Busch Light Racing: Kevin Harvick Kansas Speedway Advance and Team Report

Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

-PRESS RELEASE-

KEVIN HARVICK

Busch Light Under the Lights

 

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (May 10, 2017)Kevin Harvick is looking to score his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win of the season and his second straight at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. If Harvick is able to score his second win in a row at Kansas Speedway, he’ll have to do it under the lights Saturday night in the Go Bowling 400.

The driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) won the most recent NASCAR Cup Series event at Kansas Speedway in October 2016, when he started 11th, led 74 laps and beat runner-up Carl Edwards to the finish line by 1.183 seconds. The win came in a must-win situation during the NASCAR Playoffs after Harvick suffered a mechanical failure the week before in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway that resulted in a 38th-place finish that left him 12th in the standings. He trailed Denny Hamlin by eight points for the final transfer position into the Round of 8 with Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway looming the following week.

It was the second Cup Series win for Harvick, who also won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas in October 2013, when he started from the pole position, led 138 of 267 laps and beat current SHR teammate Kurt Busch to the finish line by 1.140 seconds to score his first Cup Series victory at the 1.5-mile oval.

The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion also owns the Cup Series qualifying record at Kansas, which he set May 9, 2014 with a lap of 27.799 seconds at 194.658 in the second round of qualifying. That attempt won him his second of three consecutive Sprint Cup poles at Kansas from October 2013 through October 2014.

He also has three runner-up finishes in six Cup Series starts at Kansas since joining SHR in February 2014.

This weekend will also serve as a warm-up for next weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race under the lights at the 1.5-mile Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway track. Harvick will have added pressure next week when he is behind the wheel of the No. 4 Busch Bucks Ford Fusion.

Busch Beer will reward a loyal Busch Beer consumer with an all-expenses-paid trip to Charlotte for the All-Star Race, but if Harvick takes the $1 million purse for winning the NASCAR All-Star Race, the lucky fan also will receive a $1 million grand prize from Busch Beer.

Aside from a cut tire at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March that resulted in a 38th-place finish, Harvick and the No. 4 team have been dominant at 1.5-mile racetracks in 2017. Harvick won the pole and led 292 of 325 laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the second Cup Series event of the season. At Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Harvick won the pole with a lap of 27.217 seconds at 198.405 mph, then went on to lead 77 laps and finish fourth.

What makes those numbers even more encouraging is that the No. 4 team is bringing Chassis No. 4-929 to the Go Bowling 400. Chassis No. 4-929 has won the pole position for every race the team has ever brought it to. It made its NASCAR Cup Series debut at Charlotte in October, when it won the pole with lap of 27.547 seconds at 196.029 mph, led 12 laps, but failed to finish the race due to a mechanical issue. It made its second appearance in the 2016 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, when it won a second consecutive pole with a lap of 30.399 seconds at 177.637 mph. In its only 2017 appearance to date at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March, Harvick won his third consecutive pole with Chassis No. 4-929 with a lap of 29.118 seconds at 190.398 mph in the final round of qualifying.

While Harvick has raced up front and scored three stage wins this year, he is still in search of his first Cup Series race win of the season. Since joining SHR at the beginning of 2014, Harvick has never gone to Kansas in May still in search of his first win of the season. He hopes to change that luck with a dominant performance Saturday night.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
You’ve performed much stronger at Kansas the last couple of years. Is that because of the repave, or did you find something you were missing previously?

“The repave is definitely what changed and turned things around for us at Kansas. Really, I liked the racetrack the way it was before with the asphalt really worn out and cars sliding all over. But, once the repave happened, we were able to really hit on some things and, for whatever reason, it kind of fits my driving style and we have gotten some good results out of it. It has been a really good-performing racetrack for us and one that we look forward to going to and hopefully continue to get good results out of it because it’s been so good for us in the past.”

 

Take us on a lap around Kansas.

