This Week’s Rheem Chevrolet at New Hampshire Motor Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 320 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in this weekend’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301. This former No. 33 racer was transformed to a No. 29 entry during the off-season and has been used once this season at Martinsville Speedway where Harvick notched a 19th-place finish.
Granite State Racing ... Harvick has 22 Sprint Cup Series career starts at the 1.058-mile track, collecting one pole award (2006), one victory (2006), five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. The Bakersfield, Calif., native holds a 14.1 average starting and finishing position. Harvick has completed 99.2 percent of the laps contested (6,420 of 6,474) at the track and has led the field for 319 circuits.
Getting Loopy in Loudon ... Harvick has made 15 starts at the Loudon, N.H.-based facility since the inception of NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics in 2006. The RCR veteran driver has led 252 laps at the oval track ranking him fourth amongst all drivers. Harvick has made 709 Green Flag Passes while spending 2,574 Laps in the Top 15 positioning him eighth in both Loop Data categories. He is credited with 140 of the Fastest Laps Run ranking him ninth. Harvick holds an Average Running Position of 13.282 and has a Driver Rating of 91.7 positioning him 10thin both categories.
Points Racing ... With 18 points-paying events in the books, Harvick remains sixth in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 90 markers behind the leader. Harvick has collected three top-five and eight top-10 finishes thus far this season, completing 99.75 percent (5,174 of 5,187) of the laps contested.
It’s a Boy ... On Sunday, July 8, the Harvick’s announced the birth of their son Keelan Paul Harvick. Affectionately referred to as ‘Baby Otis’ during the pregnancy, Keelan was born Sunday afternoon weighing in at 6.8 pounds and 19.5 inches long. He is the couple’s first child.
Heading Home ... No. 29 teammates Mike Brill and Andy Flynn will head to their home track this weekend, New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Brill, a mechanic for the team, grew up two hours north of the track in Woodsville, N.H. The New Hampshire native got his start working for Joe Bessey 16 years ago and has been with RCR for the past four seasons. Flynn, from nearby Montville, Conn., worked for Marsh Racing and driver Ted Christopher before heading south to pursue a career in the sport. Flynn has been a part of the RCR organization for the past five seasons as a tire specialist.
Gotta Have a Rheem ... Rheem will adorn the No. 29 Chevrolet for the sixth of 10 scheduled races during the 2012 season this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Rheem is privately held with headquarters in Atlanta and U.S. operations in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Minnesota and North Carolina. In its 86th year of operation, the company manufactures a full-line of eco-friendly, technologically advanced residential and commercial heating and cooling systems; tank, tankless, solar and hybrid heat pump water heaters; whole-home standby generators, controls, swimming pool and spa heaters; indoor air-purification products; and commercial boilers throughout North America and world markets. The company’s premium brands, including Rheem, Raypak, Ruud and Richmond have been recognized with countless industry and consumer awards for reliability, innovative design and high quality. Rheem is the official heating, cooling and water heating supplier to Richard Childress Racing.
Meet the Press ... Harvick will be available to members of the media on Friday, July 13 at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time in the New Hampshire Motor Speedway infield media center.
Double Duty ... In addition to competing in the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 Sunday afternoon, Harvick will also drive RCR’s No. 33 Barber Foods Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event Saturday. The race is scheduled to air live on ESPN beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Sunday Cruise for a Cause ... Following driver introductions for the Sprint Cup Series event on Sunday, Harvick will participate in the Ride of a Lifetime lap, with one lucky fan joining the RCR driver in the parade vehicle. The proceeds generated from the auction benefit the Speedway Children’s’ Charities along with the Kevin Harvick Foundation. Harvick will also participate in the Ride of a Lifetime lap at Bristol Motor Speedway in August, Atlanta Motor Speedway and New Hampshire International Speedway in September, Charlotte Motor Speedway in October and Texas Motor Speedway in November for the Sprint Cup Series events. For more information on the Ride of a Lifetime auctions visit www.speedwaycharities.org.
The Last Time Around ... Last season, Harvick and the No. 29 Chevrolet team battled handling issues and track position during the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway before finishing the event in the 21st position.
In the Rearview Mirror: Daytona International Speedway ... Harvick and the No. 29 team ran strong in the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday night but ultimately finished 23rd after being collected in a last-lap incident at Daytona International Speedway.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTES:
What are your thoughts heading to New Hampshire Motor Speedway?
“New Hampshire (Motor Speedway) is a track that I enjoy. It’s a track where you have to have a good handling car, you have to have track position, and you have to have everything go right. If you get yourself stuck in the middle of the pack you’re not going to have a very good day, unless you have a really good car. Overall New Hampshire (Motor Speedway) is a track that I enjoy and hopefully we will run well.”
The track has aged since the last repave and reconfiguration. Has the racing changed or become more of a challenge over time?
“I think when they changed that particular race track it made the racing better. It gave you some more options, but the track has aged since they changed it. The biggest bumps are going into turn three, and those have gotten a bit worse. But all-in-all the track hasn’t changed at whole lot.”
Some say New Hampshire Motor Speedway is like Martinsville Speedway on steroids. Would you agree with that?
“I wouldn’t agree with that at all. New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a much higher speed race track and you have to have aerodynamics on your side. You can’t just apply a full mechanical set up to the car. There is a very different driving style and lots of things are different from Martinsville (Speedway).”