Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), heads to Kansas Speedway in Kansas City for Saturday night’s Go Bowling 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race looking to keep the momentum going on his “Freaky Fast” start to the 2016 season.
The Sprint Cup points leader has continued to embrace the fundamentals that have made Jimmy John’s such a successful chain – high-speed execution – to make himself one of the most successful drivers of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
According to NASCAR Stats and Information, Harvick leads all Sprint Cup drivers with 430 fastest laps run – 135 more than next-closest competitor Carl Edwards’ 295. While Harvick ranks third with 571 laps led, he leads in miles led with 743.73, more than 212 more than second-ranked Edwards’ 530.
While racing fast laps at the front of the field is important, so is completing every lap. Harvick is joined only by his SHR teammate Kurt Busch as the only drivers to complete 100 percent of the 3,237 laps contested in 2016.
In fact, no other driver has spent more time on the lead lap or in the top-15 than Harvick, who has raced on the lead lap for all but 11 laps and spent 93.8 percent of his time on the track racing in the top-15.
The “Freaky Fast” trends should continue this weekend at Kansas Speedway.
The Bakersfield, California native won the Sprint Cup race at Kansas in October 2013, when he started from the pole position, led 138 of 267 laps and beat current SHR teammate Busch to the finish line by 1.140 seconds to score his only Sprint Cup victory at the 1.5-mile oval.
The 2014 Sprint Cup champion also owns the Sprint Cup qualifying record at Kansas, which he set on May 9, 2014 with a lap of 27.799 seconds at 194.658 in second round of qualifying. That attempt won him his second of three consecutive Sprint Cup poles at Kansas from October 2013 through October 2014.
Harvick’s 9.8 average finish at Kansas ranks second only to Jimmie Johnson’s 7.3 since the start of 2005. He is one of only three drivers with a rating over 100.0, his 102.5 trailing only Johnson’s 112.0 and Matt Kenseth’s 106.8 driver ratings during that span.
Harvick will seek his second Sprint Cup win of the 2016 season this weekend at Kansas. He scored his first of 2016 in only the third race of the season at Phoenix International Raceway. That win, by a .01-of-a-second margin over last week’s winner Edwards, tied for the 10th-closest finish in Sprint Cup history. A second win this weekend at Kansas would virtually secure Harvick’s spot in the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup and provide added bonus points to start the first round of the playoffs.