Kevin Harvick No. 5 TaxSlayer Chevrolet Event Preview: Auto Club Speedway

Pre-Race Reports | XFINITY Series | 03/18/14

DRIVER: Kevin Harvick / No. 5 Chevrolet RACE: 300 (150 laps / 300 miles) TRACK: Auto Club Speedway
DATE: Saturday, March 22, 2014

Quotes | Kevin Harvick

“Fontana is a fun place to race since the pavement has aged and given us a lot more options. I haven’t run a Nationwide race there in a while so I’m looking forward to that extra track time and having a chance to put our Chevy in victory lane on Saturday.

“The transition (to JR Motorsports) has been good. These guys do a good job. They’re a bunch of racers. We’ve got a lot of support from the Hendrick side of it. Ernie Cope does a good job and they’ve got a good bunch of guys that were already on the team, so they’ve made my transition pretty easy.”

Notes | No. 5 Team

RED HOT: Harvick posted 10 top-five finishes in his last 12 NNS starts dating back to 2013, including a runner-up finish at Phoenix International Raceway and third-place at Bristol Motor Speedway this season. His worst finish during that stretch is ninth.

RIGHT AT HOME: The Bakersfield, Calif., native’s 10 top-five finishes in NNS action at Auto Club Speedway, including five in his last seven starts, are tied for most all-time (Carl Edwards). Harvick holds the outright lead with 14 top-10s at the track while ranking third in starts (17), laps led (268), and average finish (7.2) among drivers with 10 or more NNS starts at the track.

CALIFORNIA COMBO: Working with crew chief Ernie Cope for four NNS races at Auto Club Speedway in 2009 and 2010, Harvick finished fourth or better three times. The duo’s most recent race together at the track in October 2010 saw Harvick lead a race-high 86 laps en route to a third-place finish.

SEARCHING FOR A FIRST: Auto Club Speedway is one of only four tracks Harvick holds 10 or more NNS starts without a victory. Among his 40 career NNS victories, none have come at the two-mile facility. However, Harvick secured a win at the track in Sprint Cup competition in 2011 with a last-lap pass to edge Jimmie Johnson by a mere 0.144 seconds.

NO. 5 TEAM: Following its third consecutive top-five finish, the No. 5 team ranks fourth in NNS owners points. With Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. both making a pair of starts to date in 2014, the team has not finished lower than 11th. Harvick will race the next four NNS races with the No. 5 group. The team is working to fill out inventory for the remainder of the season with additional drivers.

IN-RACE REPORTER: Harvick will serve as ESPN’s In-Race Reporter during the NNS event at California. He and Cope will share their insights with the ESPN broadcast crew before and during the race. Fans can submit questions for Harvick by visiting and searching ‘In Race Reporter’. 

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