Mobil 1 Racing: Kevin Harvick Las Vegas Advance

Mobil 1 Racing: Kevin Harvick Las Vegas Advance NK Photography Photo

Notes of Interest

 

●  Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing, is one of only two drivers to begin the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season with top-10 finishes in each of the three races held thus far. The other is Daytona 500 winner and fellow Ford driver Michael McDowell.

 

●  Harvick comes into the Las Vegas 400 with four straight top-10s and 227 laps led in his last four NASCAR Cup Series starts at the 1.5-mile oval. And in his last nine races at Las Vegas, Harvick has finished in the top-10 seven times, a run that includes 598 laps led and two wins – March 2015 and March 2018.

 

●  Harvick’s win at Las Vegas in March 2018 was his 100th career victory across NASCAR’s top-three national touring series – Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck. He has since scored 19 more Cup wins to bring his tally to 119 total victories – 58 in Cup, 47 in Xfinity and 14 in Truck. Only three other drivers in NASCAR history have surpassed 100 wins across NASCAR’s top-three series: Kyle Busch (213 wins), Richard Petty (200 wins) and David Pearson (106 wins).

 

●  Harvick has a total of 12 top-10s at Las Vegas, the most of any active NASCAR Cup Series driver, and no one has a shot at even equaling him when the checkered flag drops on Sunday. Ten top-10s are the most any driver not named Harvick have at Las Vegas, a mark shared by Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman.

 

●  Harvick has made 11 starts in the Xfinity Series at Las Vegas. He has two wins, six top-fives and seven top-10s. His first Xfinity Series win came in 2004 when he started 11th and led 14 laps. His second triumph came in 2010 when he started second and led 82 laps.

 

●  Harvick has made three Truck Series starts at Las Vegas, earning two top-10s with a best finish of eighth in 1997.

 

●  Harvick and wife DeLana celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary last Sunday. The two were married in Las Vegas on Feb. 28, 2001, two days after Harvick’s first career NASCAR Cup Series race on a Monday at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. Harvick started 36th on Sunday at Rockingham, but rain washed over the 1.017-mile oval just 51 laps into the 393-lap race. The race resumed at 11 a.m. ET on Monday, whereupon Harvick drove to a solid 14th-place finish. Harvick then traveled to Las Vegas on Tuesday, was married on Wednesday, and was back in a racecar on Friday where he pulled double duty, competing in both the Xfinity Series and Cup Series events at Las Vegas.

 

●  The Mobil 1 branding on Harvick’s No. 4 Ford Mustang goes more than skin deep, as the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand gives Harvick an added advantage. Mobil 1 products are used throughout his racecar and they extend beyond just engine oil. Power steering fluid, transmission fluid, gear oil and driveline lubricants from Mobil 1 give Harvick a technical advantage over his counterparts by reducing friction, heat and rolling resistance. Mobil 1 is a sponsor whose technology makes Harvick’s No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang faster.

 

Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

 

With last Sunday at Homestead having been the first intermediate track on the 2021 schedule, how much of what you learned there is applicable to this week’s race at Las Vegas?

“Homestead is always an interesting race, and this last one was no different. There’s always a lot of risk versus reward, especially early in the race. You know the top groove is going to be faster, but our cars aren’t like those Xfinity cars. You whack them against the wall once and they’re not the same, so you’ve just got to be really aware of what you have, where you are, and the risks that you take. There’s a lot to balance from the driver’s seat. Homestead is just a really unique racetrack as far as a mile-and-a half goes, so you can hold a little bit of merit in terms of results, but it’s a one-of-a-kind track that kind of stands alone as far as the setup and the things that you need.”

 

If you learned something Sunday at Homestead and you want to change up your racecar for Las Vegas, can you considering the relatively short turnaround time the haulers have to get back from Homestead and on the road to Las Vegas, or are the two tracks different enough that it doesn’t matter?

“Homestead is a very unique track, so you have to be careful on what information you take from there to Las Vegas. The two tracks are completely different, and with the short turnaround time, our team has already prepared the car for Las Vegas. Beside a few small tweaks maybe here and there, our Mobil 1 Ford Mustang is good to go.”

 

You’ve won at Las Vegas twice and haven’t finished outside the top-10 in your last four visits to the track. What do you need to be quick there?

“Las Vegas has a lot of tire fall off, so it’s important to have a good-handling racecar. It’s also a track where you’re constantly moving around trying to find the right grip.”

 

You obviously have a good team behind you, but you won a career-high nine races last year as a 44-year-old. Is that the best example of racing’s human element, where your experience allowed the No. 4 team to be good despite not having practice and qualifying?

“Experience always matters in racing, and being with these guys for eight years now has built a tremendous amount of continuity, and that showed last year with nine wins.”

 

NASCAR’s rulebook makes teams operate in a pretty small box. When it comes to a momentum track like Las Vegas, how important is Mobil 1’s technology in the overall efficiency of your racecar, specifically in regard to reducing friction, heat and rolling resistance?

“Mobil 1 technology is a true difference maker, especially this year. There’s a development freeze on all the parts and pieces that go into the racecar as we get ready for the NextGen car in 2022. That means we have to maximize what we’ve got. Efficiency equals speed. The less friction, the less rolling resistance, the faster you’ll go. From the synthetic oil in the engine to all the lubricants throughout the car, it all adds up to a more efficient racecar, and that shows up on the stopwatch.”

 

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