Texas musician Pat Green released a song in 2001 titled, “Texas on My Mind.” The first lines of the song state, “I woke up this morning, with Texas on my mind …”
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), probably is thinking the same thing this week as the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule reaches its halfway point with Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
Harvick has three wins, three poles, 11 top-threes, 22 top-10s and has led a total of 614 laps in his 34 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas. But his last 11 races, all with crew chief Rodney Childers and SHR’s No. 4 team, have been outstanding.
He has finished in the top-10 in all 11 of those races with seven top-threes and two poles. And all three of Harvick’s career Texas victories have come consecutively in the November races of 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The 2020 season once again has been good to Harvick as he has amassed four wins and leads the points by 88 markers over Brad Keselowski.
Sunday will and could be a big day for Harvick as he will make his 700th career NASCAR Cup Series start to become only the 18th driver to accomplish that feat. He will be tied with Buddy Baker, who also has 700 starts.
If he completes lap 222 at Texas Motor Speedway, he will also surpass 200,000 laps completed in the Cup Series. Harvick is the leader among active drivers in that category and is closing in on Dale Earnhardt, who is 15th with 202,888.
And if he scores the win at the 1.5-mile oval, he will score his 54th career victory, which would tie him with Lee Petty for 11th on the all-time list.
Those are big numbers and big names, and Harvick isn’t looking to slow down. He’ll have the help of Mobil 1 on board as a sponsor and partner.
Mobil 1 isn’t just the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, it also provides the entire SHR team with leading lubricant technology, ensuring that all SHR Mustangs have a competitive edge over the competition on the track. In its 18th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series.
Harvick has Texas on his mind, and victory, as well.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
There were some questions with regard to track prep last week at Kentucky. Is there a concern with what happened at Bristol, too? Is there a worry going into Texas where track prep can play an important role?
“Yeah, I mean, you’re definitely dependent on the guys taking care of the racetrack. I think we definitely went to Charlotte and the track prep didn’t seem like the PJ1 was what it had been the last couple of years. It seemed like when we started at Kentucky, the track prep obviously wasn’t very good for the Xfinity cars, dust flying everywhere. The top was just nasty dirty (at Bristol), really no chance to ever even run up there. Yeah, I mean, the track prep piece of it, last week we showed up on race day, the PJ1 was put on the racetrack without anybody knowing. Definitely, yeah, I think you have to be concerned with it going to Texas because it hasn’t been the same as what it was last year.”
What’s the lesson of this week, to avoid what happened last weekend and Kentucky?
“Yeah, that’s a good question. I think the one thing that lacks there is practice. I think everybody is kind of guessing at what’s right and what’s wrong. But the track was definitely not ready to race last week at Kentucky when those guys took off in the Xfinity race. At Bristol, there was no chance that the top groove was going to come in. There was enough setup up there, if you drove up there, it was going to take you two or three laps to get cleaned back up. Just wound up not being able to push it high enough. We still had a second groove, but I think a lot of people had the expectations that the bump-and-run was going to come into play. When the bottom has that much grip, then it becomes kind of an aero game, which it kind of became.”
Why do your prefer Mobil 1 synthetic?
“I’m a synthetic guy because, in 1993 when we were sitting in the engine shop, we dumped Mobil 1 synthetic in and that’s all we did and gained seven horsepower. From that day on, we would actually save our money and then go to the local auto parts store because, at that time, it was like $5.50 a quart and the conventional and other oils were like $3.50. At the big races, we would put the Mobil 1 in the car and the regular races would put the regular oil in there. You know I’m going to say synthetic.”
Mobil 1 Racing Team Report
Round 18 of 36 –O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 – Texas
Car No.: 4 – Mobil 1 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
Texas 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 30 points-paying victories, a victory in the non-points 2018 NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, 25 Busch poles, 116 top-five finishes and 167 top-10s while leading 10,259 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 53 wins, 31 poles, 216 top-fives, 376 top-10s and 14,685 laps led in 699 starts.
· His most recent Cup Series win came on July 5 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
· His most recent Busch Pole came in November 2019 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
· Harvick’s 53 career victories put him 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 just one win behind Lee Petty for 11th on the all-time wins list.
· Harvick in the Cup Series at Texas: Harvick has three wins, three poles, 11 top-threes, 22 top-10s and has led a total of 614 laps in his 34 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas. His average start is 15.7, his average finish is 10.4 and he has a lap-completion rate of 97.1 percent, completing 11,016 of the 11,342 laps available. Harvick has finished in the top-10 in 11 consecutive races at Texas. Seven of those have been in the top-three, with the three wins.
· At the Homestead-Miami Speedway season finale in 2019, Harvick became just the 11th driver to have led 14,000 laps in his NASCAR career. He’s led 14,685 and trails 10th-place Busch, who has led 17,570, and Johnson, who is ninth with 18,933 laps led. Harvick has led 10,259 laps as an SHR driver. He led his 10,000th lap as an SHR driver when he took the lead on lap 37 on June 7 at Atlanta.
· Points Position: Harvick arrives at the non-points All-Star Race first in the NASCAR Cup Series standings with 675 points, 88 markers ahead of second-place Brad Keselowski. He’s led the points since the conclusion of the March 8 race at Phoenix Raceway.
· Xfinity Wins: Harvick has won five NASCAR Xfinty Series races at Texas and has led 779 laps, while also winning two poles. And in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, Harvick has raced at Texas four times and won the event in 2011.
· Laps Completed: Harvick is 16th all-time in laps completed with 199,778 after last Sunday’s race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. He will reach 200,000 laps completed Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth once he completes lap 222. Harvick is the leader among active drivers and is closing in on Dale Earnhardt, who is 15th with 202,888.
· Already Playoff Bound – Harvick qualified for the 2020 Cup Series playoffs with his win May 17 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
· Second Place: By finishing in second-place on June 29 at Pocono Raceway, Harvick now has 56 runner-up finishes and passed Buck Baker for ninth on the all-time list. He can tie Darrell Waltrip for eighth with another runner-up finish.
· 114 and Counting – Harvick scored his 100th career win in NASCAR’s top three series with his March 2018 Las Vegas Motor Speedway win. He now has 114 total victories – 53 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: Kyle Busch (211), Richard Petty (200) and David Pearson (106).
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!