Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Kevin Harvick using winning Dover chassis from last fall

Kevin Harvick is 6/1 to win at Dover on Sunday.
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (May 10, 2016) – Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), heads to Dover (Del.) International Speedway for Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race as the defending race winner at the concrete mile oval, but he’s still chasing perfection.

Harvick arrived at Dover last October ranked 15th in points after issues at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois and New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon placed him in a “must-win” situation to advance to the Round of 12 in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

The odds were long as Harvick had never made a trip to victory lane in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Dover.

With his back against the wall, he went on to deliver the most dominant performance 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.

Harvick’s Sprint Cup win last October was his first at the Monster Mile, but the Bakersfield, California native has run well at Dover in recent years.

He won the Sprint Cup 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 a valve stem issue led to a flat tire following a pit stop and caused him to fall a lap down to the leaders.

In May 2015, the 2014 Sprint Cup champion started sixth and led 91 laps, but finished second after Jimmie Johnson beat him by 0.435 of a second in a green-white-checkered finish.

In the last four Sprint Cup races at Dover, Harvick leads all drivers with 152 points and 693 laps led. The next-closest competitors in those categories are Martin Truex Jr., who has 148 points, and Johnson, who has 295 laps led.

This weekend, Harvick will seek to repeat his successful run at Dover and score his second Sprint Cup win of the 2016 season. He scored his first in only the third race of the season at Phoenix. That win, by a .01-of-a-second margin over Carl Edwards, tied for the 10th-closest finish in Sprint Cup history. A second win this weekend at Dover would virtually secure Harvick’s spot in the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup and provide added bonus points to start the first round of the playoffs.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What has it been like the last two-plus seasons – whether you collect wins or championships – getting into a car without having to worry about whether you’re going to be in a position to compete and you know you are in contention every race?
“For me, it’s been about, ‘All right, don’t screw any of this up.’ You know, how can I contribute to make this better? I think a lot of those things were talked about before Rodney ever started at Stewart‑Haas Racing on day one. I think, for me, there’s been a lot of things changing over the last four or five years, personally. We put a lot of effort into how we live and where we live and what we own, what we don’t own, just to try to make being parents better and be better on Sunday. I think as you look at my situation, I have a group of people who believe in each other. I have a group of people who are experienced and, for me, as I’ve been able to get in these racecars, I don’t worry about how they’re going to run when I show up at the racetrack. I know they’re going to run fast. We’ve run fast at virtually every race we’ve ever been to. For me, it’s about, all right, look at your notes, look at the past history, look at the things that you’ve done, and you’d better be ready when you get on the racetrack for the first lap of practice because they are. There’s a sense of, if I’m not prepared, I’m letting them down because I know every one of them is prepared. There’s never a weekend that they show up that they aren’t prepared. So, for me, it’s almost been a good motivator to make sure that you show up prepared so you’re not letting those guys down who did their job during the week.

What does it mean to win at a track as unique as Dover?
“Well, I’m just happy we finally won that one because Keelan (son) kept asking for Miles the trophy. It’s really the only one we don’t put in storage with the rest of them. It’s in his playroom. That’s what he asked to do with it. So I’m just glad that I didn’t let him down and we finally got him one.”

When you took the checkered flag, how much of a relief was it? Was it like a big weight lifted off your shoulders?
“You know, I never really felt any pressure. I would have been more disappointed for my guys and for Stewart‑Haas Racing than I would have been for myself. I would have found a way to kind of cope with everything and move forward and do things going forward. I would have been more disappointed for the guys on my team, for the guys at the shop who put their heart and soul into all these racecars that we put on the track for Stewart‑Haas Racing. I could have dealt with it myself. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in my life and career of things that you’ve had to handle. But a lot of those guys hadn’t, and I would have felt like I let them down more than anything and would have felt bad more for that than I would have myself, for sure.”

Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report
Round 12 of 36 – AAA 400 Drive for Autism – Dover International Speedway

Danica Patrick – No. 10 Nature’s Bakery/Autism Delaware Chevrolet SS
Tony Stewart – No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS
Kurt Busch – No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet SS

Primary Team Members:
Driver: Kevin Harvick
Hometown: Bakersfield, California

Crew Chief: Rodney Childers
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

Car Chief: Robert Smith
Hometown: Whitewater, Wisconsin

Engine Builder: Hendrick Motorsports
Headquarters: Concord, North Carolina

Engine Specialist: Jereme Jackson
Hometown: Lincolnton, North Carolina

Spotter: Tim Fedewa
Hometown: Holt, Michigan

Chassis Information – Chassis No. 846:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS built on Chassis No. 4-846 in the AAA 400 Drive for Autism 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 2015 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. In their first two seasons together, Harvick and Childers combined to produce eight victories, nine poles, 37 top-five finishes and 48 top-10s; led 4,431 laps; won the 2014 Sprint Cup title; and finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch.

2016 Race Winner:
Harvick is one of six Sprint Cup winners through the first nine races of 2016. He scored his lone 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. The win should secure Harvick a spot in the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Points Position: Harvick scored a runner-up finish Saturday night at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City to hold his lead in the Sprint Cup points standings. He now leads second-place Kyle Busch by four points heading into Sunday’s race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

2016 Loop Leader: According to NASCAR Stats and Information, Harvick leads all Sprint Cup drivers in 2016 in points (390), driver rating (116.3), top-10s (nine), average finish (6.9), average running position (6.143), laps completed (3,504), fastest laps run (461), percentage of fastest laps run (98.5), miles led (743.73), laps run on the lead lap (3,489), percentage of laps run on the lead lap (99.57), laps in the top-15 (3,289) and percentage of laps in the top-15 (93.9). He ranks second in bonus points (15), third in laps led (571) and percentage of laps led (16.3). He also ranks fourth in quality passes (968).

9,000 Laps Led and Counting: Harvick led 139 laps in the Good Sam 500k at Phoenix to surpass 9,000 laps led for his Sprint Cup career. He is one of only five active Sprint Cup drivers to lead more than 9,000 laps. The others are Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Busch and Matt Kenseth. After leading nine laps at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Harvick now sits at 9,428 laps led for his Sprint Cup career.

Leading Laps
: Harvick has led 571 laps through the first 11 races of 2016. He failed to lead a lap at Kansas to end his streak of races with at least one lap led at nine. The Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Go Bowling 400 at Kansas are the only two races of 2016 in which Harvick did not lead at least one lap.

100 Percent: Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Harvick and Kurt Busch are the only two Sprint Cup drivers to complete 100 percent (3,504 of 3,504) of the laps run in the first 11 Sprint Cup races of 2016.

Harvick at Dover in the Sprint Cup Series: Harvick will make his 31st 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 838 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 32 wins, 142 top-five finishes and 266 top-10s in 549 career Sprint Cup startsheading into Sunday’s AAA 400 Driver for Autism at Dover.

- True Speed Communication for Stewart-Haas Racing

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