s like to take a lap around Dover.

“Dover is the racetrack where you feel the sensation of speed more than anything. It’s a place where you drop off into the corner and slam into a lot of banking and then, as you come out of the corner, it’s kind of like jumping out of a hole and up onto the straightaway. It’s a really fun place to race. You feel that sensation of speed and you can be really aggressive.”

 

Why is Dover one of the more challenging racetracks on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule?

“I think as you look at Dover, if you look at our history, when I was at RCR (Richard Childress Racing), it was probably one of our worst racetracks. It’s been one of our best since I came to SHR in 2014. For me, the thing I love about Dover is just the fact that it’s hammer down and you’re up on top of the wheel for 400 laps there. It’s violent. Everything about Dover is violent. It’s fast. You can just be aggressive with the car and you have to get in there and wrestle that thing all day because it’s bumpy, slings you up out of the corners, dumps you down in the corners, and there’s just a lot going on. The car is bouncing around a lot and, with as rough as the cars have been just as the ride goes, we are in for a rough ride when we get to Dover this weekend. It’s one of my favorite racetracks to go and race on.”

Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report
Round 11 of 36 – Gander RV 400 – Dover

 

Car No.: 4 – Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang

 

PR Contact: Joe Crowley, True Speed Communication (704) 875-3388 ext. 808 or Joe.Crowley@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: Mooresville, North Carolina
Engine Specialist: Robert Brandt
Hometown: Mobile, Alabama
Spotter: Tim Fedewa
Hometown: Holt, Michigan
Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Front Tire Changer: Shayne Pipala

Hometown: Frankfort Square, Illinois

 

Rear Tire Changer: Daniel Smith

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina

 

Tire Carrier: Mike “Shrek” Morneau

Hometown: Oxford, Maine

 

Gas Man: Evan Marchal

Hometown: Westfield, Indiana

 

Jackman: Stan Dolittle

Hometown: Ninety Six, South Carolina

 

Windshield: Matt Custer (also serves as interior mechanic)

Hometown: Bedford, Pennsylvania

Road Crew Members:

Truck Driver: Rick Hodges and Stephen Mitchell

Hometowns: Raleigh, North Carolina and Woodville, Ohio, respectively

 

Engineers: Dax Gerringer and Billy Keubler

Hometowns: Gibsonville, North Carolinaand Saline, Michigan,respectively

 

Mechanic: Richie Bean

Hometown: Bradford, Vermont

 

Tire Specialist: Jamie Turski

Hometown: Trumbull, Connecticut

 

Shock Specialist: Michael McCarville

Hometown: Kensington, Prince Edward Island, Canada

 

Mechanic: Allen Mincey

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Dover Notes of Interest:
· Dynamic Duo: While this is Harvick’s 19th year in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, it’s his sixth 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, 21 poles, 98 top-five finishes and 134 top-10s while leading 8,818 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 and 2018. The team has qualified for the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway four times in the last five years.

 

· Harvick has career totals of 45 wins, 27 poles, 195 top-fives, 343 top-10s and 13,244 laps led in656 starts.

 

· His most recent Cup Series win came 13 races ago at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (Nov. 4, 2018).

 

· His last Busch Pole came at the last Cup Series event two races agoat Richmond (Va.) Raceway (April 12, 2019).

 

· Points Position: Harvick arrives at Dover fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings with 350 points, 80 markers behind leader Busch.

 

· Dover Numbers: Harvick will make his 37th NASCAR Cup Series start Sunday at Dover. He has two wins, one pole, six top-five finishes, 17 top-10s and has led 1,442 laps. He scored his first win at the concrete mile oval in October 2015, when he started 15th, led 355 of 400 laps and beat runner-up Busch by 2.639 seconds. Harvick earned his first Cup Series pole at Dover in September 2014 with a time of 22.095 at 162.095 mph. Harvick has two career Cup Series runner-up finishes at Dover, most recently in May 2015, when he started sixth, led 91 laps and finished runner-up to Jimmie Johnson. He scored his second Dover win a year ago this weekend when he started second, led 201 of 400 laps and finished 7.450 seconds ahead of SHR teammate Clint Bowyer.

 

· Laps Led Since 2014: Harvick has led 8,818 laps in 190 races since joining SHR in 2014. That’s an average of 46.41 laps led per race.

 

· Xfinity at Dover: Harvick has competed in 17 NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Dover with five top-five finishes. He scored a pole in June 2000. In the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, Harvick has two starts and won the pole in June 2012 and has two top-five finishes.

 

· Harvick’s Happy Hours on SiriusXM Radio: Harvick is entering the third year as the co-host ofHappy Hours on SiriusXM Radio channel 90. The show debuted March 28, 2017 and airs on Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. EST, 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 races in 2019. He will do eight races this year with his next broadcast in late May at Charlotte.

 

· 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 in March 2018. He now has 106 total victories after his most recent Cup Series win in November 2018 at Texas – 45 in the Cup Series, 47 in the Xfinity Series and 14 in the Truck Series. Only three other drivers in NASCAR history have passed 100 wins in NASCAR’s top three series: Richard Petty, David Pearson and Busch.

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

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