“It’s definitely a little bit different just for the fact the (corner) entries are a little different than at most places. Turns three and four remind me of turns three and four at Chicagoland Speedway, but there’s a lot more grip and a lot fresher asphalt than what Chicagoland has nowadays. It’s a very high-speed racetrack. You run the middle to the bottom of the racetrack. But I’m sure, as time goes on, that the groove will move back up. But, for right now, it’s very fast and very sensitive to your line and, with all the speed and how tricky the entrance is into turn one, you can miss your line easily. So, you have to be very specific about where you put your car and pay attention to what you’re doing.”

 

Busch Light Racing Team Report

Round 11 of 36 – Go Bowling 400 – Kansas Speedway

 
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: Moorseville, North Carolina

 

Engine Specialist: Robert Brandt

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

 

Spotter: Tim Fedewa

Hometown: Holt, Michigan

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Gas Man: Justin White

Hometown: Lynnville, Tennessee

 

Front Tire Changer: Eric Maycroft

Hometown: Algonquiin, Illinois

 

Second Gas Man: Marc Wulf

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

 

Front Tire Carrier: Matt Holzbaur

Hometown: New Egypt, New Jersey

 

Windshield: Matthew Custer

Hometown: Bedford, Pennsylvania

 

Rear Tire Changer: Daniel Smith

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina

 

Jackman: Stan Doolittle

Hometown: Ninety Six, South Carolina

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Mike “Shrek” Morneau

Hometown: Oxford, Maine

Road Crew Members:

Truck Drivers: Rick Hodges and Stephen Mitchell

Hometowns: Raleigh, North Carolina, and Woodville, Ohio, respectively

 

Tire Specialist: Dustin Keath

Hometown: Reading, Pennsylvania

 

Shock Specialist: Mike McCarville

Hometown: Kensington, Prince Edward Island, Canada

 

Engineers: Dax Gerringer and Billy Keubler

Hometowns: Gibsonville, North Carolina, and Saline, Michigan,respectively

 

Mechanics: Richie Bean and Allen Mincey

Hometown: Bradford, Vermont, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida,respectively

 

Fuel Runner: Evan Kureczka

Hometown: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Chassis Information – Chassis No. 4-929:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 4-929 in the Go Bowling 400 NASCAR Cup Series race Saturday night at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. Built new in 2016, Chassis No. 4-929 made its Cup Series debut at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in October, when it won the pole with lap of 27.547 seconds at 196.029 mph, led 12 laps, but failed to finish the race due to a mechanical issue. It made its second appearance in the 2016 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, when it won a second consecutive pole with a lap of 30.399 seconds at 177.637 mph. In its only 2017 appearance to date at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March, Harvick won his third consecutive pole with chassis 4-929 with a lap of 29.118 seconds at 190.398 mph in the final round of qualifying. He went on to dominate the majority of the event, leading 292 of 325 laps before suffering a pit road penalty that led to a ninth-place finish.

 

Kansas Speedway Notes of Interest:
· Earning It Since 2014: Harvick is in his 17th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and his fourth at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with crew chief Rodney Childers at the helm. In their first three seasons together, Harvick and Childers combined to produce 12 victories, 11 poles, 54 top-five finishes and 75 top-10s; led 5,815 laps; won the 2014 Cup Series title; finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch and eighth in 2016.

 

· Points Position: Harvick arrives at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City ranked seventh in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings with 309 points after a 23rd-place finish Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. He trails leader Kyle Larson by 119 points.

 

· Leading Laps: Through the first 10 NASCAR Cup Series events of 2017, Harvick ranks first in laps led with 459 of 3,233 total laps contested – nearly 14.2 percent. He trails series-leader Kyle Busch by three laps. Harvick has led at least one lap in six of the 10 points-paying events of 2017, including at least 10 laps in four straight events.

 

· Harvick at Kansas since Joining SHR:Harvick has six Cup Series starts at Kansas since joining SHR at the beginning of the 2014 season and has one win, won the pole for two of the six races and finished runner-up three times. He won the most recent NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas in October 2016, when he started 11th, led 74 laps and beat runner-up Carl Edwards to the finish line by 1.183 seconds. In May 2014, he won the pole with a speed of 194.252 mph, led 119 laps and finished second to Jeff Gordon by .112 of a second. He won the pole with a speed of 197.621 mph, led 61 laps and finished 12th in October 2014. He started sixth, led 53 laps and finished second to Johnson by .487 of a second in May 2015. In October 2015, Harvick started fourth, led 21 laps and finished 16th.  In May 2016, he started 26th and raced his way to a runner-up finish, trailing race winner Kyle Busch by 1.112 seconds at the finish line.

