From 1911 to 1997, the Indiana High School Athletic Association boys basketball state tournament was one of the greatest sporting events in the country.
It was one class, so every school, no matter the size, was in the same tournament. In the later days of the tournament, the opening round was the sectional, which consisted of six to eight teams, and games were played on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. After the sectional there were 64 teams left and they played the regional, semi-state and state finals on three consecutive Saturdays.
The semifinal games of the regional, semi-state and state finals were conducted at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. with the final played at 8 p.m. Players preferred the 10 a.m. game because it afforded more time to rest the legs for the 8 p.m. final. And those who played in the 12:30 p.m. game often prayed that the 10 a.m. game didn’t go into overtime.
It will be a little bit of the same feel this week for the NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Both races are 311 mile events and will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. It’s the fifth and sixth race in August for the Cup Series competitors and the second doubleheader of the month.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will again have the help of Mobil 1 on board as a sponsor and partner, and that relationship paid off nicely for Harvick two weekends ago at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. For racing twice with just one Ford engine in more than 90 degree air temperatures Saturday and Sunday, he totaled 634 miles in the twin events and came home with two trophies thanks to the advantage Mobil 1 technology gave him and the No. 4 team.
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 will make history once again this weekend as he will pass Rusty Wallace and move into 16th place in all-time NASCAR Cup Series starts. He’ll tie Wallace at 705 on Saturday, then add start No. 706 on Sunday. He’s also hoping to score a win, which would move him past Wallace and into a tie for ninth all-time with Kyle Busch at 56 career wins.
Harvick leads the driver standings by 118 points over Denny Hamlin as the NASCAR “tournament” is set to start Sept. 6 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
You’ve had a lot of success at Dover in the last few years. What are your thoughts on that track?
“For a number of years, it was my worst track. And the biggest key to solving the Monster Mile is having the right stuff. Rodney Childers (crew chief) and everyone on my team has done a great job of bringing fast racecars and it’s really become one of our best racetracks. It’s going to be a tough weekend running two races in one weekend. That’s one of our more physical racetracks. To go there and run both of those events back to back will be something you’ll have to be prepared for. It’s one of my favorite racetracks just because you have to drive the car really hard every lap in order to make good lap times. Going back with the low-downforce package this year is something I’m looking forward to. It’ll be a lot of fun and the expectations will be high.”
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 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
Rounds 24 & 25 of 36 – Dover Doubleheader – Dover
Car No.: 4 – Mobil 1 Ford Mustang
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
Spotters: 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
Dover Road Course 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 32 points-paying victories, a victory in the non-points 2018 NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, 25 Busch poles, 121 top-five finishes and 172 top-10s while leading 10,496 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 55 wins, 31 poles, 221 top-fives, 381 top-10s and 14,922 laps led in 705 starts.
· His most recent Cup Series wins came Aug. 8 and 9 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
· His most recent Busch Pole came in November 2019 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
· Harvick’s 55 career victories tie him with Rusty Wallace for 10th 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 Busch for ninth on the all-time wins list.
· Dover Numbers: Harvick will make his 39th and 40th NASCAR Cup Series Dover starts this weekend. He has two wins, one pole, eight top-five finishes, 19 top-10s and has led 1,443 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 in May 2018 when he started second, led 201 of 400 laps and finished 7.450 seconds ahead of SHR teammate Clint Bowyer.
· Closing in on 15,000 Lap Led: 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 closing in on 15,000 led as he has been in front for 14,922 laps and trails 10th-place Busch, who has led 17,641, and Johnson, who is ninth with 18,933 laps led. Harvick has led 10,496 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.
· Already Playoff Bound: Harvick qualified for the 2020 Cup Series playoffs with his win May 17 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
· Let’s Win Two: When Harvick won the doubleheader two weekends ago at Michigan, he became the first driver in more than 50 years to win NASCAR Cup Series races on consecutive days. Richard Petty won the Albany-Saratoga 250 on July 14, 1971 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, New York, and the next day won the Islip 250 at Islip (N.Y.) Speedway. Islip closed in 1984, but Albany-Saratoga is still in operation.
· Points Position: Harvick arrives at Dover first in the NASCAR Cup Series standings with 939 points, 118 markers ahead of second-place Denny Hamlin. He’s led the points since the conclusion of the March 8 race at Phoenix Raceway.
· Laps Completed: Harvick is 16th all-time in laps completed with 201,062 after Sunday’s race at the Daytona Road Course. He reached 200,000 laps completed on lap 222 of the July 19 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Harvick is the leader among active drivers and is closing in on Dale Earnhardt, who is 15th with 202,888.
· Second Place: By finishing second June 28 at Pocono (Pa.) 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.
· 116 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 115 total victories – 55 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: Busch (212), Petty (200) and David Pearson (106).
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!