Kevin Harvick Hungry for More

Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) are hungry. They have been the leading contenders since they formed prior to the start of the 2014 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and this year has been no exception as they have devoured seven points-paying wins, 20 top-five finishes, 26 top-10s and 1,682 laps led – all series bests this season.

 

The Mobil 1 squad is even hungrier this week as it heads to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 and the penultimate chance to race their way into the Championship 4 of the 2018 Cup Series playoffs.

 

Harvick is returning as the defending race winner after ending his career-long Texas drought last November in his 30th Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile oval, clearing his mind to contend for the win again this year. Harvick won in dominating fashion on the final laps a year ago this weekend, passing Martin Truex Jr. to secure his spot in the 2017 Championship 4 – a performance he would like to repeat Sunday. And, with the iconic red, white and blue colors of Mobil 1 emblazoned across Harvick’s hood, he and his team should believe he can achieve nothing less.

 

Mobil 1 was front and center on the No. 4 machine all the way to the checkered flag at Texas last year, and it’s back again for the 2018 edition as the team attempts to recreate the victory scenario securing its spot at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.

 

Harvick and the No. 4 team expect to benefit from SHR’s technology partnership with Mobil 1, which is a unique combination of experience, expertise and innovative thinking that strives to consistently deliver performance-enhancing results on the track.

 

Mobil 1 works to reduce engine temperatures and to increase engine efficiency. The products allow the No. 4 Ford to reduce rolling resistance, which contributes to increased acceleration on restarts on the way to reaching top speed. Mobil 1 continues to perform rigorous testing with the SHR teams to improve on-track performance, including the reduction of frictional loss in the engines to maximize fuel mileage, increase horsepower and turn more rpm.

 

The Mobil 1 products reduce friction in the suspension components, as well, providing maximum tire grip and helping to reduce steering compliance to give precision control and improved handling for Harvick behind the wheel.

 

Mobil 1 provides the products to make the No. 4 Ford operate more efficiently and the proof is in the results. In the last nine races at Texas Motor Speedway since Harvick and the No. 4 team joined forces, they have scored a series-best 346 points, six top-five finishes and eight top-10s. They also have record a win, Busch Pole and 313 laps led and an average finish of eighth.

 

Joey Logano of Team Penske already punched his ticket to the Championship 4 at Homestead, after securing a win last Sunday at Martinsville. Entering the AAA 500, Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing holds a 46-point advantage, while Martin Truex Jr. and Harvick each hold a 25-point advantage over fifth-place driver and SHR teammate Kurt Busch for the final transfer spot.

 

A win this weekend at Texas would secure Harvick’s position in the winner-take-all, Championship 4 round at Homestead-Miami Speedway and give him a shot at his second Cup Series championship – and Harvick is hungry for that opportunity.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
The first playoff race was won by Joey Logano, so now the ‘Big Three’ are the final three in points ahead of the cutoff position. What does that do to the dynamic moving forward?

“There’s a lot of respect amongst the three teams, but we all want to beat each other. Ultimately, that’s why we’re here. We want to win and I feel like that same passion lives in those garage stalls next to us and they like you, but they want to beat you. And a lot of times, you do whatever you have to do for your team to go out and do that and that’s what makes it fun. But there’s also a lot of respect there. In the end, we all want to beat each other, but it has been a lot of fun racing with those guys.”

 

The playoffs are made for clutch moments. What does it mean to be clutch and what moment do you think defines that.

“Clutch moments – there’s nothing like them. It’s one thing to dominate a race all day and win – that’s great. But, making a last-lap pass, an end-of-the-race pass or winning on a day when you’re not supposed to, there is just no better feeling than getting out of the car and looking at those guys. Having the rest of the field asking how was he able to win today. Those are the types of moments that I love to be a part of. We’ve been fortunate to experience a lot of those. That’s the adrenaline rush that comes with what we do. There is no better feeling than those particular moments.”

