Kevin Harvick No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Event Preview: New Hampshire
NASCAR Cup Series
Good News Heading to New Hampshire
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (July 13, 2017) – Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), kicked off his Tuesday-night SiriusXM Radio show “Happy Hours” by announcing that he and wife DeLana are expecting to add a daughter to their family around the first of the year.
The surprise announcement comes as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, where Harvick is the most recent Cup Series winner on the 1.058-mile oval.
In September 2016, things didn’t go as planned for Harvick and the No. 4 team at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet to kick off the NASCAR playoffs. The 20th-place finish at Chicagoland had the team ranked 13th in points, trailing SHR teammate Tony Stewart by one point with two races before the cutoff for the Round of 12.
Harvick started 19th in the 40-car field at New Hampshire and quickly made a charge to the front, cracking the top-10 within the first 50 laps around the track. By the halfway point, he had become a fixture among the top-five. The last restart of the race turned out to be the game changer for Harvick and company.
The 2014 Sprint Cup champion was in second place for the restart with six laps to go. He charged into the first turn alongside race leader Matt Kenseth and maintained the inside position on the track as the field raced down the backstretch into turn three. He emerged as the race leader at the exit of turn four and started to stretch the lead during the final laps en route to the victory.
The victory allowed the No. 4 team to automatically advance to the Round of 12 in the 2016 playoffs and continue its pursuit of Harvick’s second championship.
As the second half of the 2017 season continues, Harvick and the No. 4 team are ranked fourth in points with a win to their credit and eight playoff points. The goal moving forward is to score as many playoff points as possible in the remaining seven regular-season races.
The best way to gain playoff points is to win races and win stages. Harvick and the No. 4 Busch Beer team will attempt to do both this weekend at New Hampshire as he continues his march toward a second NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Harvick is hoping the good news continues with a win on Sunday.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Harvick on his family expecting the arrival of a baby girl around the first of the year:
“(Son) Keelan (Harvick) obviously broke the news this week but, I think for us, we had a birthday party with DeLana’s birthday being on Friday of Kentucky weekend and Keelan’s birthday on Saturday, so we had a big birthday party at the house for DeLana and Keelan. We had all of DeLana’s family, we had my mom come out, and we had everybody in the yard. We figured, ‘You know what? It’s just a good time to tell everybody.’ So, we weren’t going to tell anybody else, and then this week I did my call-in at the shop and my good ole buddy Clint Bowyer, who has known for a long time everything that has been going on, and he said, ‘Well, how’d it go?’ And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?’ So he says, ‘Well, did you tell everybody at the party? You know, you were going to tell everybody at the party.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, yep, told everybody.’ So he was like, ‘Well, tell everybody else!’ So I had to tell everybody in the competition meeting. Then we walk outside on Tuesday morning to go to Pocono for an appearance, and Keelan is going with me, but he sees the pilot when we get to the airport and he says, ‘Guess what, Mr. Chris? I’m going to be a big brother.’ I was like, OK, so I told DeLana, ‘Keelan is going to tell everybody because he seems to be pretty excited about the situation and everything that’s going on.’”
What does it take to be successful at Loudon?
“I’d say the most important thing at Loudon is track position just because it’s hard to pass. You want to be up front and on the right strategy no matter what you do. If the caution flag falls in the wrong spot and you lose track position, it usually becomes a longer day than it could have been.”
Chassis Information - Chassis No. 4-899: Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 4-899 in the 301-mile Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Built in 2014, Chassis No. 4-899 made its debut that September at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, where it started sixth, led 79 laps and finished fifth. Since its debut, Chassis No. 4-899 has started on the front row three times, including twice from the pole position, and recorded five top-five finishes, seven top-10s and led 697 laps through 10 NASCAR Cup Series starts.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Notes of Interest:
- Earning It Since 2014: Harvick is in his 17th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and his fourth at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with crew chief Rodney Childers at the helm. Since joining forces in 2014, Harvick and Childers combined to produce 13 victories, 14 poles, 60 top-five finishes and 86 top-10s; led 6,360 laps; won the 2014 Cup Series title; finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch and eighth in 2016.
