Hank Stram always liked Kansas City. The Gary Lew Wallace High School and Purdue University graduate was head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs from 1963 to 1974.
Stram led the Chiefs to two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl IV 23-7 over the Minnesota Vikings.
He was made famous by wearing a microphone for NFL Films during the winning Super Bowl and telling the offense, “Just keep matriculating the ball down the field, boys.” And, with the Chiefs on the goal line, calling for his favorite play, “65 toss power trap.”
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the 2019 Chiefs duplicated the efforts of Stram’s team from 1969 by winning Super Bowl LIV this past January.
Stram and Mahomes are winners. So is NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick, especially at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has five poles, three wins, three second-place finishes, eight top-threes, 15 top-10s and has led a total of 855 laps in his 28 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Kansas.
He is one of only three drivers who have participated in all 28 Cup Series races held at the 1.5-mile oval. The others are Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman.
Harvick is coming off his 700th career Cup Series start, which took place Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, during which he also completed his 200,000th career lap, and he went on to raise his total to 200,112 by race’s end.
With his four wins, 11 top-five finishes and 15 top-10s in 18 races this season, Harvick leads the points by 91 over Joey Logano,.
He’ll race again with Busch Light Apple on his car, as he did last week in the non-points NASCAR All-Star Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Busch Light Apple is a refreshing, light lager, which combines the crispness of Busch with the light sweetness of apple flavor. It’s like the sound of refreshment meets the taste of the orchard, and is the first flavor innovation in the history of the Busch Light brand.
Similar to the All-Star Race, Busch Beer will again be running a social promotion throughout the race. Busch Beer will be giving away a case worth of beer every lap of the race, so fans have a chance to win during all 267 laps. Make sure to check Busch Beer’s Twitter to learn how.
Harvick is looking for win number five of the season and number four at Kansas, which would keep him matriculating toward another great season.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and you are the only drivers to start all 28 races at Kansas Speedway. You’ve been racing there since 2001. Can you talk about the track as it approaches its 20-year anniversary?
“It makes you feel old (laughs). I did one of the first PR days at Kansas Speedway when it first opened and there was not one single thing around that racetrack other than the highway. So, what’s been built has been neat to see and how it’s all developed and how it’s all changed. It’s a fun racetrack because there is just so much to do around the racetrack and it’s been a successful racetrack for us.”
Why have you been so successful there recently?
“I don’t really know. It’s a racetrack where I’ve won a couple races and, for whatever reason, it just kind of fits my style and what we do with the cars. We’ve had a lot of good racecars there to capitalize on the good characteristics that fall into my driving style and we’ve been able to have some good results with it.”
Take us on a lap around Kansas.
“It’s definitely a little bit different just for the fact the (corner) entries are a little different than at most places. Turns three and four remind me of turns three and four at Chicagoland Speedway, but there’s a lot more grip and fresher asphalt than what Chicagoland has nowadays. It’s a very high-speed racetrack. You run the middle to the bottom of the racetrack. But I’m sure, as time goes on, that the groove will move back up. But, for right now, it’s very fast and very sensitive to your line and, with all the speed and how tricky the entrance is into turn one, you can miss your line easily. So, you have to be very specific about where you put your car and pay attention to what you’re doing.”