Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kevin Harvick looking for first win at Sonoma

Kevin Harvick is 7/1 to win Sunday at Sonoma
Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 Folds of Honor/Outback/Budweiser Chevrolet SS compete in the Toyota-Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race this weekend at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.

Representing Folds of Honor… Harvick’s No. 4 Chevrolet will feature a special patriotic paint scheme honoring the Folds of Honor Foundation in this weekend’s race. Founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, a former F-16 fighter pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, the organization gives back to the families of soldiers killed or disabled in the line of duty through scholarships and other assistance.

Salute… Now through August 15, beer drinkers can enter a code contained inside specially marked packages of Budweiser on to trigger a $1 donation to Folds of Honor, accounting for up to $1 million combined with wholesaler contributions for a more than $3 million total donation to Folds of Honor in 2014. Since first partnering with Folds of Honor Foundation in 2010, Budweiser and its wholesalers have raised nearly $10 million for military families, accounting for thousands of scholarships across the country.

Back Home in California… Harvick returns to his home state for this weekend’s event. A Bakersfield, California-native, Harvick grew up a little more than 300 miles southeast of Sonoma, and his racing career began shortly after receiving a go-kart for his kindergarten graduation.

Chassis Info…The No. 4 team will utilize chassis No. 873 in Sunday’s race – a new chassis from the SHR shop. Harvick and the team tested the car last month at Virginia International Raceway, a road-course facility located in Alton, Virginia.

Sonoma Stats… Harvick has 13 prior NSCS starts at Sonoma. During that span, he has earned three top fives and five top-10 finishes and has an average start of 16.3 and an average finish of 15.6.

Loop Data… Harvick owns a few notable marks in NASCAR’s Loop Data scoring system at Sonoma heading into this weekend’s event, including: fifth in green flag passes (506 passes); seventh in laps in top 15 (565 laps); and ninth in average running position (15.260).

A Look Back… During last year’s Toyota-Save Mart 350, Harvick started 12th and finished 10th.

Budweiser #SpeedTweets… Budweiser is tapping into race fans increasing affinity for social media by using Twitter to engage in a new and unprecedented way. The brewer’s latest effort, #SpeedTweets, is a Twitter-based weekly competition that will award 19 fans a trip to Charlotte, N.C., to race go-karts with Harvick. The contest runs the first 19 weeks of the 2014 NSCS schedule, with Budweiser’s official racing Twitter account, @BudweiserRacing, posting challenges throughout each race weekend. Participants (21 and older only) are required to register at must follow @BudweiserRacing, and must reply to @BudweiserRacing with the hashtag #SpeedTweets in order for their answers to be considered. For information on contest rules and regulations, please visit

Harvick on Racing at Sonoma Raceway

Sonoma is one of only two road courses on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule and it’s widely regarded as the more technical of the two. What are the big differences between Sonoma and Watkins Glen? “I think the biggest difference between Sonoma and Watkins Glen is that the speeds are drastically different. Sonoma is a much tighter course with sharper corners and a lot less speed where you don’t really even use fourth gear, unless you’re saving gas. It’s a much slower track than Watkins Glen and the tires fall off a lot more than they do at The Glen. So, you’ve got to get your car to technically be very good as it turns the corner, but also keep track of the forward grip as you go through a run.”

Road-course races have become more and more like short-track races lately, where we see a lot of beating and banging for position, especially late in the race. What do you attribute that to? Besides the obvious, do you feel that patience wears on drivers after having to be so focused on hitting their marks lap after lap? “I think it’s just so hard to pass as you go through the restarts. You have to try to take advantage of what you can when you have the opportunity to. Usually, that comes with taking a risk driving the car into the corner a little bit deeper than what you had in the past, and sometimes that results in the front tires sliding or the rear tires hopping, and you make a mistake that can tear your car up along with a few others. It’s just one of those places where the double-file restarts have really affected what you do to try to gain positions. You have the opportunity to gain them on the restarts, and that has created that short-track feel as we’ve gone to the road races.”

Talk a little bit about both Budweiser and Outback Steakhouse supporting the Folds of Honor Foundation this weekend with the special paint scheme on your No. 4 Chevrolet. “The Folds of Honor is a great organization. Maj. Dan (Rooney, founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation) is one of those people who, when you talk to him, you feel better about yourself afterward. What they do for families and the scholarships they hand out is absolutely amazing. To see Outback Steakhouse jump on board along with Budweiser doing the things they’ve done throughout the years for Folds of Honor, it is going to be fun to be a part of.”

- Elevation Group of Companies for Budweiser Racing

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