Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will feature Busch Light for the first time this season during Sunday’s 400-mile Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
This weekend marks the first of five appearances by Busch Light on the No. 4 Ford Fusion in 2017. It will next appear May 13 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, then July 8 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Aug. 13 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, and Nov. 12 Phoenix International Raceway.
Harvick will look to continue his momentum gained over the last two races and score his first win of the season this weekend and his third consecutive top-five finish.
Harvick’s history with Busch Beer goes back to his days racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, which was then known as the Busch Series. He won two championships in the stepping-stone division to the Cup Series. He won his first championship in 2001while racing in the No. 2 car for Richard Childress Racing. The Bakersfield, California native won five races, scored 20 top-five finishes, 24 top-10s and led 1,265 laps in 33 starts that season and beat runner-up Jeff Green for the championship by 124 points.
The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion scored his second Busch Series championship in 2006 while racing both the Nos. 21 and 33 cars for Childress. He scored nine wins, 23 top-five finishes, 32 top-10s and led 1,197 laps. That season, he dominated the competition and won the championship by 824 points over now-retired NASCAR Cup Series driver Carl Edwards.
Harvick is hoping to continue his success racing with Busch Light this weekend. He has 10 wins at Richmond between NASCAR’s top two touring series – three Cup and seven Xfinity. His most recent Cup Series win there came in April 2013, when he led only three laps but beat runner-up and current SHR teammate Clint Bowyer to the finish line by .343 of a second in overtime.
Harvick’s history at Richmond should give the No. 4 Busch Light team reason for optimism. He has 32 career Cup Series starts there and is the active leader in top-10 finishes with 20, lead lap finishes with 25, and has finished every race. He also has led laps in 17 of his 32 starts and ranks second in laps led with 1,050.
While his history at Richmond is impressive, so has been his speed to start the 2017 season. Through the first eight races, Harvick is the only driver to win two poles – the first at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the second at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. He leads the Cup Series in laps led with 433 and miles led with 697.642. He has also scored three stage wins to pick up playoff points, but unfortunately has had to overcome some subpar finishes, as well, due to contact on the racetrack.
This weekend, Harvick will attempt to put Busch Light in victory lane for the first time with his first win of the season and his fourth Cup Series win at the .75-mile Virginia oval.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What makes Richmond unique to you?
“Richmond has been a very successful racetrack for us as we’ve gone through the years. We finished both races in the top-five last year at Richmond so I think, as we go back this year, we’re going to shoot to be a little better than we were last year. We’ll try some different things. It’s been a very good racetrack for me in the past and I’m looking forward to going back. I like the short, flat tracks.”
Is back-to-back short tracks a good thing for the No. 4 team this time of year?
“I think short-track racing is something that we all enjoy any time we get to go do that. I don’t know if having back-to-back short tracks is good or bad for us. I think right now we are fortunate to be on the side of things going well. We’ll just show up and race again.”
Do you have a favorite win at Richmond?
“I remember the ones I lost more than I do the ones I won. I think the first one where Ricky Rudd and I were racing in 2001 was pretty cool. But I think, as you look back at the last one, we won in 2013 as part of a green-white-checkered finish and I think we came from seventh to win, so I didn’t really expect to win that one. I think the other two were probably fairly strong nights for us.”