The retro-themed paint scheme mimics the first can Budweiser produced in 1936, which was gold and featured an eagle flying through the Anheuser-Busch stylized “A” with five stars above and below the winged crest. Below the eagle, Budweiser is spelled out in block letters with “Lager Beer” in script.
The design is part of an overall throwback weekend at one of NASCAR’s oldest venues. Built in 1949 by Harold Brasington, Darlington has hosted Sprint Cup races since 1950.
While the defending Sprint Cup champion will drive a No. 4 Chevrolet honoring the history of his sponsor Budweiser, he is looking for a result similar to his most recent visit to the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval.
In 2014, Harvick won the 65th running of the iconic Southern 500 – one of the crown jewels on the 36-race Sprint Cup schedule – in dominating fashion. Harvick started from the pole and led 238 of 374 laps en route to beating runner-up Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the finish line by 0.558 of a second.
The win at Darlington was the second of Harvick’s five Sprint Cup wins during his first Sprint Cup championship season.
In 2015, the Sprint Cup points leader has consistently run and finished in the top-five since the start of the season with a chance to win nearly every weekend. He has two wins and 10 second-place finishes. Three times he’s finished third, and twice he’s finished fourth. He has amassed 21 top-10s in 24 Sprint Cup races.
With only two races remaining before the start of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoffs, Harvick would like to add his third Sprint Cup win of the season at Darlington next Sunday night. He scored his first of the year in the season’s third race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and his second the very next week at Phoenix International Raceway.
Harvick clinched his spot in the Chase field with his eighth-place finish July 11 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, which guaranteed him a top-30 finish in the driver points after race No. 26 Sept. 12 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. He only needs to attempt to qualify for the remaining two regular-season Sprint Cup events to make it official.
Twenty-four races into 2015, Harvick’s 17 top-five finishes lead the series, and he sits atop the driver standings with 908 points. The No. 4 Chevrolet SS has led a series-high 1,406 laps with an average finish of 7.5. The 1,406 laps led are 598 more than the next-closest competitor – 808 by Joey Logano.
Harvick has led at least one lap in 19 of 24 Sprint Cup races this season, including a streak of 14 in a row from March 1at Atlanta Motor Speedway through June 14 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The staggering number of laps led and the 14 consecutive races with laps led is among numerous other impressive numbers Harvick has compiled this season.
He leads several other statistical categories: 119.7 driver rating, 33 bonus points, 923 fastest laps run, 24.0 percent of fastest laps run, 21.4 percent of laps led, 1,802.35 miles led, 5,936 laps in the top-15, and average running position of 7.499 in addition to his average finish of 7.5.
While Harvick and the No. 4 team are locked into the Chase field by points and wins, gaining bonus points for additional wins is now their top priority through the next two races, starting next weekend at Darlington.