Michigan Has Added Importance To Harvick

Kevin Harvick

Every NASCAR race is important and the ultimate goal of any team and driver is to win. Period.

True, some races are bigger than others – think of Daytona, Indianapolis, Charlotte and Darlington.

Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn is an important race for the drivers, but also for the manufacturers. Ford and General Motors’ Chevrolet brand are based just outside of Detroit, and the Michigan race is important for bragging rights between Ford, Chevy and Toyota.

Kevin Harvick helped Ford last year when he drove the No. 4 Busch Light/Mobil 1 Ford Fusion to victory lane. He started third and led 108 of 200 laps.

For Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400, Harvick returns to Michigan with the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang. Once again, he and Ford are hoping to make it back to victory lane. And this time, Harvick and the other Ford drivers will be behind the wheel of their respective Mustang models, as Ford switched from the Fusion to the Mustang for the 2019 season.

The Blue Oval has a long history at Michigan, winning nearly half the races run there since the track opened in 1969. Of the 99 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races contested at Michigan, Ford and its Mercury brand have combined for 49 wins – 37 by Ford and 12 by Mercury.

All told, Harvick has two wins, one pole, seven second-place finishes, 12 top-fives, 17 top-10s and has led a total of 480 laps in his 36 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Michigan. His average start there is 15.0, his average finish is 12.1, and he has a lap-completion rate of 99.4 percent – 6,932 of the 6,974 laps available.

The combination of Harvick competing at Michigan in SHR equipment is impressive, as well. In his last 10 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Michigan – all of which have come with SHR – Harvick has one win and four runner-up finishes and only one finish worse than 14th – 29th in June 2015. And of the 480 total laps Harvick has led at Michigan dating back to his rookie year in 2001, 331, or 68.9 percent, have come with SHR despite only 10, or 27.7 percent, of his 36 Michigan starts being with SHR.

This weekend also marks Harvick the broadcaster’s eighth and final FOX NASCAR Xfinity Series race of the year. He will be in the booth with Adam Alexander and Bubba Wallace for Saturday’s race.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
What does it take to have a good finish at Michigan?

“How you finish at Michigan depends on how your day is going. If you’re having a good day, it’s not really hard to tell your guys what you need and everyone is in a good mood. If you’re having a bad day, you can get behind at Michigan really fast. You’re going to end up with a green-flag pit stop and a whole bunch of green-flag laps. You just have to be going from the time the green flag drops and keep yourself in position at the end.”

Next week is the second off weekend of the year. There are only three all year. How valuable are the off weekends?

“You know, for me, I’d rather just race them all, to be honest with you, just because of the fact that I feel like our life is so embedded into what we do on the weekends, and with (son) Keelan’s school schedule and the balance of how we do things and when we do things, it’s just a part of the routine at this particular point. So if there were no off weekends, I’d still go on vacation. I’d still do all the things that I typically do. They’re just going to be Monday through Thursday and you’re going to go to the race and then you’re going to come back Monday through Thursday. And we’ve learned to keep that circle of life pretty balanced with how you navigate things and, you know, sometimes people don’t understand it, but it works for us. And the race schedule is just the first thing that is there and you start planning, planning from what it is.”

Busch Light Racing Team Report
Round 15 of 36 – FireKeepers Casino 400 – Michigan

 

Car No.: 4 – Busch Light 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 andBilly 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

Michigan 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, 22 poles, 99 top-five finishes and 136 top-10s while leading 8,937 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, 28 poles, 196 top-fives, 345 top-10s and 13,363 laps led in660 starts.

 

· His most recent Cup Series win came 17 races ago at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (Nov. 4, 2018).

 

· His last Busch Pole came three races ago at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (May 10, 2019).

 

· Michigan Numerology – Harvick has two wins, one pole, seven second-place finishes, 12 top-fives, 17 top-10s and has led a total of 480 laps in his 36 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Michigan. His average start is 15.0, his average finish is 12.1 and he has a lap-completion rate of 99.4 percent – 6,932 of the 6,974 laps available.

 

· Harvick at Michigan since 2014 – The combination of Harvick competing at Michigan in SHR equipment is impressive. In his last 10 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Michigan – all of which have come with SHR – Harvick has one win and four runner-up finishes and only one finish worse than 14th (29th in June 2015). And of the 480 total laps Harvick has led at Michigan dating back to his rookie year in 2001, 331 (68.9 percent) have come with SHR despite only 10 (27.7 percent) of his 36 Michigan starts being with SHR.

 

· Laps Led: Harvick has led 8,937 laps in 194 races since joining SHR in 2014. That’s an average of 46.06 laps led per race.

 

· Points Position: Harvick arrives at Michigan fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series standings with 500 points, 68 markers behind leader Kyle Busch.

 

· Xfinity and Trucks at Michigan: Harvick has competed in 11 NASCAR Xfinity Series races with one win and nine top-10 finishes. He has driven in four NASCAR Gander Outdoors Series events and has one win and four top-11 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. EDT, 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 has once again worked in the television booth for FOX at select Xfinity Series races in 2019. His eighth and final race is Saturday at Michigan.

 

· 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 Kyle Busch.

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

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