Kevin Harvick No. 4 ditech Chevrolet Event Preview: New Hampshire
NASCAR Cup Series
Heading to New Hampshire in a Better Place
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Sept. 21, 2016) – Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 ditech Home Loans Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is heading to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon for this Sunday’s New England 300 in a better place than he was last year at this time.
Harvick finished the 26-race regular season as the Sprint Cup points leader in both 2015 and 2016. In 2015, he headed to Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois as the fifth seed to kick off the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoffs. This year he entered the Chase as the fourth seed.
In 2015, Harvick finished 42nd at Chicagoland after contact with Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet caused the No. 4 Chevrolet to cut a tire and make heavy contact with the outside SAFER Barrier. He left Joliet ranked 16th, trailing 12th-place Jeff Gordon by 22 points for the final transfer position into the Round of 12 with two races remaining before the cutoff.
While last weekend at Chicagoland didn’t go as planned for Harvick and the No. 4 team yet again, their 20th-place finish has 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, in his bid for a second Sprint Cup championship, is 22 points ahead of where he was last year heading into New Hampshire.
The 2014 Sprint Cup champion knows how to win at New Hampshire, but he also knows it’s easier said than done.
Harvick has three finishes of fourth or better in his last four starts at the “Magic Mile,” and has led 379 of the 1,205 laps contested over that span – nearly 31.5 percent.
Harvick finished fourth in his most recent visit to New Hampshire in July 2016.
In July 2015, he started 12th and was leading the race when he brought his No. 4 Chevrolet to pit road for a four-tire stop late in the race while several other teams opted for a two-tire stop. He finished third.
He had a chance to win in September 2014, when he started third, led a race-high 104 laps and finished third.
His lone New Hampshire finish outside the top-four over his last four starts came in September 2015. He started second and led a race-high 216 laps but ran out of fuel in the closing laps and finished 21st. The result forced Harvick and the No. 4 team to head to Dover (Del.) International Speedway needing a win to advance to the Chase’s Round of 12. The No. 4 team delivered a dominating performance at Dover by leading 355 of 400 laps to secure the win and advance.
Harvick’s one Sprint Cup win at New Hampshire came from the pole position in September 2006, when he led 196 of 300 laps en route to victory lane.
Harvick’s plan of attack this weekend at New Hampshire is to attempt to qualify up front Friday to secure the track position needed to win Sunday, then head to Dover with his place in the Round of 12 secured.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 ditech Home Loans Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What does it mean to be able to perform in these pressure situations?
“It’s something we pride ourselves in. I think the pressure situations have been very good for us. As you look at the past two years – winning the championship and finishing second and getting to Homestead twice – it kind of shows the grit and backbone of our team and how well they’ve dealt with those situations. That experience definitely pays dividends every year when you go in. I think we were a little too ramped up, or at least I was, to start the Chase last year. There’s definitely a strategy to how you approach situations and how you approach the end. I think, having dealt with that in the past, that it’s a good thing for us.”
Why do you think Loudon has been so difficult for a lot of the Chase drivers the last couple years?
“I don’t think Loudon is really any different than any other racetrack. It’s just circumstances that can crop up at really any racetrack throughout the Chase. Any track can be a problem and I don’t think Loudon is any different than the rest of them. If you’re having a bad day, you know it can result in a bad day. You just have to overcome that and try to get yourself out of the hole.”
