KANNAPOLIS, N.C.– When Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) unloads its Chevrolet SS for this Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, it will look a lot like the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS driven by teammate and three-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart.
ExxonMobil is expanding its Mobil 1 partnership with SHR, adding a one-time full primary sponsorship of Harvick’s No. 4 Chevrolet SS at Pocono.
With just six races remaining before the Chase for the Sprint Cup field is set following the Sept. 6 Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, Harvick is trying to capture the Mobil 1 “mojo” that helped Stewart win the 2011 Sprint Cup championship. In 2011, Stewart won five of the final 10 races of the season en route to his third championship with Mobil 1 as his co-primary sponsor.
The company posted a video on its Mobil 1 Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mobil1) showing Harvick sneaking into the SHR shop to capture the Mobil 1 mojo that brought Stewart his 2011 championship. The video then reveals Harvick’s No. 4 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Pocono.
Utilizing Mobil 1 lubricant technology, Harvick has two wins, four poles, five top-five finishes and nine top-10s in 2014. He finished 14th at Pocono earlier this year. Harvick is currently 12th in the championship standings and virtually assured to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship under the new format, in which the top spots in the 16-driver field are awarded to those who have won a race prior to the 10-race Chase.
Only Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski have scored three wins in 2014. Harvick, Joey Logano, Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jeff Gordon each have two wins. Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin have one win apiece. In total, the 2014 season has seen 11 different winners through the first 19 Sprint Cup races.
Under the new Chase for the Sprint Cup format, the top-15 drivers with the most wins over the first 26 races will earn a spot in the Chase. The 16th position will go to the points leader following the Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond if that driver does not have a victory.
If Harvick is able to tap into that Mobil 1 mojo, perhaps he will be able to secure some additional bonus point by capturing a victory at Pocono.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:
How has it been getting up to speed with Mobil 1 the last couple weeks?
“Mobil 1 has been great. For us, it’s a great partner to have with the good engines and good lubricants to get the most performance out of everything. It really helps add some speed to the car to make our life a lot easier. Mobil 1 is a very historic brand, and we’ve been very fortunate to have some great brands involved on our car. We’ve had a lot of fun putting this program together in about two weeks, but it’s been a lot of fun and, hopefully, we represent them well.”
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.”
How do you explain your qualifying success in the Sprint Cup Series this year?
“It’s been fun to just see the effort that everyone puts into qualifying. I think in the end, when your car is a little bit off and you’re able to have that track position and be able to kind of put yourself in a better position right off the bat, it really helps speed things up as far as getting started during the weekend. If you qualify well, but get a little bit off in the beginning of the race, you don’t get as far behind. It’s been a lot of fun and everybody puts a lot of effort into it to make it happen.”
How much do you feel your qualifying success this year is due to the new qualifying format?
“I think for me, I would classify myself as a rhythm racecar driver, and right now our cars are fast enough where you don’t have to go out and try to be a hero your first time out. You can go out and put down a solid lap and then work from there. I think the new format definitely has helped.”
Is there anything that you learned at Indianapolis that will help you in Pocono this weekend?
“I believe our qualifying stuff is really good. I think we obviously need to look back at some of our race stuff in the past. We didn’t race nearly as well as we all thought we would, so I think there are some things we can do to help benefit that as we move forward.”
- Krista K. Massey
Former Group Vice President, Director of Sponsorships and Event Marketing
SunTrust Banks, Inc.