- Points Position: Harvick arrives at the 301-mile NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire ranked fourth in the standings with 599 points after his ninth-place finish last weekend at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. He trails leader Martin Truex Jr. by 110 points.
- Playoff Bound: Harvick clinched his position in the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs as he scored his first Cup Series win of the season at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June. He started 12th, led 24 laps and had more than a five-second cushion when the final yellow flag waved to end the race under caution.
- Playoff Points: Harvick and the No. 4 team have scored one race win and three stage wins to account for eight playoff points – tied for sixth-most among Cup Series drivers.
- Leading Laps: Through the first 17 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series events of 2017, Harvick ranks fourth in laps led with 545 of 5,213 total laps contested – more than 10 percent. Harvick has led at least one lap in 10 of the 18 points-paying events of 2017.
- Harvick in the NASCAR Cup Series at Loudon: Harvick will make his 33rd career Sprint Cup start at New Hampshire Sunday. Harvick has two Cup Series wins at Loudon, including his most recent appearance in September 2016, when he started 19th, led the final eight laps and beat runner-up Matt Kenseth to the finish line by .442 of a second. His first win in Loudon came in September 2006, when he won from the pole and led 196 of 300 laps. He has nine top-five finishes and 17 top-10s with an average starting position of 13.1, average finish of 13.1, 706 laps led and has completed every race.
- Harvick in the Xfinity Series at Loudon: Harvick has made 12 career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at New Hampshire. Harvick has one win (June 2007), four poles (May 2001, July 2003 and 2005 and June 2007), nine top-five finishes and 11 top-10s at the 1.058-mile oval. The two-time Xfinity Series champion has led 677 laps, has an average starting position of 3.1, an average finish of 4.8, and has completed every lap he’s contested there.
- Harvick in the Camping World Truck Series at Loudon: Harvick has made six career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at New Hampshire. Harvick has three top-five finishes and five top-10s at the 1.058-mile oval. The Bakersfield, California native has led 108 laps, has an average starting position of 4.3, an average finish of 6.5, and has completed 99.9 percent (1,158 of 1,159) of the laps he’s contested there.
- All-Time Wins List: Harvick scored his 36th career Cup Series win at Sonoma in June, which is ranked 22nd on the all-time wins list. His next Cup Series win will move him into a tie with Bobby Isaac for 21st on the all-time list. Among active drivers, Harvick ranks fourth behind leader Jimmie Johnson’s 83 career wins, and Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch, who are tied for second with 38 wins each.
- On The Pole: Harvick has scored three Cup Series pole awards in 2017 – all coming on 1.5-mile racetracks. He scored his first of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a lap of 29.118 seconds at 190.398 mph. His second of the season came at Texas, when he made a lap at 27.217 seconds at 198.405 mph. His most recent came at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 with a lap of 27.918 seconds at 193.424 mph.
- All-Time Pole List: Harvick’s 20 career Cup Series poles has him tied with Benny Parsons and Neil Bonnett for 39th on the all-time list. His next Cup Series pole would move him into a four-way tie with Dick Hutcherson and brothers Kurt and Kyle Busch. He ranks seventh among active drivers behind Ryan Newman’s 51, Johnson’s 35, Kasey Kahne’s 27, Denny Hamlin’s 24, and 21 each by the Busch brothers.
- Closing In on 11,000 Lap Led: Harvick also needs 214 laps led to become the 17th Cup Series driver of all time to lead 11,000 or more laps. Johnson, Kyle Busch and Kenseth are the only active drivers to accomplish the feat.
- Closing In on 300 Top-10s: Harvick has scored 295 top-10 finishes in his Cup Series career. He needs just five more to become the 20th driver in Cup Series history to reach 300 top-10 finishes. He ranks third among active drivers, trailing only Johnson’s 336 and Kenseth’s 315.
- Career NASCAR Cup Series Totals: Harvick has 36 wins, 160 top-fives, 294 top-10s and 20 poles in 592 career Cup Series starts heading into Sunday’s race at New Hampshire.
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