KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina – Kevin Harvick kicked off the 2016 season with Busch Beer as the primary sponsor of the No. 4 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in the season-opening Sprint Unlimited at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. This weekend, he is bringing Busch Beer back to Daytona for Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola to conclude the first half of the 36-race Sprint Cup schedule.
The driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Chevrolet SS has earned his way to the front of the Sprint Cup standings with performance and consistency.
According to NASCAR Statistics, Harvick leads the Sprint Cup Series with a 7.1 average finish, a 112.5 driver rating, 582 times recording the fastest lap, 4,401 laps in the top-15, and 4,733 laps on the lead lap.
Harvick also ranks second with 19 bonus points, seven top-five finishes, 13 top-10s, 700 laps led and 889.2 miles led.
The Sprint Cup points leader is virtually locked into the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff field with his win at Phoenix International Raceway in March and his large points cushion, but this weekend he will focus on returning to victory lane at Daytona.
The 2014 Sprint Cup champion knows his way to victory lane at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. He won the Coke Zero 400 in July 2010, when he started from the pole position, led 28 laps and beat Kasey Kahne to the finish line by 0.092 of a second.
He won the famed Harley J. Earl trophy in 2007 when he beat NACSAR Hall of Fame driver Mark Martin to the Daytona 500 finish line by .020 of a second on the final green-white-checkered restart. It was the closest Daytona 500 finish since the start of computerized scoring in 2003.
Harvick also has three wins in the Sprint Unlimited – 2009, 2010 and 2013 – tying him for second-most with owner and teammate Tony Stewart and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett.
Harvick has earned his way to the top of the standings all season long with performance and consistency, and he would love to continue that momentum by kicking off the month of July with a trip to victory lane at Daytona with Busch Beer on the hood of the No. 4 Chevrolet.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Chevrolet SS:
What makes racing under the lights at Daytona in July so special?
“The July Fourth race at Daytona is special for a lot of reasons. I think when you look at the night race at Daytona, it kind of marks the halfway point of the year and you know that you’re going to Daytona. It’s not the Daytona 500, but it’s still Daytona, and everybody wants to win a race at Daytona no matter what it’s in or what it’s for. Daytona just has that special place in our sport and everybody wants to win there.”
Give three adjectives to describe restrictor-plate racing?
“Plate racing is always intense, crazy and I don’t think this goes into the adjective category, but there is always a sense of unknown, I guess you could say, when you talk about plate racing.”
Describe the intensity of plate racing?
“Plate racing is something that you have to be aggressive at just for the fact that if you’re not aggressive, it always seems like you’re not going to be where you need to be. Nine times out of 10, I believe that the aggressor is going to be the guy who comes out on the good side of things just for the fact that you’re making things happen and you’re not waiting for something else to happen. When you wait for something else to happen, that’s usually when you get in trouble because it’s usually someone else’s mess. You can still get in trouble if you’re aggressive, but it seems like with this rules package and the way things are, it’s best to stay aggressive and try to stay up front.”
- Tom Jensen
NASCAR Editor at FOXSports.com & RACER Magazine