Kevin Harvick scored his 51st career NASCAR Cup victory with a dominating win Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Harvick led 151 laps and beat second-place Kyle Busch by 3.5 seconds.
When he took the lead on lap 37, he led his 10,000th lap at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) and now has led 10,150 at SHR and 14,576 in his career.
Harvick figures he might as well keep moving up the ladder as he drives the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang for SHR Wednesday in the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
He has one win, five top-fives, 19 top-10s and has led a total of 628 laps in his 37 career NASCAR Cup Series starts on the .526-mile, paperclip-shaped oval. His average start there is 14.2, his average finish is 14.9 and he has a lap-completion rate of 98.1 percent – 18,196 of the 18,539 laps available.
Sunday’s win at Atlanta gave him sole possession of 12th place on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. He is third on the active driver list behind Jimmie Johnson and Busch. Harvick is three wins behind Lee Petty for 11th on the all-time wins list.
Harvick is also closing in on another big mark as he is 16th all-time in laps completed with 198,123 after the Atlanta race. He’s on pace to break 200,000 laps completed in late summer. He is the leader among active drivers and is closing in on Dale Earnhardt, who is 15th with 202,888.
The support of longtime partner Hunt Brothers Pizza will be in Harvick’s corner Wednesday night at Martinsville.
With more than 7,800 locations in 30 states, Hunt Brothers Pizza is the nation’s largest brand of made-to-order pizza in the convenience store industry. Hunt Brothers Pizza offers original and thin crust pizzas available as a grab-and-go Hunk perfect for today’s on-the-go lifestyle, or as a customizable whole pizza that is an exceptional value with All Toppings No Extra Charge®. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Hunt Brothers Pizza is family owned and operated with more than 25 years of experience serving great pizza to convenience store shoppers through its store partners. To find a Hunt Brothers Pizza location, download the Hunt Brothers Pizza app by visitingwww.huntbrotherspizza.com/app/
Hunt Brothers Pizza has partnered with Harvick for 11 years and last visited victory lane with him when he won the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta. In 2019, Hunt Brothers moved up to the Cup Series as a primary sponsor for three races and, in 2020, will be on Harvick’s car five times.
Harvick has made only one NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Martinsville Speedway, but he made the most of it. He started sixth in the Goody’s 250 on July 22, 2006, led 149 of 250 laps and scored a victory. And in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at Martinsville, Harvick has three wins, seven top-five finishes and nine top-10s in 17 starts.
He’s hoping he “heats up” at Martinsville and scores NASCAR Cup Series win number 52.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
A night race at Martinsville. What are your thoughts on that?
“When you look at Martinsville and you add the short-track Saturday-night feel to a midweek race is something we’ve all not really experienced. I’m looking forward to that experience. Being under the lights for pretty much the whole race is going to be a great moment for our sport and we get to fire those lights up in Martinsville. It’s always intense. You’re going to get run into, you going to run into somebody. Someone is going to be mad at you and you are probably going to be mad at more than one person as you go through the race. It’s a great place to race. The thing I look at is you’re going to run Martinsville and then run Homestead by the end of the week. That’s it, a third of the season is gone. We’ve made up a lot of ground of the races we’ve missed. We’ve got 14 races left until the playoffs start. As you look forward, things are happening really fast. I’m proud we’ve gotten back on the racetrack and doing the things we’ve done. And with Martinsville being in the playoffs, it’s important to understand what you have when you leave the racetrack.”
Can you talk about the longstanding relationship with Hunt Brothers Pizza?
“Our fans are pretty loyal to the brands that are on our cars. Many of my pictures come from the standees in the store. People take selfies next to them. There are a number of reasons you have sponsorships – you want that brand recognition, the brand integration. Hunt Brothers Pizza is a very family oriented company and we’re a very family oriented group from the Harvick side of things. Those relationships you build through the years with brands that recognize and reflect what you believe in are few and far between. We’ve grown with the Hunt Brothers brand. They’ve grown with us and been very loyal to us and I think our fans are very loyal to us and the brand. It’s fun to see that brand recognition and that understanding of loyalty and partnership. I realized how many Hunt Brothers Pizza stores there are as I’m driving to racetracks the last few weeks.”