Kevin Harvick is locked into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs via his win two weekends ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Now it’s time to go for more wins and more points.
Harvick is always a contender on any type of racetrack, including the circuits where drivers turn left and right. That’s what he and his competitors will do during Sunday’s GoBowling at The Glen, which is conducted on the historic road course at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
The driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) won at The Glen in 2006 and joined Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt as winners at The Glen. Now, Clark, Hill, Stewart, Lauda, Fittipaldi and Hunt scored their wins in Formula One cars, which has “tyres,” not “tires.” And the races were on a “circuit” that was longer than what NASCAR runs on currently. But, hey, those are some big names to be associated with.
In addition to Harvick’s win at The Glen, he has three top-five finishes, nine top-10s and has led a total of 66 laps in his 18 career NASCAR Cup Series starts. His average start is 13.5, his average finish is 13.3 and he has a lap-completion rate of 97.8 percent – 1,589 of the 1,624 laps available.
His lone win came in 2006, when he started seventh, led 28 laps and finished .892 of a second ahead of his future SHR co-owner Tony Stewart.
Harvick has competed in eight NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Watkins Glen and won in 2007. He has one pole, and finished in the top-10 in all eight races. And Harvick has competed in three NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races at Watkins Glen with a best finish of seventh in 1999.
Harvick is one of only three active drivers to claim a NASCAR Cup Series victory at both true road courses on the schedule – Watkins Glen and Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., are the others who can make that claim.
Harvick added his first career win at Sonoma in June 2017, when he started 12th, led 24 laps and finished ahead of SHR teammate Clint Bowyer when the race ended under caution. He also won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race the day before the Cup race.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What is the key to having a good race at Watkins Glen International?
“Watkins Glen is really fast, so the biggest thing there is to get your car good under braking so you can make passes during the race. Usually, where you can gain the most time is in the braking zones.”
Are the road courses still odd-ball races, or do they seem like just another race, now?
“They are pretty much just another race, now. I think everybody knows you are going to a road course and you’ve got a lot of different aspects from a driver’s standpoint and the team standpoint that you have to pay attention to.”
Are the rivalries the same today as they were 15 to 20 years ago?
“You look at other sports and I think we’ll use the Yankees and the Red Sox. Does it seem the same as it was 15 to 20 years ago? No, and I think a lot of that comes down to the media, to social media, to guys growing up together and playing together. There’s just more people who know each other and, for us, it’s harder to carry a grudge in the garage today than it was 20 years ago just because of the fact that, if there’s a major beef going on, it’s a major hassle and it affects your team and it affects the things that you do, and everybody knows that, so it’s best to just move on, have a short memory. That’s the approach I try to take to it – to have the shortest memory possible, whether it’s a good weekend or a bad weekend, a good moment or a bad moment – and you move on with it. It’s just super-hard to carry a grudge and be able to function and not spend time answering questions about that. That would be what it would be about if you had a moment, so that’s frustrating and distracting.”