KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Aug. 12, 2015) – Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has been leading the way nearly the entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. He leads most statistical categories but, as the series heads to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400, he is ready to make a freaky fast delivery to the most important category as the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoffs draw near – wins.
The Sprint Cup points leader has consistently run and finished in the top-five throughout the season with a chance to win nearly every weekend. He has scored two wins and eight second-place finishes, three times he’s finished third and twice he’s finished fourth. He has also scored top-10s in 19 of 22 Sprint Cup races and, in the three races he finished outside the top-10, he had an unfortunate issue arise while leading the race.
The reigning Sprint Cup champion would like to deliver his third Sprint Cup win Sunday at Michigan. He scored his first of the year in the season’s third race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and his second the very next week at Phoenix International Raceway.
Harvick is no stranger to victory lane at Michigan in the month of August. In fact, he has won in each of NASCAR’s three touring series at Michigan during the eighth month of the calendar year.
He scored a Sprint Cup victory at Michigan in August 2010, when he started eighth and led 60 of 200 laps and beat Denny Hamlin to the finish line by 1.731 seconds. He scored a NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Michigan in August 2003, when he started fifth, led 10 laps to beat runner-up Kasey Kahne as the race finished under caution. He also visited victory lane in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Michigan in August 2011, when he started sixth, led 13 of 102 laps and beat Timothy Peters as the race ended under caution.
Harvick clinched his spot in the Chase field with his eighth-place finish July 11 at Kentucky, guaranteeing a top-30 finish in the driver points after race No. 26 Sept. 12 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. He only needs to attempt to qualify for the remaining four regular-season Sprint Cup events to make it official.
Twenty-two races into 2015, Harvick has a series-best 15 top-five finishes and 19 top-10s and sits atop the driver standings with 823 points. The No. 4 Chevrolet SS has led a series-high 1,391 laps with an average finish of 8.1. The 1,391 laps led are 670 more than the next-closest competitor – 721 by his SHR teammate Kurt Busch.
Harvick has led at least one lap in 18 of 22 Sprint Cup races in 2015, including a streak of 14 in a row from March 1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway through June 14 at Michigan. The staggering number of laps led and the 14 consecutive races with laps led is among numerous other impressive numbers Harvick has compiled this season.
He leads several other statistical categories: 120.1 driver rating, 32 bonus points, 860 fastest laps run, 22.4 percent of fastest laps run, 23.7 percent of laps led, 1,772.35 miles led, 5,289 laps in the top-15, and average running position of 7.484 in addition to his average finish of 8.1.
While Harvick and the No. 4 team are locked into the Chase field by points and wins, gaining bonus points for additional wins is now their top priority through the next four races, starting this weekend at Michigan.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS:
What are you expecting this weekend at Michigan?
“We had an awesome car at Michigan in June. Unfortunately, we cut a tire and didn’t finish as well as we would have liked. We ran out of time before the rain came and ended the race. I’m hoping we have a car that handles as well as our car did in June without the misfortune. We’ll have to see how it goes with the new aero package this weekend, but we’ve been fortunate to have speed and be able to run up front all year, and I’m confident our guys will have a great Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet for me again this weekend.”
What does it take to have a good finish in Michigan?
“How you finish at Michigan depends on how your day is going. If you’re having a good day, it’s not really hard to tell your guys what you need and everyone is in a good mood. If you’re having a bad day, you can get behind at Michigan really fast. Usually, when you’re hooked up at Michigan, the leaders have clean air and move through traffic pretty well. But, if you’re in the middle of the pack, you find yourself getting behind and going a lap down pretty quickly. You’re going to end up with a green-flag pit stop and a whole bunch of green-flag laps. You just have to be going from the time the green flag drops and keep yourself in position at the end.”
- Charlie Brim
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