Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Kevin Harvick: “Pocono is one of those places where I haven’t had a ton of success"

Kevin Harvick is the 7/2 favorite to win at Pocono Sunday.
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (June 3, 2015) – Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is looking to score his first Sprint Cup win at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in Sunday’s Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

The fact Pocono Raceway is known as “The Tricky Triangle” is not lost on Harvick or the No. 4 team. The difficult three-turn racetrack is one of only five on the Sprint Cup circuit where Harvick remains winless. But, if the start to the 2015 race season is any indication, Harvick should be a favorite Sunday.

Thirteen races into 2015, Harvick has scored nine top-two finishes – including wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. He sits atop the driver standings with 516 points. His five straight Sprint Cup finishes of second or better to start the season is a series record. He has led a series-high 1,123 laps with an average finish of 6.1 thus far. His 1,123 laps led are 464 laps more than the next-closest competitor – 659 by his SHR teammate Kurt Busch.

The Bakersfield, California native leads several other statistical categories: 126.1 driver rating, nine top-five finishes, 12 top-10s, 23 bonus points, 684 fastest laps run, 19.3 percent of fastest laps run, 26.0 percent of laps led, 1,220.38 miles led, 4,011 laps in the top-15, 92.8 percent of laps in the top-15, average running position of 5.4, average finish of 6.1, and a pass differential of 225.

The reigning Sprint Cup champion has led at least one lap in 12 straight Sprint Cup points events in 2015. The only race he hasn’t led was the season-opening Daytona 500. That trend should continue this weekend based on his most recent performance at Pocono.

Harvick’s scored his best finish at 2.5-mile racetrack in his most recent start in August 2014. He started sixth, led five laps and finished runner-up to Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 0.228 of a second.

While Harvick is still looking for his first Sprint Cup win at Pocono, he does know how to find victory lane. In August 2011, Harvick scored a win from the pole and led 44 of 55 laps in his only start at Pocono Raceway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Harvick’s two Sprint Cup race wins in 2015 virtually secure his spot in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup, but from this point on he is looking for race wins and bonus points to start the Chase.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

How do you approach each corner at Pocono Raceway?

“The first thing you do is you’ve got to survive the restart. We learned last time that practice didn’t really matter. If you could get a good restart and survive going through the corner and get in line, then you were in good shape. It’s really fast and the thing I like about what they did at Pocono (Raceway) is that all the bumps are now kind of swells, and you have the same kind of feel that you had there, they are just not extreme bumps. Each corner is fast. Turn one is a corner where you drive in and downshift. The key to Pocono now is getting up off the corners and in the throttle and being able to stay in the throttle, really, in all three (turns).”

Do you have a favorite Pocono memory?
“Pocono is one of those places where I haven’t had a ton of success. I think right before they repaved it is when I started to figure the old Pocono out and we were starting to run better. Probably the best memory I have there is winning a (Camping World) Truck (Series) race, so that’s about the extent of it for me.”

Kevin Harvick Pocono Raceway Performance Profile:
YearEventStartFinishStatus/LapsLaps LedEarnings
2014Pocono 400414Running, 160/1600$119,523 40062Running, 160/1605$206,058
2013Party in the Poconos 40059Running, 160/1600$130,571 4001417Running, 160/1600$123,171
2012Pocono 4002114Running, 160/1600$122,121
 *Pennsylvania 4002116Running, 98/980$120,796
20115-hour 500325Running, 200/2000$153,961
 Good Sam RV Insurance 5001014Running, 200/2000$122,636
2010Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500224Running, 204/2045$153,249
 Pennsylvania 500144Running, 200/2000$151,476
2009†Pocono 5002424Running, 200/2000$108,078
 †Pennsylvania 5002312Running, 200/2000$114,628
2008Pocono 5002813Running, 200/2000$118,061
 Pennsylvania 500214Running, 200/2000$153,936
2007*Pocono 5001911Running, 106/1060$119,636
 Pennsylvania 5002317Running, 200/2000$114,186
2006Pocono 5001213Running, 200/2000$109,661
 Pennsylvania 500125Running, 200/2000$134,436
2005×Pocono 50088Running, 201/2010$125,011
 ×Pennsylvania 500106Running, 203/2030$131,661
2004Pocono 5002320Running, 200/2000$95,593
 Pennsylvania 5001832Engine, 141/2000$88,618
2003Pocono 5002025Running, 199/2000$84,018
Pennsylvania 5003112Running, 200/2000$88,428
2002Pocono 5003039Transmission, 81/2000$81,028
 *Pennsylvania 500296Running, 175/1750$98,943
2001Pocono 5001915Running, 200/2000$83,567
 Pennsylvania 500620Running, 200/2000$83,667
* Race cut short due to weather. × Race length extended due to green-white-checkered finish. † Qualifying canceled due to weather, starting position set via car owner points.

- True Speed Communication for Stewart-Haas Racing

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