Kevin Harvick is heading to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway this weekend for the GEICO 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race hoping to score his first victory of the 2017 campaign and also share in his partner Jimmy John’s appreciation for all things “Freaky Fast!”
The driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing is looking to help his partner celebrate its once-a-year Dollar Sub Day by capping off the week with a win. Jimmy John’s is offering $1 sandwiches from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at all participating locations. The Dollar Sub Day is limited to in-store purchases only. All sandwiches – Nos. 1 through 6 on the menu, as well as BLT, Unwich lettuce wraps and slims – are part of the deal. Jimmy John’s first started Dollar Sub Day with “Customer Appreciation Day” in April 2016.
While race fans have a chance to enjoy their favorite Jimmy John’s sandwich for only a dollar, Harvick will be looking to secure his best finish of the season at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. He has reason to be optimistic that he can finish the race at the front of the field.
In his last 10 restrictor-plate races, Harvick ranks second in points with 320 and top-10s with six. But his last points-paying NASCAR Cup Series win on a restrictor-plate track came at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in 2010. He will be looking to add his fourth points-paying NASCAR Cup Series win on a restrictor-plate track this weekend at Talladega.
The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion has one career win at Talladega in NASCAR’s premier series. In April 2010, Harvick started fourth and led just two laps but, in the closing laps, he pushed Jamie McMurray’s No. 1 car and the two pulled away from the pack. As they navigated the tri-oval one final time, Harvick jumped out of line to beat McMurray to the finish line by .011 of a second, which still ranks 15th among the closest finishes in NASCAR Cup Series history.
Harvick would like to grab the NASCAR Cup Series trophy in victory lane Sunday like so many people who grab their dollar sandwiches will today. While he has run up front and scored three stage wins this year, Harvick is still in search of his first race win of the season. Since joining SHR at the beginning of 2014, Harvick has never gone to Talladega in May still in search of his first win of the season. He hopes to change that luck with a dominant performance Sunday at Talladega.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Describe the intensity of restrictor-plate racing?
“Plate racing is something you have to be aggressive at just for the fact that, if you’re not aggressive, it always seems like you are not going to be where you need to be. Nine times out of 10, I believe, 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 that things are, it’s best to stay aggressive and try to stay up front.”
You’ve won at both superspeedways on the circuit – Daytona and Talladega. Do you approach these races with a strategy in mind?
“I think, with the current points system, it’s better to stay up front and try to get as many points in each stage as you can throughout the day. Obviously, if you don’t qualify well, that makes it much more difficult but, with the new points system, I think you’re going to see a much different race. Guys aren’t going to be able to leave 20 potential points and playoff points on the table. They’re going to be racing for every point – that’s a good thing for the fans and should make it an exciting race.”