Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), heads into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff-opening South Point Hotel Casino 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a team operating like a well-oiled machine.
The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion finished the 26-race regular season as the series leader with seven points-paying wins, 19 top-five finishes, 22 top-10s, 1,220 laps led and 50 playoff points, but second in total regular-season points. He starts the playoffs as the second seed but is tied with leader Kyle Busch for the most points at 2,050 after the regular-season standings were reset for the 16 drivers who qualified for the playoffs.
One of Harvick’s seven wins through the first 26-races came in the season’s third race at Las Vegas in March. However, this weekend’s race will be a new challenge as it is the first time the Cup Series has visited Las Vegas in the playoffs, and hot temperatures combined with a slick racing surface will make things much different for drivers and teams than they were during the 400-miler in March.
To help combat this weekend’s harsh conditions, Harvick and the No. 4 team expect to benefit from SHR’s technology partnership with Mobil 1, which is a unique combination of experience, expertise and innovative thinking that strives to consistently deliver performance-enhancing results on the track.
Mobil 1 works to reduce engine temperatures and to increase engine efficiency. The products allow the No. 4 Ford to reduce rolling resistance, which contributes to increased acceleration on restarts on the way to reaching top speed. Mobil 1 continues to perform rigorous testing with the SHR teams to improve on-track performance, including the reduction of frictional loss in the engines to maximize fuel mileage, increase horsepower and turn more rpm.
The Mobil 1 products reduce friction in the suspension components, as well, providing maximum tire grip and helping to reduce steering compliance to give precision control and improved handling for Harvick behind the wheel.
More good news for Harvick and the No. 4 team is that they enter the playoffs with 50 playoffs points. Those 50 playoffs points will be a huge benefit as the team attempts to advance out of the Round of 16 and into the Round of 12. In fact, the playoff points could be beneficial through each of the rounds as long as the team advances.
Additional race and stage wins would give Harvick nearly a full-race cushion as the team tries for its second championship in four years. Therefore, the goal remains the same – win races and stages as often as possible to reach the season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway in 10 weeks.