Kevin Harvick finished sixth last week at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in what could be considered his home race as Sonoma is located in the same state in which Harvick grew up.
This week, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. And the speedway is located just 164 miles from Charleston, Illinois, where Jimmy John’s was founded in 1983 by Jimmy John Liautaud.
So, for Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang, this is an important weekend. Harvick and Jimmy John’s won the 2014 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Chicagoland, but a Chicago Cup Series victory for Jimmy John’s would make for a happy sponsor and driver.
Harvick and his crew chief Rodney Childers have been successful in 2019 as they are third in the standings despite being without a victory thus far.
But Harvick has been victorious at Chicagoland several times before. He has two wins, 10 top-five finishes, 11 top-10s and has led a total of 471 laps in his 18 career NASCAR Cup Series starts there, with an average start of 15.3, an average finish of 11.2 and a lap-completion rate of 98.4 percent – 4,736 of the 4,812 laps available.
Since he joined SHR in 2014, Harvick has never started lower than 12th and he has three top-five finishes. Harvick also has three wins in 12 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Chicagoland to go with six top-fives and eight top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval.
He even has competed in one NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Chicagoland. On September 16, 2011, Harvick drove Truck No. 2 and started second and finished second in the Fast Five 225.
By the time Harvick won his second consecutive race at Chicagoland in 2002, Jimmy John’s had grown to 160 stores. If Harvick can win at Chicagoland this weekend, those 160 stores will celebrate as will more than 2,800 stores that are now open across 43 states.
It would be a great hometown victory for Jimmy John’s and for Harvick, Childers and the No. 4 team.