Chassis No. 4-010:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 4-010 in the AAA Texas 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Built new in 2017, Chassis No. 4-010 made its NASCAR Cup Series debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400, when Harvick started second and finished sixth.​ In its first appearance of 2018, Harvick started second, led 87 laps and finished runner-up to Kyle Busch by .3 of a second at Texas. In July, Harvick started 11th, led 39 laps and finished third at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. In its most recent appearance, the No. 4 team started second, led 22 laps and finished fourth at Indianapolis.
Texas Notes of Interest:
Dynamic Duo – While this is Harvick’s 18th year in the NASCAR Cup Series, it’s only his fifth with crew chief Rodney Childers. Since joining forces at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014, Harvick and Childers have combined to produce 21 points-paying victories, a victory in the non-points-paying 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, 18 poles, 88 top-five finishes and 124 top-10s while leading 8,347 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, 24 poles, 188 top-fives, 333 top-10s and 12,773 laps led in643 starts. His most recent Cup Series win came at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (Aug. 12, 2018). His last Busch Pole came at Richmond (Va.) Raceway (Sept. 21, 2018).

 

On Point – Harvick arrives at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 fourth in points with 4,083, 21 behind leader Kyle Busch, and is now 25 points ahead of fifth-place Kurt Busch entering Sunday’s second race in the Round of 8 of the 2018 Cup Series playoffs.

 

Texas Numerology – Harvick has one win, nine top-threes, 19 top-10s and has led a total of 318 laps in his 31 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas. His average start is 16.4, his average finish is 11.1 and he has a lap-completion rate of 96.8 percent, completing 10,011 of the 10,337 laps available.

 

Harvick At Texas Since Joining SHR – In nine Cup Series starts at Texas since joining SHR at the beginning of 2014, Harvick leads all drivers in points with 346,  top-five finishes with six, top-10 finishes with eight, ranks first in average starting position at 4.8. He ranks tied for third with one win, fifth in laps led with 313 and has an average finish of 8.0. He has started in the top five in eight of the nine events and finished first or second in four of the nine with one win and three runner-up finishes. He scored his only Cup Series win at Texas in November 2017, when he started third, led 38 laps and crossed the finish line 1.580 seconds ahead of Martin Truex Jr.

 

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 tied with Busch, who scored his seventh win of the season at Richmond in September.

 

Freaky Fast Busch Pole Qualifier – Harvick has started on the front row 10 times this season. The most recent came Oct. 21 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. He has started in the top-10 in 24 of the 33 NASCAR Cup Series races this season. Harvick scored his first Busch Pole Award of the year at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway with a lap of 49.247 seconds at 194.448 mph. He scored his second pole of the season at Kansas with a lap of 28.600 seconds at 188.811 mph. He scored his third Busch Pole of the season at Richmond in September with a lap of 22.153 seconds at 121.880 mph.

 

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, April 16 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, and April 21 at Richmond. Keselowski also joined the group with his most recent wins at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Las Vegas. This marks the first time in NASCAR history that three different drivers have won three straight races in the same season.

 

Lap Leader –Harvick led his 12,000th lap in NASCAR Cup Series competition June 3 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. He is one of only 15 drivers to lead 12,000 laps in his Cup Series career. He joins Johnson, Kyle Busch and Kenseth as the only active drivers to accomplish that feat. Harvick’s laps-led total since 2014 is 8,347, which is 3,885 laps more than the total from his 13 previous seasons before joining SHR (2001 to 2013). Harvick has already led a series-best 1,682 laps in 2018 and has now surpassed 1,000 laps led in a season for the fourth time and 1,500 laps led in a season for the third time in his career.

 

Playoff Qualifier – 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 ranks second in the Cup Series in playoff points with 54. He gained 10 playoff points for finishing the 26-race regular season in second, 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 Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, Pocono in August, two at Michigan in August, two at Dover in October, one at Talladega in October, one at Kansas in October (total of 14). The 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.

 

Harvick’s Happy Hours on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio – Harvick is in his second year as the co-host of the award-winning radio program Happy Hours on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90. The show debuted on March 28, 2017. It airs 7 to 9 p.m. ET on Tuesdays and features 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. On April 12, the show won the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards “Radio Program” category. Other finalists in the category included SiriusXM’s Basketball and Beyond with Coach K, as well as the Dan Le Batard Show, Dan Patrick Show and Jim Rome Show.

TSC PR/Photo Credit Chris Graythen/Getty Images

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