Texas musician Pat Green released a song in 2001 titled, “Texas on My Mind.” The first lines of the song state, “I woke up this morning, with Texas on my mind …”
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), probably is thinking the same thing this week as the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule reaches its halfway point with Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
Harvick has three wins, three poles, 11 top-threes, 22 top-10s and has led a total of 614 laps in his 34 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas. But his last 11 races, all with crew chief Rodney Childers and SHR’s No. 4 team, have been outstanding.
He has finished in the top-10 in all 11 of those races with seven top-threes and two poles. And all three of Harvick’s career Texas victories have come consecutively in the November races of 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The 2020 season once again has been good to Harvick as he has amassed four wins and leads the points by 88 markers over Brad Keselowski.
Sunday will and could be a big day for Harvick as he will make his 700th career NASCAR Cup Series start to become only the 18th driver to accomplish that feat. He will be tied with Buddy Baker, who also has 700 starts.
If he completes lap 222 at Texas Motor Speedway, he will also surpass 200,000 laps completed in the Cup Series. Harvick is the leader among active drivers in that category and is closing in on Dale Earnhardt, who is 15th with 202,888.
And if he scores the win at the 1.5-mile oval, he will score his 54th career victory, which would tie him with Lee Petty for 11th on the all-time list.
Those are big numbers and big names, and Harvick isn’t looking to slow down. He’ll have the help of Mobil 1 on board as a sponsor and partner.
Mobil 1 isn’t just the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, it also provides the entire SHR team with leading lubricant technology, ensuring that all SHR Mustangs have a competitive edge over the competition on the track. In its 18th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series.
Harvick has Texas on his mind, and victory, as well.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
There were some questions with regard to track prep last week at Kentucky. Is there a concern with what happened at Bristol, too? Is there a worry going into Texas where track prep can play an important role?
“Yeah, I mean, you’re definitely dependent on the guys taking care of the racetrack. I think we definitely went to Charlotte and the track prep didn’t seem like the PJ1 was what it had been the last couple of years. It seemed like when we started at Kentucky, the track prep obviously wasn’t very good for the Xfinity cars, dust flying everywhere. The top was just nasty dirty (at Bristol), really no chance to ever even run up there. Yeah, I mean, the track prep piece of it, last week we showed up on race day, the PJ1 was put on the racetrack without anybody knowing. Definitely, yeah, I think you have to be concerned with it going to Texas because it hasn’t been the same as what it was last year.”
What’s the lesson of this week, to avoid what happened last weekend and Kentucky?
“Yeah, that’s a good question. I think the one thing that lacks there is practice. I think everybody is kind of guessing at what’s right and what’s wrong. But the track was definitely not ready to race last week at Kentucky when those guys took off in the Xfinity race. At Bristol, there was no chance that the top groove was going to come in. There was enough setup up there, if you drove up there, it was going to take you two or three laps to get cleaned back up. Just wound up not being able to push it high enough. We still had a second groove, but I think a lot of people had the expectations that the bump-and-run was going to come into play. When the bottom has that much grip, then it becomes kind of an aero game, which it kind of became.”
Why do your prefer Mobil 1 synthetic?
“I’m a synthetic guy because, in 1993 when we were sitting in the engine shop, we dumped Mobil 1 synthetic in and that’s all we did and gained seven horsepower. From that day on, we would actually save our money and then go to the local auto parts store because, at that time, it was like $5.50 a quart and the conventional and other oils were like $3.50. At the big races, we would put the Mobil 1 in the car and the regular races would put the regular oil in there. You know I’m going to say synthetic.”