Kevin Harvick No. 4 Busch Light Ford Event Preview: Kentucky
NASCAR Cup Series
Next on the To-Do List
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (July 5, 2017) – Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), collected his first win of the NASCAR Cup Series season two weeks ago at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway to virtually clinch his spot in the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Now, he would like to check another item off of his to-do list Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.
Harvick has scored Cup Series wins at 20 of 23 racetracks on the current Cup Series schedule. He lacks only Kentucky, Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth – all tracks with a race remaining on the 2017 schedule.
The only driver to win at more tracks than Harvick is 2015 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, who has won races at 21 of 23 venues the series visits and needs wins at only Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Pocono.
For Harvick, Kentucky also happens to be the only track on the current schedule where he’s yet to score a top-five finish.
The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion had a strong effort at the newly repaved Kentucky Speedway in his most recent visit there in 2016. He started from the pole position after inclement weather cancelled Cup Series qualifying and the starting lineup was set according to the NASCAR Rule Book. He went on to lead a race-high 128 of 267 laps around the 1.5-mile oval, but fuel strategy caused him to make a late-race pit stop that foiled his strong run and ended in a ninth-place finish.
The Bakersfield, California native has scored four straight top-10 finishes at Kentucky dating back to 2013 with a best finish of seventh coming in 2014.
Since Harvick scored his first Cup Series win of the 2017 campaign at Sonoma, he now looks to build on his playoff points heading into the championship run. His eight playoff points are currently tied for sixth in the Cup Series, 13 behind leader Martin Truex Jr.’s 21 playoff points.
The best way to score the maximum amount of playoff points in a race is to win races. Harvick and the No. 4 team can accomplish both goals with a win this weekend at Kentucky – crossing another track off his list and scoring the most playoff points possible.
The No. 4 Busch Light team will give it everything it has to earn the win and the points Saturday night at Kentucky.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Kentucky was always known for being one of the roughest tracks on the circuit. How much different is it without all those bumps since the repave?
“It feels great, to tell you the truth. My neck doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t pound your heels and your neck to the point where you can’t hardly walk for two days. I think everybody loves the character in the racetrack but, when you see them dry this particular racetrack now, the drainage is fixed, as well as the other things that were actually wrong. I don’t think anybody minds bumps and character in a racetrack. It’s just when we sat here for hours a couple of years ago with water running out of the racetrack, that was just, I think, the final straw that broke the camel’s back, that you had to go out and fix it and make it right. I like the thought process.”
How common is that experience that you had here with your neck and feet?
“This one was probably by far the worst. You have different problems at different tracks, but these were jarring (bumps) because of the fact they were down the straightaway and the car would actually almost come off the ground in certain spots and bounce around. It was just jarring-type hits that were almost jumps.”
Chassis Information - Chassis No. 4-004: Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 4-004 in the Kentucky 400 Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Built new in 2017, Chassis No. 4-004 made its debut in the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, where it started third and finished sixth.
Kentucky 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 85 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 400-mile NASCAR Cup Series race at Kentucky ranked fourth in the standings with 557 points after his 33rd-plance finish last weekend at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. He trails leader Kyle Larson 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 4,939 total laps contested – more than 11 percent. Harvick has led at least one lap in 10 of the 17 points-paying events of 2017.
- Harvick in the NASCAR Cup Series at Kentucky: Harvick will make his seventh career NASCAR Cup Series start at Kentucky in Saturday night’s Kentucky 400. Harvick has four straight top-10 finishes at the 1.5-mile racetrack.Harvick has an average starting position of 11.0, average finish of 10.2, and has completed all of the 1,602 laps he’s contested there. In 2016, Harvick started from the pole position after inclement weather cancelled Cup Series qualifying. He went on to lead the race five times for a race-high 128 laps, but finished ninth after a late-race fuel stop.
- Harvick at Kentucky in the Xfinity Series: Harvick has five career starts in the Xfinity Series at Kentucky with two wins, four top-five finishes and five top-10s. He has led 202 laps, has an average starting position of 7.8 and average finish of 2.6, and has completed all 1,000 laps he’s contested there.
- Three Tracks Remain: Kevin Harvick scored his first Cup Series win at Sonoma in June, leaving just three tracks on the schedule where he has yet to record a Cup Series win – Kentucky, Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
- Passing a Legend: Harvick scored his 49th career second-place finish in the NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono in June, breaking a tie with Lee Petty and taking sole possession of 10th on the all-time Cup Series second-place-finishes list.
- 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 brothers Kurt and Kyle Busch each.
- 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 294 top-10 finishes in his Cup Series career. He needs just six 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, 293 top-10s and 20 poles in 591 career Cup Series starts heading into Saturday night’s race at Kentucky.
- Harvick the TV Broadcaster: Harvick served as the play-by-play announcer in the FOX TV booth for the first-ever all-driver NASCAR Xfinity Series race broadcast at Pocono three weeks ago. It was his fifth appearance in the booth since the start of the season. He also visited the booth on Feb. 25 at Daytona, March 18 at Phoenix International Raceway, April 22 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, May 6 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, as well as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event April 1 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. He also is slated to broadcast the Truck Series races July 21 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Oct. 13 at Talladega.
- Harvick’s Happy Hours on SiriusXM Radio: On March 14, Harvick announced that he will host Happy Hours on SiriusXM Radio. The show debuted March 28 and airs every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. ET, featuring Harvick’s distinctive perspective on his sport and life outside the track. Harvick and co-host Matt Yocum take calls from listeners and give NASCAR fans a unique view on the driver’s life and interests when he is away from the racecar.
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