By Sarah Handy, Staff Writer
LOUDON, N.H. — As the NASCAR Cup Series rolls into The Magic Mile, 21-year veteran driver Kevin Harvick will seek his fifth win at the 1.058-mile New England track.
Throughout his career, Harvick has had a lot of good racetracks and the Loudon is one of them. 45-year-old Harvick has made 37 starts at NHMS and found victory lane four times. Heading into Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301; he is tied with Jeff Burton for most wins all time.
In addition to his four wins, Harvick has 13 top-five and 21-top 10 finishes, both lead the series. No one else has really been able to come close to ‘the closer’ at Loudon but there are four active NASCAR Cup Series drivers with three wins – Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin.
“New Hampshire has been really good to us, and I think Rodney [Childers] and I probably feel like we should have , could have – won them all,” said Harvick. “But it’s been a racetrack that has been really good for us from a performance standpoint.
From a confidence standpoint, being able to adjust on the car and know what we’re looking for, think this is definitely a racetrack where a lot of those things came into play. We used [a lot of] the same things that we’ve used in the past as far as tools of how we make our car go around the corner. It’s been a great racetrack for us.”
While Phoenix Raceway continues to statistically be his best track; New Hampshire isn’t far off when you compare similarities between the two. Harvick says they’ve both followed the same trend.
“When you look at SHR and the things we’ve been able to accomplish at Loudon and Phoenix, they’ve [kind of] followed that same trend,” said Harvick. “A lot of that goes back to that open test time we had at Milwaukee and Nashville.
Those are the places where we would practice and practice and practice. Our guys have done a great job of having a good short-track, flat-track program. Loudon is a place that has followed along with Phoenix and the success that we’ve had there. To be able to capitalize on that success and continue it at another track.”
The closer as he’s known will look to capture his first victory of the season and his fifth at NH tomorrow. Harvick is coming off an 11th place finish last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Oh, and another Lobster. His first one started to fall apart from the board it was mounted on. Therefore, the Harvick’s found another use for the board.
“My lobster, they mounted on a board. It sat in a closet and his claws fell off and some of his arms and legs fell off. We took the lobster off the board, and we used the board for a skateboard ramp. That was what happened [to my] first lobster because he just fell apart and we used the board for Keelan’s skateboard ramp.”
Feature Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP Photo