Kevin Harvick has started seven NASCAR Cup Series races in 2020 and has one win, five top-fives and has finished in the top-10 at every one.
It took a late caution and a heck of a drive by the veteran to keep that streak alive in Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was off all night and was running between 12th and 16th during much of the race.
But on lap 399, William Byron spun and brought out a caution while Harvick was running 14th. He came to pit road, where crew chief Rodney Childers called for four ties and fuel, and Harvick restarted 13th.
In two laps, Harvick moved from 13th to sixth. After the race, Jimmie Johnson’s car was disqualified, moving Harvick up to fifth.
A lot of teams would have given up, but Harvick, Childers and the 4 team have been together for seven years and expect to win. The fifth-place result is nice, but this team expects to win every race.
So Childers and Harvick will come up with a plan for Wednesday night’s 310-mile race at Charlotte. And if Harvick leads 64 laps, he will have led 10,000 laps at SHR.
He’s led 14,362 in his career and trails 10th-place Kyle Busch, who has led 17,445, and Jimmie Johnson, who is ninth with 18,862 laps led, on the all-time list.
It’s Wednesday night under the light at Charlotte. And a victory would make it even sweeter.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Talk about Sunday’s race.
“We just missed the handling and had to battle all night trying to make it better. We left with a top-five somehow and we will be better on Wednesday.”
Another Wednesday-night race and the fourth race in 12 days. Can you talk about that?
“For me, it’s just gonna purely be the interaction, with not being able to have the interaction with the people, and communication will just be drastically different – how much you’re around people, how close you are to people and things of that nature. I’ve started races with no practice. We went through 9/11 and had a race cancelled and had things different, but this is just so drastically different that you just have to approach it drastically different with an open mind to know that there are gonna be things – before you even get there you have to know that there are going to be things drastically different than the way it was before, and just not be frustrated with things that don’t go right, things that are different.”
Busch Light Racing Team Report
Round 8 of 36 – Alsco Uniforms 500k – Charlotte
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: Shawn Hopkins (also serves as interior mechanic)
Hometown: Chesterfield, Virginia
Charlotte Notes of Interest:
· Dynamic Duo: While this is Harvick’s 20th year in the NASCAR Cup Series, it’s his seventh with crew chief Rodney Childers, which is the longest pairing of any current driver-crew chief combination. Since joining forces at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in 2014, Harvick and Childers have combined to produce 27 points-paying victories, a victory in the non-points-paying 2018 NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, 25 Busch poles, 111 top-five finishes and 160 top-10s while leading 9,939 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, 2018 and 2019.
· Harvick has career totals of 50 wins, 31 poles, 211 top-fives, 369 top-10s and 14,362 laps led in 688 starts.
· His most recent Cup Series win came on Sunday, May 17 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
· His most recent Busch Pole came in November 2019 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
· Harvick’s 50 career NASCAR Cup Series victories puts him in a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famers Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson for 12th on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. He is third on the active driver list behind Jimmie Johnson and Busch. Harvick is four wins behind Lee Petty for 11th on the all-time wins list.
· At the Homestead season finale in 2019, Harvick became just the 11th driver to have led 14,000 laps in his NASCAR career. He’s led 14,362 and trails 10th-place Busch, who has led 17,445, and Johnson, who is ninth with 18,862 laps led. Harvick has led 9,936 lap as an SHR driver.
· Points Position: Harvick arrives at Charlotte first in the NASCAR Cup Series standings with 291 points, 23 markers ahead of second-place Joey Logano.
· Charlotte Numerology – Harvick has two poles, three wins, four second-place finishes, eight top-threes, 18 top-10s and has led a total of 542 laps in his 37 career NASCAR Cup Series points-paying starts on the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway oval. His average start is 15.9, his average finish is 15.1 and he has a lap-completion rate of 94.6 percent, completing 12,668 of the 13,398 laps available.
· Xfinity at Charlotte – 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.
· Trucks at Charlotte: Harvick has competed in three NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races with two top-fives. He has not driven a truck race since 2007.
· 111 and Counting – Harvick scored his 100th career win in NASCAR’s top three series with his March 2018 Las Vegas win. He now has 111 total victories – 50 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!