Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS team will travel to Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) this week for Sunday’s SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race.
Chassis Info… The No. 29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet team will utilize chassis No. 383 from the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) stable this weekend. Harvick earned his 19th-career NSCS victory at PIR last November in this car and also raced it to runner-up finishes at PIR in March and Dover International Speedway in June.
PIR Stats… In addition to his win at PIR last season, Harvick has two prior victories in his 20 NSCS starts at the 1-mile track. In 2006 Harvick swept both of PIR’s NSCS races, becoming the first driver to earn back-to-back wins in a single season at the track. He has accumulated a total six top fives and 10 top 10s, and completed 99.7 percent of the laps run in NSCS competition at PIR (6,296 of 6,317) since 2001.
Loop Data… Harvick has scored impressive rankings across several Loop Data categories at PIR, including: third in fastest drivers early in a run (126.925 mph); fourth in fastest on restarts (122.659 mph); fourth in laps led (420); fifth in laps in top 15 (3,719); sixth in green flag speed (124.809 mph); seventh in average running position (11.297); seventh in driver rating (98.4); seventh in speed in traffic (123.937 mph); and eighth in fastest laps run (233).
Happy Anniversary… Harvick and his wife DeLana will celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary this week before he travels to Phoenix for Sunday’s race. The couple was married at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas on Feb. 28, 2001, just three days after Harvick’s first career NSCS start in the No. 29 Chevrolet.
Winner, Winner… Despite getting caught up in an early wreck in Sunday’s Daytona 500, Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team started the 2013 season off on a strong note at Daytona International Speedway earning two wins during Budweiser Speedweeks. His Budweiser Duel win marked his first victory in the Daytona 500 qualifying event, while his Sprint Unlimited finish was his third win in the annual non-points preseason race.
Double Duty… Harvick also will race in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series 200 at PIR driving the No. 33 Menards/Rheem Chevrolet Camaro for RCR. ESPN2 will provide live television coverage of the race starting at 4:30 p.m. EST. The radio broadcast will be carried by Sirius XM NASCAR Radio and MRN Radio affiliates.
Harvick Discusses Racing at PIR
Do you have a lot of confidence going back to Phoenix considering you won there last fall?
“I’ve been on both sides of that. You’ve won a race and can go back and run terrible or you can come back the next year and run good. It’s a new car and there are a lot of new things that you have to have a very open mind on how to approach the weekend. Running the Nationwide race is obviously going to help, but overall Phoenix is a great track for us. Last year we finished first and second in the two races, so we’re going back expecting to run just as good.”
Having won on both the old and new surface, what’s your opinion of the repave at Phoenix?
“They did a great job of taking all aspects of what to do to the race track to try to make better. I think they took in the fan’s sight first off, so they could see the whole race track. The second thing they did was the unique back straightaway. The racing has been really good and the track has done a good job preparing the race track with rubber, getting stuff out there to keep the track clean and washing it off when it needs to be washed off.”