Mobil 1 Racing: Kevin Harvick Atlanta Breakthrough

Atlanta’s sports facilities seem to be aging fast. The Georgia Dome, which was home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and hosted two Super Bowls (1994 and 2000) and the 1996 Summer Olympics, only lasted 25 years before being demolished in favor of the latest Mercedes. generation. -Benz Stadium, which opened in August 2017. Nearby Turner Field was home to the Atlanta Braves for just 19 years before the MLB team moved to a new stadium, Truist Park, just north of the city in March 2017. (Turner Field still exists, but is now a football stadium for Georgia State University, whose football program debuted in 2010.) Atlanta Motor Speedway took a page from its stick-and-ball neighbors’ playbook and reinvented itself for the second time after a massive reconfiguration in 1997 changed the track from a 1.522-mile normal oval to a quad oval measuring 1.54 miles. That design quickly became one of the fastest on the entire NASCAR Cup Series schedule, a point proven when Geoff Bodine ventured onto the new surface on November 15, 1997 and lapped it at 197.478 mph, a track record that was never broken. Now, 25 years later, like its Atlanta sporting event brethren, the Atlanta Motor Speedway we once knew is brand new. It’s still 1.54 miles long, but the bank has been increased from 24 degrees to 28 degrees, and the track has been reduced from 55 feet wide to 40 feet wide, and everything is covered in fresh asphalt. The goal of the rebuild was to recreate the kind of pack-style racing seen at the behemoth, the 2.5-mile Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and the even larger 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It will work? We’ll find out when the cars hit the track this Friday for practice ahead of qualifying on Saturday and the Folds of Honor 500 on Sunday.

The old version of Atlanta Motor Speedway is everything Kevin Harvick has ever known. The driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has made 32 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta, the most of any active driver. In fact, Harvick leads a bunch of categories in Atlanta…

  • He has nine top-five finishes in the series at Atlanta. Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch are the next best with eight top-five finishes apiece.
  • He is tied with Kurt Busch for the most top-10 finishes at Atlanta (16). Martin Truex Jr. is next best with 12 top 10 finishes.
  • He has led a series-high 1,348 laps at Atlanta. Kurt Busch is next best with 948 laps led.
  • He has completed a series-high 10,127 laps at Atlanta. Denny Hamlin is next best with 6,983 laps completed.

Who is the all-time leader in Atlanta? That is none other than Richard Petty. They call him “The King” for a reason: 65 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta with six wins, 22 top five finishes, 33 top 10 finishes and 1,827 laps led with 17,513 laps completed.

Harvick has three wins in the NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta. His first race at the track was the first of his career, and it came just over 20 years ago on March 11, 2001. The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 was only Harvick’s third start in a Series car. Cup winner. He started fifth in the 325-lap contest and led twice for 18 laps, including the last six. But Harvick had to get the win on the final lap and hold off then-three-time champion Jeff Gordon. Harvick was successful, outpointing the eventual 2001 series champion to take the win by a slim .006 margin of victory, the seventh-closest finish in NASCAR history.

Of course, the backstory to that first win is significant. Harvick wasn’t driving just any race car when he won at Atlanta. He was driving the race car that less than a month earlier had been driven by the titan of the sport, Dale Earnhardt. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion was killed on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Team owner Richard Childress asked Harvick, who was racing for him in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, to pull double duty and take over Earnhardt’s Cup race. The No. 3, made iconic by Earnhardt, was changed to the No. 29 and Harvick made his Cup Series debut on February 25 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. Harvick started 36th that Sunday at Rockingham, but rain drenched the 1,017-mile oval just 51 laps into the 393-lap race. Racing resumed at 11 am ET on Monday, after which Harvick drove to a solid 14th place. He then flew to Las Vegas on Tuesday, married his wife, DeLana, on Wednesday and returned to a race car on Friday, competing in the Xfinity Series and Cup Series events in Las Vegas. After finishing eighth on Sunday to post his first career Cup Series top-10 finish, Harvick headed to Atlanta, where he clinched the first of 58 career Cup Series wins. he.

Harvick is also incredibly good in Atlanta outside of the NASCAR Cup Series. He has five Xfinity Series wins at the track, including four in his last six starts at the 1.54-mile oval, the most recent of which ended in victory: February 2018 when he swept, leading four times for a career record of 141. laps and sailing to victory with a 4,183 margin over second place Joey Logano. In 17 career Xfinity Series starts at Atlanta, Harvick has 11 top fives and 13 top 10s with 973 laps led. And in his two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Atlanta, Harvick has a win and a second-place finish. He finished second in his Truck Series debut at Atlanta in March 2009, where he led four times for a career-high 68 laps before coming within .122 seconds of beating Kyle Busch for the victory. But in Harvick’s Truck Series return to Atlanta in March 2010, he dominated, leading twice for a career-high 100 laps, this time beating runner-up Kyle Busch by 1.308 seconds.

The Mobil 1 brand on Harvick’s #4 Ford Mustang goes beyond the skin, as the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand gives Harvick an added edge. Mobil 1 products are used throughout your race car and extend beyond motor oil. Mobil 1 power steering fluid, transmission fluid, gear oil and transmission lubricants give Harvick a technical advantage over its counterparts by reducing friction, heat and rolling resistance. Mobil 1 is a sponsor whose technology makes Harvick’s No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang faster.