Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest
Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet SS are scheduled to compete in the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) this weekend.
#Salute... The No. 4 Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet will don a special patriotic paint scheme for Sunday’s 600-mile event at CMS to reflect the special red, white and blue packaging featured on the iconic Budweiser bottles and cans this summer. Now through August 15, beer drinkers can enter a code contained inside specially marked packages of Budweiser on Budweiser.com/donate to trigger a $1 donation to Folds of Honor, accounting for up to $1 million combined with wholesaler contributions for a more than $3 million total donation to Folds of Honor in 2014. Through scholarships and other assistance, Folds of Honor gives back to the families of soldiers killed or disabled in action. Since first partnering with the Folds of Honor Foundation in 2010, Budweiser and its wholesalers have raised nearly $10 million for military families, accounting for thousands of scholarships across the country.
Chassis Info… The No. 4 team will utilize Chassis No. 858 in Sunday’s race. Harvick last raced this car at Texas Motor Speedway in April. In that event Harvick started third and took the lead at lap 25, just before the engine in his No. 4 Chevrolet SS expired, leaving the team with a 42nd-place finish.
Charlotte Stats... Harvick has 26 prior NSCS starts at CMS. He’s visited Victory Circle twice in the Coca-Cola 600, first in 2011 and again last May. Harvick also has three top fives and nine top-10 finishes to his credit. He has an average start of 18.1 and an average finish of 16.9 at CMS.
Double Duty… In addition to racing the No. 4 Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet on Sunday, Harvick will drive the No. 5 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet Camaro in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition for JR Motorsports in Saturday’s race. ABC will have live television coverage of the race at 3 p.m. ET while PRN radio affiliates and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio provide the radio broadcast.
Loop Data... Harvick owns several impressive marks in NASCAR’s Loop Data scoring system at CMS heading into this weekend's event, including: first in closers (31 positions gained); fourth in green flag passes (1,430 passes); ninth in laps in the top 15 (3,532 laps); and ninth in fastest on restarts (169.853 mph).
A Look Back… During last year’s Coca-Cola 600, Harvick started 15th and led 28 laps in the 400-lap event to earn his 21st career NSCS victory.
Harvick on Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway
You struggled at this track for a number of years and then won two of the last three 600s. What changed?
"I really tried to stop having a bad attitude coming into this particular race weekend and just trying to get through it. I started trying to figure out what I needed to do to get better at this particular race track. I watched the guys who have had success here in the past and studied a little bit to try and figure out steering, throttle, brakes and different techniques that the guys that were winning the races were using and tried to adapt that. Changing my attitude has helped the most and now Charlotte has become like any of the other race tracks where you enjoy showing up and the challenges of trying to figure out a different style of race track and how to make your car handle."
They say wins change everything, so is it safe to say you love this place now?
“Well, it’s definitely not one of the race tracks that I don’t like coming to anymore for sure. Charlotte has been a good race track for me over the past several years and I’m definitely looking forward to coming back for the 600.”
You have a chance to become one of the drivers who’s won this race three times this weekend. Only eight other drivers have done that. How much would that mean to you to accomplish that?
"That would be pretty phenomenal. The Coke 600 is obviously one of our biggest races every year. I’ve been fortunate enough to have won it a couple times. You see that list of winners and the quality of drivers who’ve won this race, and it’s still a pretty short list, so you want to keep multiplying the times that your name is put on that list of drivers and to win it for a third time would be pretty awesome.”
Is it surprising how good you are this year? Obviously you’re at the top of your game and with Stewart-Haas Racing giving you what you need and the support from Hendrick, it has to be fun when you show up at the track and know you have a chance to win each weekend.
"It’s definitely a different feeling as you go from week to week knowing that your expectation going into the weekend is to win the race. Obviously you’re not going to win all the races. You’re going to have things happen and you’re going to be off on some weekends, but the expectation when we go to the race track every week is that we’re going to go there and we’re going to win the race. We’re going to practice like that and try to qualify on the pole and we know that we have cars that are capable of doing that. I think if you look at every week, we’ve done a good job. I think Rodney has built a great group of guys and SHR has done a great job and given us the resources to come to the track and be competitive every week.”