Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 378 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. The Bakersfield, Calif., native drove this RCR racer earlier this season at Kansas Speedway where he brought home a sixth-place finish. This chassis was also used in competition twice during the 2011 season when Harvick captured a second-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway in September and a sixth-place finish at Kansas Speedway in October.
Racing in the Irish Hills … Throughout the course of his Sprint Cup Series career, Harvick has 22 starts at the Brooklyn, Mich.-based facility, collecting one victory (August 2010), three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. The 36-year-old driver holds an average starting position of 18.8 and a 15th-place average finishing position at the two-mile tri-oval. Harvick has completed 4,259 of 4,300 (99 percent) of the contested laps and led 149. In addition to his 2010 Sprint Cup Series win at MIS, Harvick has one Nationwide Series win at the track which came in the fall of 2003.
Going for a Loop in 2012 … According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Season-to-Date Statistics, Harvick has completed 14 Sprint Cup Series events this season garnering solid stats in several categories including: third in Fastest in Traffic (11.214 average position), fourth in Green Flag Speed (8.231 average position) and fifth in Fastest Driver on Restarts (11.643 average position).
Points Racing … With 14 points-paying events in the books, Harvick and the No. 29 team sit sixth in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 53 markers behind the leader. The team has collected three top-five and seven top-10 finishes thus far this season, completing 4,436 of 4,448 laps (99.73 percent) contested.
Visiting MacDill Air Force Base … On Tuesday Harvick traveled to Florida to help promote Daytona International Speedway’s July race. The first stop of the day was MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., where the driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet toured a KC-135, a long-range tanker aircraft, took part in a Q&A session with base personnel and participated in a media availability session with local TV and print media.
Throwing Out the First Pitch … While in Florida, Harvick will visit the Tampa Bay Rays stadium where he’ll meet several of the team’s players and participate in media availability with team manager Joe Maddon. Harvick will cap off the night by throwing out the first pitch as the Rays take on the New York Mets.
Red, White and Blue Summer Returns to the track … The patriotic red, white and blue Budweiser Folds of Honor paint scheme returns to the No. 29 Chevrolet this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. The special paint scheme reflects the “Red, White and Blue Summer” packaging featured on the iconic Budweiser bottles and cans as part of a summer initiative in which the brand will contribute a portion of all sales from May 20 – July 7 to help raise as much as $2.5 million for the Folds of Honor Foundation*, which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for families of U.S. military personnel killed or disabled while serving their country. The Folds of Honor logo will also be featured on the TV panel of the No. 29 Chevrolet. In addition to Sunday’s race, Harvick’s Budweiser ride will feature the “Red, White and Blue Summer” paint scheme for Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky Speedway (June 30), Daytona International Speedway (July 7), Pocono Raceway (Aug. 5) and Watkins Glen International (Aug. 12). (*Maximum donation of $2.5 million includes $5,000 for every walk-off in select 2012 professional baseball games and a portion of sales for every case of Budweiser sold, 5/20-7/7.)
Grow One. Save a Million … The No. 29 Budweiser Racing Team, additional RCR employees, several media members and a number of Sprint Cup Series crew members helped conserve more than 17,500 gallons of water as part of Budweiser’s “Grow One. Save a Million.” efforts. In support of World Environment Day (June 5), Budweiser encouraged individuals to pledge not to shave for a set number of weeks to help save a million gallons of water. Additional information on the program is available on the “Grow One” tab on Budweiser’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Budweiser.
Transform Reality with Blippar … Emerging technology from Blippar delivers an exclusive mobile experience to fans of Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Racing Team. Blippar is the first image-recognition phone app aimed at bringing to life products with exciting augmented reality interactions and instantaneous content. With the Blippar app fans can use their smart phones to convert the Bud 29 logo into an interactive, wow experience where they can view footage of Harvick and the team, get behind-the-scenes access and take their photo with the driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet. The free app is available for download on iOS and Android devices. Once downloaded, fans can utilize the app to blipp (scan) the Bud 29 logo, accessible in retail locations and on team merchandise, to access the special content.
Happy Father’s Day … While most members of the NASCAR community will celebrate Father’s Day at the track and away from their father or children, front tire carrier on the No. 29 Budweiser team, Austin Craven, will spend the day near the man who was his hero, his father. Jeff “Rooster” Craven is the hauler driver for the No. 31 RCR team and a well-respected, longtime member of the NASCAR community. Austin followed in his father’s footsteps and started working in the industry as a teen before going fulltime after he graduated from high school in 2003. The two worked for different teams for years, but have worked for the same organization since Austin joined RCR four years ago.
The Last Time By … Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser team rallied back from late-race contact with the outside retaining wall to finish 14th in last year’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
In the Rearview Mirror: Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR … Harvick and RCR’s No. 29 Rheem team finished 14th at Pocono Raceway last Sunday after overcoming a pit road penalty and battling a tight-handling condition during the 160-lap event at the “Tricky Triangle”.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTES:
What do you anticipate at Michigan International Speedway this weekend now that the track has been repaved? Will it be as wide open as usual? “I think it will be more wide open. With the test at Pocono (Raceway) the week before, I think a lot of what we learned there will apply as we go to Michigan (International Speedway), but the speeds will be a little bit higher at Michigan.”
Do you think the cars will move up and down in the corners? Or do you think everybody will be locked to the bottom? “I think you’re going to have to move around. The bottom is probably going to be the fastest as you go through the race, but it’ll be a little bit easier for the cars to move around at Michigan (International Speedway) just because it’s more wide open with different degrees of banking than Pocono (Raceway). I still think the bottom will probably be the fastest though.”
Speeds at the Goodyear tire test at Michigan International Speedway were over 200 mph. Are there any concerns about that? “Not really. I think everybody knew with the race track being repaved you were going to have some pretty high speeds and everybody was prepared. You just go do the same things that you would do at any other race track and try to acquire as much information as you can on Thursday and apply it as fast as possible for the rest of the weekend.”
You broke through with a win at Michigan International Speedway in 2010. What are your thoughts about getting that done? “I think everything we’ve done at Michigan (International Speedway) kind of goes out the window. Obviously it was a tricky race track when we went there before because the tires fell off so bad. A lot of times you had to run the high groove and you had a lot of options for your car to move around. As you go back this time you’re going to have some new challenges that you didn’t face in the past, but it was good to finally get that breakthrough win at Michigan. We’d struggled there for several years before that and it hadn’t been one of our better tracks, but we were able to get all of that behind us.”