Chassis Information - Chassis No. 4-841: Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 ditech Home Loans Chevrolet SS built on Chassis No. 4-841 in the New England 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Chassis No. 4-841 made its Sprint Cup debut in March 2015 at Phoenix International Raceway, where it scored a dominant win from the pole and led 224 laps to score Harvick’s second win of 2015. At Phoenix in November, Harvick started eighth and again dominated the race by leading 143 of 219 laps before finishing second when the race was called due to rain. It won its first race of 2016 when it started 18th and led 139 laps en route to victory lane at Phoenix. Chassis No. 4-841 has two wins, three runner-up finishes, seven top-fives, eight top-10s, a 42nd-place finish, and has led 648 laps in nine Sprint Cup starts.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Notes of Interest:
- Ditech and Rebuilding Together Host Ribbon-Cutting Event: Thursday at 3 p.m. EDT, ditech Home Loans, a well-known lender and servicer of residential mortgages, along with Rebuilding Together and its affiliate Rebuilding Together Boston, will host an event celebrating the revitalization of Camp Spaulding’s play space. The event will include a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony and an appearance by Kevin Harvick on behalf of ditech. Camp Spaulding is a partnership between the YMCA and Concord Child and Family Services that nurtures the potential of youth and creates a sense of community among campers of all ages through a wide variety of programs. Camp Spaulding is located at 201 Bog Road in Concord, New Hampshire.
- Freaky Fast Since 2014: Harvick is in his 16th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and his third at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with crew chief Rodney Childers at the helm. Since their pairing at the beginning of 2014, Harvick and Childers combined to produce 10 victories, nine poles, 50 top-five finishes and 69 top-10s; led 5,642 laps; won the 2014 Sprint Cup title; and finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch.
- Points Position: Harvick finished 20th Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet and sits 13th in the Sprint Cup standings, one point behind teammate Tony Stewart in the 12th position. Harvick finished the Sprint Cup regular season with 876 points – more than any other driver. It marks the second consecutive season he has led the Sprint Cup points after the 26-race regular season.
- 2016 Race Winner: Harvick is one of 13 Sprint Cup winners through the first 27 races of 2016. He scored his first win of the season March 13 at Phoenix International Raceway in one of the closest finishes in series history, when he beat runner-up Carl Edwards to the finish line by .01 of a second. He scored his second win of the season in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, where he started 24th, led 128 laps and beat runner-up Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by 1.933 seconds.
- 2016 Loop Leader: According to NASCAR Stats and Information, Harvick leads all Sprint Cup drivers in 2016 in top-five finishes (13), top-10 finishes (21), driver rating (109.1), average finish (8.9), average running position (8.595), pass differential (328), fastest laps run (845), percentage of fastest laps run (13.4), laps run on the lead lap (7,287), percentage of laps run on the lead lap (95.32), laps in the top-15 (6,697), percentage of laps in the top-15 (87.7.2). He ranks second in miles led (1,235.43). He ranks third in laps led (1,211), percentage of laps led (15.9) and bonus points (30).
- First or Second: Since joining SHR at the beginning of 2014, Harvick and Childers have teamed to score 33 top-two finishes – 10 wins and 23 runner-up efforts in 98 total races. The pairing has finished either first or second in nearly 33.7 percent of the Sprint Cup races since the start of 2014.
- 10,000 Laps Led: After leading 214 laps at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Harvick became just the fifth active full-time driver to lead 10,000 laps in his Sprint Cup career. He joins Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. Harvick led 139 laps in the Good Sam 500k at Phoenix earlier this season to surpass 9,000 laps led for his Sprint Cup career.
- 1,000 Laps Led for the Third Consecutive Season: Harvick has led 1,211 laps through the first 27 points-paying races of 2016. He has now led 1,000 laps for a third consecutive season. He has led at least one lap in 18 of 27 points-paying Sprint Cup events this season. Prior to joining SHR in 2014, Harvick’s season-high was 895 laps led in 2006.
- Harvick in the Sprint Cup Series at Loudon: Harvick will make his 32nd career Sprint Cup start at New Hampshire Sunday. Harvick’s lone win came in September 2006, when he won from the pole and led 196 of 300 laps. He has eight top-five finishes and 16 top-10s with an average starting position of 12.9, average finish of 13.5, 698 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.
- Career Totals: Harvick has 33 wins, 150 top-five finishes, 278 top-10s and 15 poles in 565 career Sprint Cup starts heading into Sunday’s New England 300.
Next News Story →
← Previous News Story