Kevin Harvick Busch Beer Celebrates Brand History at Darlington

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is helping Busch Beer celebrate its deep history in NASCAR by featuring a car inspired by Busch’s racetrack-specific collectable can series dating back to 1996 during Sunday night’s Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

 

The Busch Beer collectable can series from 1996 featured the layout of NASCAR tracks throughout the series along with facts about the configuration of each racetrack. Darlington was one of the featured tracks in the series of collectable cans.

 

Busch Beer’s rich history in NASCAR dates back nearly 40 years to the sponsorship of Cale Yarborough’s No. 11 car during the 1979 season, starting with one of the most significant races in NASCAR history – that year’s Daytona 500.

 

Darlington is the perfect setting to celebrate Busch Beer’s deep racing roots. Highlights of Busch’s storied racing heritage include sponsoring the Busch Pole Award in 1978, presented to Cup Series pole winners each week. Busch introduced the Busch Clash in 1979, held each year at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway the week prior to the Daytona 500. And it was title sponsor of NASCAR’s steppingstone division – currently known as the Xfinity Series – from 1984 through 2007. Busch Beer also held the “Official Beer of NASCAR” status from 1988 through 1997.

 

Busch Beer reclaimed its “Official Beer of NASCAR” status and sponsorship of the Busch Pole Award at the beginning of the 2018 season.

 

While Harvick will drive a No. 4 Ford honoring the history of his sponsor Busch Beer, he is looking to score his second Cup Series win at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval.

 

In 2014, Harvick won the 65th running of the iconic Southern 500 – one of the crown jewels on the 36-race Cup Series schedule – in dominating fashion. He started from the pole and led 238 of 374 laps en route to beating runner-up Dale Earnhardt Jr., to the finish line by .558 of a second.

 

The win at Darlington was the second of Harvick’s five Cup Series wins during his championship season.

 

With only two races remaining before the start of the 10-race Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Harvick would like to add to his series-best seven points-paying wins of the season at Darlington Sunday night. In addition to adding to his win total, Harvick is trying to close the gap on points-leader Kyle Busch, who holds a 43-point advantage through 24 of 26 regular-season races.

 

At the conclusion of regular-season-ending Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the points leader collects 15 playoff points while the driver who finishes second collects 10. That five-point differential between first and second in the regular-season championship could play a vital role in whether a driver makes the winner-take-all Championship 4 playoff finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

Harvick has clinched his spot in the playoff field for the 12th time by way of his career-best seven wins. He only needs to attempt to qualify for the remaining two regular-season races to make his playoff status official.

 

While Harvick and the No. 4 team are locked into the playoff field by points and wins, gaining playoff points via stage wins and race wins is now their top priority through the next two races, starting this weekend at Darlington.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
Your thoughts about heading back to Darlington for this special race weekend?

“Darlington has kind of found its niche with all the throwback schemes and all the things that they do with the snack bars, tickets and all the cars. It’s great to see all the teams participate – and for me it’s something that bring backs a lot of memories as to when (Founder of Action Performance) Fred Wagenhals was around selling diecasts and creating programs and things like we used to do in the past. It’s great when you see a program come together like that.”

 

What’s it like to have so many drivers from the past at the track for throwback weekend at Darlington?

“We had a car inspired by Cale Yarborough’s a couple of years ago. We had him at the racetrack, driving around in the pace car and seeing some of the old-school guys who work on my racecar be as excited as they were, guys who don’t ever really get excited about anything. To see how excited some of those guys were when Cale came, we took a picture with the whole team at the car and, to have the whole paint scheme and everything to go with it, was really great. We do a lot of things with those guys now at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. To see those guys now at the racetrack signing autographs for the fans adds just a little bit to that event. To me, having Cale there was really neat, to have him around and talk to him. It’s something that means a lot because they’re a big part of the reason we’re here today.”

Chassis No. 4-1038:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 1038 in Sunday night’s Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Built new in 2017, Chassis No. 4-1038 made its NASCAR Cup Series debut in April at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Harvick won the pole with a lap of 27.217 seconds at 198.405 mph. He went on to lead 77 laps and secure a fourth-place finish. In its next start at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in June, Harvick started 18th and finished ninth. At Darlington, Harvick won the pole with a lap of 27.669 seconds at 177.730 mph. He went on to lead 22 laps and scored a ninth-place result, finishing the race one lap down. At the fall Dover race, Harvick started ninth and finished 17th. In its final start of 2017, Harvick started third, led 38 laps en route to his first-ever Cup Series win at Texas, where he beat 2017 champion Martin Truex Jr. by 1.580 seconds. In its first start of 2018, Harvick dominated at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he started third and led 181 of the 325 lap event and crossed the finish line 2.690 seconds ahead of runner-up Brad Keselowski. In its most recent start, Harvick started 39th and raced up to 11th before cutting a tire and finishing 40th.
Darlington Notes of Interest:
· Dynamic Duo – While this isHarvick’s 18th year in the NASCAR Cup Series, it’s only his fifth with crew chief Rodney Childers. Since joining forces at SHR in 2014, Harvick and Childers have combined to produce 21 points-paying victories, the non-points-paying 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, 17 poles, 85 top-five finishes and 118 top-10s while leading 7,863 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. The team has qualified for the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway three of the last four seasons.

 

· Harvick has career totals of 44 wins, 23 poles, 185 top-fives, 327 top-10s and 12,289 laps led in634 starts.

