This Week’s Rheem Chevrolet at Talladega Superspeedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 238 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This chassis was most recently driven by Elliott Sadler at Daytona International Speedway in February as the No. 33 RCR Chevrolet, and was utilized in 2011 by the No. 31 team.
In the Draft ... The 36-year-old driver made his first Sprint Cup Series appearance at Talladega Superspeedway in 2001 and has since has earned one victory, one pole award, six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. The NASCAR veteran led 142 of the 4,073 laps completed at the track, and he has an average starting position of 22.1 along with an average finishing position of 15.1.
Looking Back ... Harvick and the No. 29 team took home a fifth-place finish in last year’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway after leading nine laps. In the later part of the race, Harvick hooked up with former RCR teammate Clint Bowyer and charged forward on the final lap, but were beat to the checkered flag. Harvick was scored with a fifth-place finish.
Making the Loop ... Harvick competed in 14 Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway since the inception of NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics in 2006. Harvick is tied for fourth in the Closer category moving up an average of 2.9 positions in the last 10 percent of laps in each race. The driver of the No. 29 Chevrolet is also ranked seventh in Fastest Laps Run (56) and eighth in Laps Led (106) at the 2.66-mile facility.
Gotta Have a Rheem ... After serving as primary sponsor on the No. 29 Chevrolet earlier this season in Phoenix and Kansas, Rheem will return for their third appearance of the 2012 season this weekend in Talladega. 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.
Hall of Fame Supporters ... Rheem is proud to be a Gold sponsor for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction ceremony where Richard Childress will be inducted on Thursday, May 3. Rheem has invited several customers to join them as guests at this event and will also host customers for the Sprint Cup race on Sunday.
Double Duty ... In addition to competing in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race, Harvick will also pilot the RCR No. 33 Armour Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event Saturday afternoon. The Aaron’s 312 will air live on ABC at 3 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Lap for a Reason ... Following driver introductions for the Sprint Cup Series event on Sunday, Harvick will participate in the NASCAR Dreams Parade lap, where one lucky fan will have the opportunity to ride in the parade vehicle with the Rheem Racing driver. The proceeds generated from the auction will benefit the NASCAR Foundation along with the Kevin Harvick Foundation. Harvick will also participate in the NASCAR Dreams Parade Lap program at Dover International Speedway in June for the Sprint Cup event. Fans can bid on this once in a lifetime experience, while supporting two great organizations by visiting http://nascar.com/auction.
In the Rearview Mirror: Richmond ... Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John’s team finished 19th during the Capital City 400 at Richmond International Raceway after battling an unfavorable handling race car for the majority of the 400-lap event.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTES:
What are your thoughts on heading back to Talladega Superspeedway?
“I like racing at places like Talladega (Superspeedway), you spend a lot of time anticipating the other guy’s next move, so you have to be mentally prepared for a race like this. This a good track for me, and we’ve done well in the past. As a team we need to remain focused, and as long as we don’t make any little mistakes, I think we have a good shot to put the Rheem Chevrolet in victory lane this weekend.”
As you prepare for the race at Talladega Superspeedway, how do you think it will compare to Daytona International Speedway?
“I think you’ll have that same type of pack racing and the things that go with it. I feel like as we get ready for Talladega (Superspeedway) we’ll have to see what the temperature is to determine how we’ll race. You kind of get put in a box there. You can’t run the car 260 or 280 (degrees) all day and take that chance of having an engine failure. If the temperatures get that high, it will force us to run the race the way that we did at Daytona (International Speedway).”
Sam Bass has teamed up with Talladega Superspeedway again to design the trophy for the Aaron’s 499. You have won one of these custom designed trophies in the past, what does it mean to you?
“It’s always a great feeling to win a race and add the trophy to your collection, but to be presented with a special one-of-a-kind trophy always adds a little extra special meaning. Sam does an amazing job creating his designs, and it’s more of a piece of art than an actual trophy. To know you have a trophy of that caliber in your collection always makes it a little more special.”