SUCCESS IN THE DESERT: Closing in on the final races of the 2010 Nationwide Series schedule, Bakersfield, California native Kevin Harvick returns to one of his most successful NASCAR tracks, the one-mile tri-oval of Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). Harvick will pilot the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet this weekend for his 17th-career Nationwide Series start at the track. In 16 previous starts at PIR, Harvick has earned one win, 12 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. His average start is 9.5 and average finish is 7.7.
In addition to his success on the track in the Nationwide Series, Harvick has 15 Cup starts with two victories, three top-five and six top-10 finishes. In the Truck Series, Harvick has 10 starts with four wins (all in KHI-owned trucks), five top-five and five top-10 finishes.
TRIPLE EFFECT? THINK AGAIN: This week will mark the first time in four years that Harvick will not pilot a KHI truck in the Camping World Truck Series in the November event at the one-mile Phoenix track. For his competitors, this could be a good thing. Harvick has won the last two Truck Series events at the track and has won four of the last five Truck Series races he has entered at PIR. To say this is one of his favorite tracks may be an understatement, but this year, Harvick will step aside and hand the reins of the No. 2 truck over to Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer and focus his attention on a double dose, competing in the No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series and the No. 29 Shell Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series.
ELITE GROUP: Harvick became the first driver at PIR to win a race in all three of NASCAR’s elite series by scoring his first Truck Series win in 2002, followed by a sweep in 2006 of the Nationwide and Cup Series events. Kyle Busch has also completed this task at PIR. Harvick is one of only five drivers to accomplish this feat of winning in all three of NASCAR’s top Series at the same track and one of only 20 drivers to win in all three series.
In addition to his wins at PIR, Harvick completed this same feat at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this year when he won the NASCAR Truck Series event in March. To accompany his Truck win, Harvick won his first career Sprint Cup Series race at the 1.5-mile track in 2001 and earned his first Nationwide Series win at the track in 2009.
BEFORE THE RACE: QUOTES WITH DRIVER KEVIN HARVICK:
Does Phoenix fall into the same category as a short track like Martinsville or Richmond? “I don’t really see Phoenix as a short track. Even though places like Phoenix and New Hampshire are only a mile, they both have a lot of room to race. Phoenix is always a fun race track. There are always at least two lanes, and sometimes even more, to pass.”
What makes Phoenix International Raceway a good track for you?: “Phoenix is a place for me that’s a lot of fun just because it’s a place where I grew up racing and the track hasn’t changed a whole lot. Obviously the surroundings have changed a little bit on the outside, but it’s a place that I enjoy going to. I enjoy the flat tracks and it creates a unique challenge because the asphalt’s worn out and it’s got a lot of cracks and crevices. It’s one of those places where you have to get your car to handle a little bit differently on each end and you have to drive a little different on each end. You have to get your car to handle and have good forward bite up off the corner.”
What is your favorite memory from Phoenix? “A lot of things have happened at Phoenix. I have been fortunate to win in all three divisions. I ran one of my first truck races there in a truck that we built ourselves and was fortunate to win. I grew up racing at Phoenix. That was kind of like our Daytona every year for the Southwest Tour and Winston West. It is a good place to race and always a lot of fun to go back and see friends and family you don’t see a lot. There are just a lot of memories on the track and off the track. I don’t know if I can narrow it down to just one.”
CHASSIS HISTORY: For the 34th stop of the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, the No. 33 Rheem team will unload chassis No. 058 for team co-owner Harvick. Most recently, this chassis was piloted by Mike Bliss at Gateway (Ill.) International Raceway where he earned the fourth starting position and led 10 laps before coming up one spot short to finish second. This chassis’ previous on-track appearances include the July race at Gateway International Raceway where Harvick started the race 10th and following a late-race accident finished 16th, New Hampshire Motor Speedway where Harvick started the race third and led six laps before finishing seventh. Prior to New Hampshire, this chassis was on track at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway where Harvick finished the race seventh and the race earlier this season at Phoenix International Raceway where Harvick scored a second-place finish.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Entering the final three-race stretch of the 2010 season, Harvick piloted the No. 33 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet from the second position to an eighth-place finish during the 33rd stop of the 2010 Nationwide Series season in the Lone Star State at Texas Motor Speedway. Fighting a loose-handling car from the start of the race, Harvick overcame a bad set of tires and a slow pit stop to earn the team’s 28th top-10 finish of the year.
ARE YOU A FOLLOWER? Twitter users can now keep up-to-date with Kevin Harvick Inc.’s NASCAR Nationwide Series by following @KHI_NNS. In addition, you can follow KHI’s Truck Series teams @KHI_TruckSeries. Want more from KHI? Follow KHI’s co-owners Kevin and DeLana Harvick @KevinHarvick and @DeLanaHarvick.
ONLINE MEDIA KITS: Media members can now access KHI media kits online at KevinHarvickInc.com. Included on the site are driver bios, driver and team images, KHI history and statistics, team profiles and schedules. Please contact Alicia Deal (firstname.lastname@example.org) at KHI for access to the new site.
Nationwide Stats at Phoenix
Year No. Team Start Finish
2010 33 KHI 10 2
2009 33 KHI 4 2
2009 33 KHI 6 5
2008 33 KHI 4 3
2008 33 KHI 5 4
2007 21 RCR 6 5
2007 77 KHI 35 9
2006 21 RCR 6 2
2006 21 RCR 14 1
2005 21 RCR 10 4
2005 21 RCR 7 4
2004 21 RCR 6 13
2003 21 RCR 1 2
2002 29 RCR 12 37
2001 2 RCR 2 3
2000 2 RCR 25 27
*KHI: Kevin Harvick Inc.
*RCR: Richard Childress Racing
Rheem Manufacturing Company (www.rheem.com) is a privately held company with headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. In its 81st year of operation, the company distributes throughout North America and world markets an award-winning line of eco-friendly, technologically advanced residential and commercial heating, cooling, water heating, whole-home standby generators, controls, pool and spa heaters, indoor air purification products and commercial boilers. The nation’s leading consumer products review magazine recently reported that Rheem products have been rated most reliable among all leading brands by tens of thousands of consumers. The premium brands of Rheem Manufacturing Company include Ruud, Raypak and Rheem. Rheem Manufacturing Company is the primary sponsor of Kevin Harvick Inc.’s No. 33 Chevrolet Nationwide® Series car and is an associate sponsor of KHI’s No 33 truck in the Camping World Truck Series.
About Kevin Harvick Inc.:
Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI), established in 2001 by Kevin and DeLana Harvick, is an 80,000 sq. ft. facility located in Kernersville, N.C. Home of the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship team, KHI enters 2010 in its seventh full year of competition with two full-time Truck Series teams and one full-time Nationwide Series team. Four-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday returns to the helm of the No. 33 Truck team looking for his fifth title and third championship for KHI (2009 and 2007), while Sprint Cup series stars Kevin Harvick and Elliott Sadler guide the No. 2 Truck team. Two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Harvick will again shine as the lead driver of the No. 33 Nationwide Series team as he continues to make his mark in motorsports and establish KHI as one of the top teams in NASCAR competition. For more information about KHI and its teams, please visit www.KevinHarvickInc.com.