Win and you are in. And that’s exactly what Kevin Harvick did last week at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
His victory in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 automatically put him in the final four of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the fifth time in six years. So one would figure with nothing really on the line, Harivck should have a pretty easy weekend for this Sunday’s Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.
Harvick likes to win, his crew chief – Rodney Childers, likes to win, and Mobil 1 – the world’ leading synthetic motor oil brand, certainly loves to win. And Harvick with Mobil 1 as a sponsor and technical partner have won a bunch of races in Phoenix.
He has a series-high nine career NASCAR Cup Series wins at Phoenix (including five with Stewart-Haas Racing) that tops a list that shows Jimmie Johnson next-best with four, followed by Kyle Busch with three and then Davey Allison, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman with two each.
Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing, has won seven of the last 14 Cup Series races at Phoenix. He is the only driver to win four in a row as he won the November 2013 race, swept the 2014 races and won in March 2015 before ending his streak with a runner-up finish in November 2015. Johnson is the only other driver with a three-race streak at Phoenix when he won the November 2007 race and swept the 2008 races. Only five drivers have won consecutive NASCAR Cup Series races at Phoenix and Harvick is the only driver to win consecutive races twice as he also swept both races in 2006.
He’s scored a perfect 150.0 driver rating at Phoenix on three occasions. His first was in November 2006, when he started second, led 252 of 312 laps and reached victory lane. His second was during his November 2014 win, when he started third and led 264 of 312 laps. His third came during his March 2015 win, when he started first and led 224 of 312 laps.
To fuel their fire this weekend, Harvick and Childers like momentum, and to score another victory at Phoenix would give them the utmost confidence heading into Homestead. A victory at Phoenix would also be the 50th of Harvick’s career, which would break his tie for 14th with team boss Tony Stewart.
Harvick’s success story is very simple – good driver, good team, good crew and good partners, including Mobil 1, which will sponsor and be a technical partner on his No. 4 car this week at Phoenix.
Mobil 1 isn’t just the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, it also provides the entire SHR organization with leading lubricant technology, ensuring that all SHR Mustangs have a competitive edge over the competition on the track. In its 17th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series.
So, heading into this weekend in the Arizona desert, even though Harvick is locked into the Championship 4 at Homestead, he still would love to get win number 50.