Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Sunday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway by winning the AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The victory punched Harvick’s ticket to the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Harvick came into Dover needing to win to advance from the Challenger Round.
This was the 30th points-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s fifth this season. Harvick won earlier this year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway, and SHR teammate Kurt Busch won at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. It was also the 750th Sprint Cup win for Chevrolet.
Harvick started 15th, raced his way to the lead by lap 24 and dominated the remainder of the race. He led seven times for a race-high 355 of 400 total laps around the 1-mile, concrete oval en route to his 31st career Sprint Cup win but his first at Dover. This was the most laps Harvick has ever led in a Sprint Cup race. His previous high was 272 laps led at Richmond on May 6, 2006. Harvick’s laps-led total so far this season stands at 2,031. With seven races still remaining, Harvick is on track to set a new career high, eclipsing his previous laps-led mark of 2,137 set last year en route to the Sprint Cup championship.
In addition, the victory marked the 750th for Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, more than any other manufacturer. It is the 48th win for the Chevrolet SS since its debut in 2013. Fonty Flock, driving a ’55 Chevy, scored the manufacturer’s first-ever victory in the series on March 26, 1955, at Columbia (S.C.) Speedway.
“I’m just so proud of everybody from Stewart-Haas Racing to do everything that we’ve done the last three weeks,” said Harvick, winless at Dover in 29 previous Sprint Cup Series races. “Obviously, we weren’t in a great position coming into today. That’s what these guys are made of, and that’s what teamwork is all about. I’ve just got to thank everybody from Budweiser, Jimmy John’s and Chevrolet – it’s the 750th win for (Chevrolet) – and everybody who helps us on this car. This is what it’s all about, those big-time moments.“Anytime you can go through moments like this, gain some momentum and prove to yourself that you can do things like this, there’s no way you can’t be stronger,” Harvick continued. “I’m just so proud of those guys, so proud of our fans and everybody for all their support all week. There it is, stay the course. That’s what he (Tony Stewart) always says. Tony is just one of those guys who always puts everybody before him, and that’s really what makes Stewart-Haas what it is. It’s just a lot of fun to be a part of this team.”