 

· Harvick in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas: The Go Bowling 400 will mark Harvick’s 23rd career Cup Series start at Kansas. He has two wins (October 2013 and 2016), three poles (October 2013, May and October 2014), six top-five finishes and 11 top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval. The 41-year-old driver has led 549 laps, has an average starting position of 15.7, has an average finish of 10.4 and has completed 98.1 percent (5,713 of 5,824) of the laps he’s contested there.

 

· Track Record: Harvick set the track qualifying record at Kansas Speedway on October 3, 2014 with a lap of 27.304 seconds at 197.773 mph in Cup Series qualifying. Harvick’s four poles at Kansas are tied with Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne for most all-time at the 1.5-mile track. Harvick and Johnson are the only two drivers to win consecutive poles at Kansas Speedway (Johnson in 2007 and 2008, Harvick in the fall of 2013 followed by a sweep of 2014).

 

· Never Missed A Cup Series Start At Kansas: Harvick is one of four drivers to participate in every Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. The other four drivers to have started all 22 Cup Series events are SHR teammate Kurt Busch, Kenseth and Ryan Newman.

 

· In the Loop at Kansas: Harvick ranks second at Kansas with an average finish of 8.889 and 658 quality passes. His 549 laps led, 9.829 average running position, driver rating of 105.3 and 3,658 laps in the top-15 each rank third overall.

 

· Three Time Runner-Up: In addition to Harvick’s two wins at Kansas, he also leads the series in runner-up finishes at Kansas Speedway with three. Edwards, Kahne, Martin Truex Jr. and Newman each have two.

 

· Upcoming Milestone: Harvick needs one more Cup Series runner-up finish to break a tie with Lee Petty and take sole possession of 10th on the all-time Cup Series second-place-finishes list. Harvick also needs 300 laps led to become the 17th Cup Series driver of all-time to lead 11,000 or more laps.

 

· Harvick in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Kansas: Harvick has made 11 starts in the Xfinity Series at Kansas. He has one win (October 2006), one pole (October 2008), six top-five finishes and seven top-10s. He has led 208 laps, has an average starting position of 9.5, an average finish of 9.3 and has completed 94.4 percent (2,080 of 2,204) of the laps he’s contested there.

 

· Career NASCAR Cup Series Totals: Harvick has 35 wins, 157 top-fives, 289 top-10s and 19 poles in 584 career Cup Series starts heading into Sunday’s 400-mile event at Kansas.

 

· Harvick the TV Broadcaster: Harvick will next serve as a guest analyst in the FOX TV booth for the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. It will mark his fifth appearance in the booth since the start of the season. He also visited the booth on Feb. 25 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, March 18 at Phoenix International Raceway, April 22 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, May 6 at Talladega, as well as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series eventApril 1 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. He also is slated to broadcast the Truck Series races July 21at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Oct. 13 at Talladega.

 

· Harvick’s Happy Hours on SiriusXM Radio: On March 14, Harvick announced that he will hostHappy Hours on SiriusXM Radio. The show debuted March 28 and airs every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. ET, featuring Harvick’s distinctive perspective on his 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. In June, the show will begin airing every other week.

 

· Busch Bucks Sweepstakes: In conjunction with the launch of Busch Beer’s loyalty program Busch Bucks, one race fan will have the opportunity to win a cool $1 million – matching the first-place prize taken home by the All-Star Race winner – but only if it’s Harvick who takes the checkered flag. The potential winner is invited to Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway the weekend of the All-Star Race to watch from trackside and find out if they’re taking home the $1 million. Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Busch Bucks Ford Fusion with a special paint scheme featuring a “million-dollar look” – literally. If Harvick wins, the consumer winner will be presented with a $1 million check matching Harvick’s winnings.

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Courtesy: True Speed Communication 

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