Kevin Harvick No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet Event Preview: Dover
NASCAR Cup Series
At His Freaky Fastest
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Sept. 28, 2016) – Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is heading to Dover (Del.) International Speedway for Sunday’s Citizen Soldier 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event as the most recent Sprint Cup race winner and the defending race winner.
Harvick locked himself into the Round of 12 in the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs with a late-race charge to win the Bad Boy Off Road 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon last Sunday. He started 19th and led the final six laps of the race to beat runner-up Matt Kenseth by .442 of a second to the finish line. It was his third win of the 2016 season and the 34th win in his Sprint Cup career.
In October 2015, Harvick came to Dover ranked 15th in points and trailing Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 23 points for the final transfer position into the Round of 12. A solid finish at the Monster Mile wouldn’t do – he needed a win to advance. With everything on the line, he delivered the most dominant race of his Sprint Cup career. He started 15th after rain cancelled qualifying Friday afternoon, but he quickly raced his way to the front and led 355 of 400 laps to beat runner-up Kyle Busch to the finish line by 2.639 seconds.
According to NASCAR Stats and Information, he registered a 149.7 driver rating out of a possible 150.0, narrowly missing his fourth perfect driver rating in a Sprint Cup race. He previously registered perfect 150.0 driver ratings at Phoenix International Raceway on three occasions – November 2006 and 2014, and March 2015.
The 2014 Sprint Cup champion has been fast at Dover since joining SHR at the beginning of 2014, scoring one win, one pole and two top-five finishes. What is more impressive is that he has led 810 of 2,005 laps in five races there – 40.4 percent of the total laps raced since the beginning of 2014.
However, luck has not always been on the side of the No. 4 team at Dover.
In June 2014, Harvick started eighth, led 24 laps, but finished 17th as the first car one lap down after he had a valve stem issue during a pit stop that caused a tire to go down on the following restart.
He won the pole at Dover in September 2014, when he turned a lap of 22.095 seconds at162.933 mph in the second round of qualifying. On race day, he stayed at the front of the field for 223 laps but had to settle for a 13th-place finish after another valve stem issue led to a flat tire following a pit stop and caused him to fall a lap down to the leaders.
Harvick started from the pole after qualifying was rained out in May 2016. He led 117 laps early in the race before he was caught in an 18-car accident and finished one lap down in 15th.
While Harvick is already locked into the Round of 12 in the Chase, he would still like to claim a second straight win and build momentum into the next round.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John's Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Is it possible to throw a “Hail Mary” in this sport? Or have that last moment of desperation?
“Anyone can throw a ‘Hail Mary.’ I think there are only a handful of drivers and teams that are capable of finishing those off. I would consider us one of those teams just for the fact that we’ve done it before. We did that last year at Dover. We did that the year before at Phoenix and Homestead. I think as a group we’ve been able to do things when we needed to do things and put days together when they really count. So, I’m glad we have that experience because there are those times when you have to put your back up against the wall and do things most other people can’t do.”
Describe what it’s like to take a lap around Dover.
“Dover is the racetrack where you feel the sensation of speed more than anything. It’s a place where you drop off into the corner and slam into a lot of banking and then, as you come out of the corner, it’s kind of like jumping out of a hole and up onto the straightaway. It’s a really fun place to race. You feel that sensation of speed and you can be really aggressive.”
Chassis Information - Chassis No. 4-846: Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS built on Chassis No. 4-846 in the Citizen Soldier 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Built in 2014, Chassis No. 4-846 debuted at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in March 2014. It scored its only win in October 2014 at Dover, where it started 15th and led 355 of 400 laps. Its most recent appearance came in March 2016 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, where it started second, led 142 laps and finished second. It also has four second-place finishes, seven top-five finishes and eight top-10s in 10 starts.
Dover International Speedway Notes of Interest:
- 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 11 victories, nine poles, 51 top-five finishes and 70 top-10s; led 5,650 laps; won the 2014 Sprint Cup title; and finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch in 100 Sprint Cup events.
- Points Position: Harvick scored his third win of the season last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and moved from 13th to sixth in the Sprint Cup standings, but the win guaranteed he will advance to the Chase for the Sprint Cup Round of 12 following Sunday’s cutoff race at Dover. Harvick finished the regular season with 876 points – more than any other driver. It marked 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 28 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. He scored his third win of the season September 25 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where he started 19th, led eight laps and finished .442 seconds ahead of runner-up Matt Kenseth.
- 2016 Loop Leader: According to NASCAR Stats and Information, Harvick leads all Sprint Cup drivers in 2016 in top-five finishes (14), top-10 finishes (22), driver rating (109.3), average finish (8.6), average running position (8.512), pass differential (345), fastest laps run (869), percentage of fastest laps run (13.2), laps run on the lead lap (7,586), percentage of laps run on the lead lap (95.48), laps in the top-15 (6,989), percentage of laps in the top-15 (88.1). He ranks second in bonus points (34) and miles led (1,536.21). He ranks third in laps led (1,219), percentage of laps led (15.4) and wins (three). He also ranks sixth in quality passes (1,557).
- First or Second: Since joining SHR at the beginning of 2014, Harvick and Childers have teamed to score 34 top-two finishes – 11 wins and 23 runner-up efforts in 100 total races. The pairing has finished either first or second in nearly 34 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 1,219 laps through the first 28 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 19 of 28 points-paying Sprint Cup events this season. Prior to joining SHR in 2014, Harvick’s season-high was 895 laps led in 2006.
- Harvick at Dover in the Sprint Cup Series: Harvick will make his 32nd Sprint Cup start Sunday at Dover. He scored his lone win at the concrete mile oval in October 2015, when he started 15th, led 355 of 400 laps and beat runner-up Kyle Busch by 2.639 seconds. Harvick earned his first Sprint Cup pole at Dover in September 2014 with a time of 22.095 at 162.095 mph. Harvick has two career Sprint Cup runner-up finishes at Dover, most recently in May 2015, when he started sixth, led 91 laps and finished runner-up to Jimmie Johnson. Harvick’s Dover resume shows one win, five top-five finishes, 14 top-10s and 955 laps led with an average finish of 14.3.
- Harvick at Dover in the Xfinity Series: Harvick has 17 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Dover but none since September 2013. He has one pole, which came in his first Xfinity race at Dover in June 2000 at a speed of 154.912 mph. He also started first in September 2003 and June 2006, when no time trials were held. He has four top-five finishes, 10 top-10s, and has led 290 laps with an average finish of 11.2.
- Harvick at Dover in the Camping World Truck Series: Harvick has two starts at Dover in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He started second, led 18 laps and finished fifth in his first race at Dover in May 2011. He won the pole with a speed of 158.235 mph and finished third in June 2012. He has an average starting position of 1.5 and an average finish of 4.0 with 114 laps led in his two starts.
- Career Totals: Harvick has 34 wins, 151 top-five finishes, 279 top-10s and 15 poles in 566 career Sprint Cup starts heading into Sunday’s Citizen Soldier 400.
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