  • His most recent Cup Series win came at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (Aug. 12, 2018).
  • His last Busch Pole came at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (May 11, 2018).

· On Point – Harvick arrives at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway second in the championship with 960 points. Harvick trails series leader Kyle Busch by 43 points.

 

· Darlington Numerology – Harvick has one win, three poles, six top-five finishes, 10top-10s and has led a total of 581 laps in his 21 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Darlington. His average start is 14.2, his average finish is 15.3 and he has a lap-completion rate of 95.7 percent, completing 7,108 of the 7,425 laps available.

 

· Harvick at Darlington since 2014 – The combination of Harvick competing at Darlington in SHR equipment is impressive. In his last four NASCAR Cup Series starts at Darlington – all of which have come with SHR – Harvick ranks first in total points with 172. He has finished inside of the top-10 in each of the four events – three of which were top-five results. He has an average start of 1.5 and an average finish of 4.2. And of the 581 laps Harvick has led at Bristol dating back to his rookie year in 2001, a total of 518 (more than 89 percent) have come with SHR despite only four (19 percent) of his 21 Darlington starts being with SHR

 

· Uncharted Territory With Seven Points-Paying Wins for No. 4 – Harvick’s seven points-paying wins in 2018 is a new single-season best for the 18-year Cup Series veteran. His previous high-water mark was five races, accomplished first in 2006 and again in 2014. This is the sixth time Harvick has scored at least four wins in a season. Harvick also scored a non-points-paying win in the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race May 19 at Charlotte for the second time in his career. Harvick’s series-best seven wins in 2018 is one more than points-leader Busch, who scored his sixth win of the season at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in July.

 

· Freaky Fast Busch Pole Qualifier – Harvick has started on the front row six times this season. The most recent came June 3 at Pocono, where he started second to polesitter Ryan Blaney. He has qualified in the top-10 in 17 of the 23 NASCAR Cup Series races this season. Harvick scored his first Busch Pole of the year at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, where he recorded a lap of 49.247 seconds at 194.448 mph. He scored his second pole of the season at Kansas, where he recorded a lap of 28.600 seconds at 188.811 mph.

 

· Double Duty at Darlington – Harvick will run both the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series races at Darlington. In addition to racing the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion for SHR as part of NASCAR’s throwback weekend Sunday night in the Cup Series, he will race the No. 41 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang for SHR in the Xfinity Series Saturday afternoon.

 

· Harvick in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Darlington – Harvick has made 15 starts in the Xfinity Series at Darlington. He has one pole, three top-five finishes, and nine top-10s. He has led 189 laps, has an average starting position of 10.7, an average finish of 12.2, and has completed 94.7 percent (2,090 of 2,208) of the laps he’s contested there.

 

· Three-Peat Notes – Harvick’s consecutive wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway near Phoenix marked only the 24th time in NASCAR’s modern era (1972 to present) that a driver won three consecutive races. Nine of the 23 previous times a driver won three consecutive races in a season, that driver has gone on to win the championship. Prior to Harvick’s three-peat, Busch was the most recent driver to win three in a row – in 2015, when he went on to score his first and, so far, only championship. Ironically, Busch has also won three consecutive races this season – April 8 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, April 16 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, and April 21 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.

 

· Lap Leader –Harvick led his 12,000th lap in NASCAR Cup Series competition June 3 at Pocono. He is one of only 15 drivers to lead 12,000 laps in his Cup Series career. He joins Jimmie Johnson, Busch and Matt Kenseth as the only active drivers to accomplish that feat. Harvick’s laps-led total since 2014 is 7,863, which is 3,437 laps more than the total from his 13 previous seasons before joining SHR (2001 to 2013). Harvick has already led a series-best 1,198 laps in 2018 and has now surpassed 1,000 laps led in a season for the fourth time in his career. He’s done it three previous times, all with SHR.

 

· Already Playoff Bound – Harvick qualified for the 2018 NASCAR playoffs with his wins at Atlanta, Phoenix, Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Kansas, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, and Michigan. He leads the Cup series in playoff points with 40. He gained five playoff points for each race win at Atlanta, Phoenix, Dover, Kansas, New Hampshire and Michigan, and an additional point for each of his stage wins at Atlanta, Texas, two at Dover in May, Pocono in June, Michigan in June, Chicagoland, Pocono in August and two at Michigan in August (total of 10). The No. 4 team’s race win at Las Vegas does not count toward its playoff qualification due to a post-race penalty.

 

· Make Your Mark – With his win Aug. 12 at Michigan, Harvick is now tied with Bill Elliott at 17th on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series win list. Harvick’s next win would move him into sole possession of 17th on the All-Time list and he now sits just two wins behind Buck Baker’s 46 for 16th on the all-time wins list. Among active drivers, Harvick’s 44 career wins rank third behind only series leader Johnson’s 83 and Busch’s 49 wins.

 

· 105 and Counting – Harvick scored his 100th career win in NASCAR’s top three series when he won the Cup Series race at Las Vegas and his 101st at Phoenix the following week. He now has 105 total victories after his most recent Cup Series win at Michigan – 44 in the Cup Series, 47 in the Xfinity Series and 14 in the Camping World Truck Series. Only three other drivers in NASCAR history have passed 100 wins in NASCAR’s top-three series: Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Busch.

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