This Week’s Rheem Chevrolet at Atlanta Motor Speedway ... Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 378 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in this weekend’s AdvoCare 500. Harvick drove this Chevrolet at Kansas Speedway in April and Michigan International Speedway in June finishing sixth and 10th, respectively. This chassis was also used in competition twice during the 2011 season when Harvick captured a sixth-place finish at Kansas Speedway in October and a second-place finish Chicagoland Speedway in September.
Racing in Hotlanta ... This weekend’s event at Atlanta Motor Speedway marks Harvick’s 419th Sprint Cup Series career start. Throughout the last 11 seasons, the 36-year-old driver has made 21 starts at the 1.54-mile oval and collected one win (2001), four top-five and seven top-10 finishes. Harvick maintains an 18.5 average starting position, an average finishing position of 19.9, has completed 97.4 percent (6,600 or 6,773) of laps contested and is credited with 136 laps led.
Getting Loopy in the Peach State ... Harvick has made 13 Sprint Cup Series starts at the Hampton, Ga.-based facility since the inception of NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics in 2006. The Bakersfield, Calif., native holds an average running position of 16.8 and has spent 2,099 laps running in the top 15. Harvick is the seventh-Fastest Driver Late In a Run (168.821 mph) and has made 762 Green Flag Passes positioning him 10th among his competitors.
Points Racing ... With 24 point-paying events in the books, Harvick ranks ninth in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 82 markers behind the leader. Harvick has collected three top-five and nine top-10 finishes thus far this season, completing 99.72 percent (6,364 of 6,347) of the laps contested.
Gotta Have a Rheem ... Rheem will adorn the No. 29 Chevrolet for the eighth of 10 scheduled races during the 2012 season this weekend at their home track, Atlanta 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.
Double Duty ... In addition to competing in the AdvoCare 500 Sunday evening, Harvick will also drive RCR’s No. 33 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event Saturday night. The race is scheduled to air live on ESPN2 beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
The Dog Whisperer ... Harvick and his wife DeLana, along with their Chihuahua, LO, will be featured in an episode of the “The Dog Whisperer.” Host, Cesar Millan, joined the Harvicks at their motorcoach at Daytona International Speedway in February to help tame the half-pint pup. The NASCAR-related episode is scheduled to air on Saturday, September 1 on Nat Geo Wild at 8 p.m. Eastern Time; please check local listings for further details.
Sunday Evening Cruise for a Cause ... Following driver introductions for the Sprint Cup Series event on Sunday night, Harvick will participate in the Speedway Children’s Charities Ride of a Lifetime 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 benefit the Speedway Children’s Charities along with the Kevin Harvick Foundation. Harvick will also participate in the Speedway Children’s Charities Ride of a Lifetime parade lap at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October and Texas Motor Speedway in November. For details on how you can bid on this once in a lifetime event visit the respective track’s website.
The Last Time By ... After rain and strong storms delayed the start of the 2011 AdvoCare 500 for two days, Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet team took home a seventh-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway, to lock in a top-10 position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
In the Rearview Mirror: Bristol Motor Speedway ... Harvick drove Richard Childress Racing’s No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet to a 15th-place finish Saturday night in the IRWIN Tools Night Race under the lights of Bristol Motor Speedway.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTES:
Atlanta Motor Speedway has been a good track for you. Five of the last seven starts have resulted in a top-10 finish, including a runner-up finish.
“Atlanta (Motor Speedway) has been a pretty good track for the Rheem team. We had a runner-up finish recently, where we dominated the race all day. It came down to a late-race restart and we lost it in the last five or six laps. We did a tire test at the track several years ago, found some things that worked from the driver side and it’s been a good track for us ever since.”
How crucial is it that Atlanta Motor Speedway is the last 1.5-mile track before the chase, and what kinds of things will your team look to learn?
“You really can’t learn anything at Atlanta (Motor Speedway) because it is so worn out and so rough, it doesn’t really apply to anything that we do at any of the other race tracks. So it’s a lot different than most of the 1.5-mile tracks.”
What are the characteristics that make Atlanta Motor Speedway different than any of the other 1.5-mile tracks?
“On new tires, Atlanta (Motor Speedway) carries a lot of speed all around the race track. You can get a lot of speed out of the tires for one or two laps, but after that the pace slows down as we go through a run. It’s definitely fast, but it slows down quite a bit as the tires wear out and you slide around and bounce all over the place.”