Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Kevin Harvick using winning Bristol chassis in Food City 500

Kevin Harvick is 7/1 to win Food City 500.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

What did you take away from your win last August at Bristol? 
“For me, I was excited that you were able to use the bottom of the racetrack, and the lap cars had an option. You just didn't get pinned up high. Really just want to applaud the racetrack for the effort that they made to really get that bottom groove working so that we had multiple grooves of racing, and I think as a driver you had a lot of options to make your car work and maneuver through traffic and make up positions. We started 24th and pretty much drove through the field because of that.” 

What did you think of Bristol Motor Speedway adding VHT resin to the racetrack last year to make the racing groove better? 
“Taking a chance like that, it could have been a complete disaster, but everybody was all in on trying to make the racing better. The SMI group has a little bit of an advantage on everybody else when it comes to those types of situations with their drag race side of things and the VHT and how to apply those things. How to rubber it in with all their concrete launch pads, so they had a pretty good insight on what they needed to do to the bottom after the driver council and NASCAR got together and told them what we thought we needed to do to try to make better racing at Bristol. So they were all in. This is just a classic example of collaboration between SMI, NASCAR and the driver council and seeing the outcome of it was pretty exciting, just because of the fact it does open up options. I think it definitely has opened everybody's eyes to saying, all right, that worked pretty darned good because the last few years we'd been there, you get on the bottom of the racetrack and you are three or four tenths slower. Now you could hold your ground and get past lapped cars. It gave everybody an option to do something different, and as a driver, that's what you want. You want options.”

Chassis Information: Chassis No. 4-884: Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 4-884 in the Food City 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Built in 2014, Chassis No. 4-884 made its debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where it won the pole, led 12 laps and finished eighth. It also won the pole in its second appearance at Atlanta Motor Speedway in August, when it led 195 laps and finished 19th. It won its third appearance at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in October, when it started seventh and led 162 laps. He won his last outing in Chassis 4-884, when he beat runner-up Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to the finish line by 1.933 seconds in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Bristol Night Race in August 2016. It has scored two wins, six top-two finishes, seven top-fives and nine top-10s in 10 NASCAR Cup Series starts.

Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report – Bristol Motor Speedway Notes of Interest:

 Freaky Fast Since 2014: Harvick enters his 17th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and his fourth at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with crew chief Rodney Childers at the helm. In their first three seasons together, Harvick and Childers combined to produce 12 victories, 11 poles, 54 top-five finishes and 75 top-10s; led 5,815 laps; won the 2014 Cup Series title; finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch and eighth in 2016.

 Points Position: Harvick arrives at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway ranked 10th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings with 198 points after a fourth-place finish Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. He trails leader Kyle Larson by 117 points. Harvick also has scored three playoff points for stage wins.

 Lap Leader: Through the first seven NASCAR Cup Series events of 2017, Harvick has been at the front of the field more than any other driver with 419 of 2,142 laps led. That’s nearly 20 percent of the total laps contested. He holds a six-lap advantage over Kyle Busch’s 413 laps led.

 Pole Position: Harvick has won two poles through the first seven events of 2017. He scored his first of the year March 3 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a lap of 29.118 seconds at 190.398 mph in the third round of knockout qualifying. He won his second pole of the season April 7 at Texas with a lap of 27.217 seconds at 198.405 mph in the third round of knockout qualifying. Coincidentally, they are also the only two races of the season that Harvick ran both the Xfinity and Cup Series races in the same weekend. He has won 13 of his 18 career NASCAR Cup Series poles since joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.

 Harvick in the NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol: The Food City 500 will mark Harvick’s 33rd career NASCAR Cup Series start at Bristol. Harvick has two wins (April 2005, August 2016), one pole (August 2014), 11 top-five finishes and 15 top-10s at the half-mile oval. He has led 862 laps, has an average starting position of 16.6, an average finish of 13.9, and has completed 97.7 percent (15,657 of 16,027) of the laps he’s contested there.

- True Speed Communication

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