When Kevin Harvick suits up for the Pala Casino 400 on February 26, he will pursue his 61st NASCAR Cup Series win. He will also join an elite list of drivers regardless of the race’s outcome.
The Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway will be Harvick’s 792nd start, which is impressive in its own right. It will also be his 750th consecutive start at the top level of NASCAR. There are only two other drivers that have achieved this goal. Jeff Gordon made 797 consecutive starts while Ricky Rudd made 788 consecutive starts.
The last time that Harvick was not in the starting lineup was April 2, 2022. He missed the race at Martinsville Speedway due to an on-track incident involving Coy Gibbs, which occurred during the Truck Series race.
Harvick, who captured his first two wins in 2001, was able to return the following week at Talladega Superspeedway. He has not vacated his seat in the years since. He has continued to suit up every week of the various NASCAR seasons while adding 58 wins to his career total.
Harvick Will Take the Lead in Another Category
While Harvick will join Gordon and Rudd on an elite list, he will also take sole control of another important mark. He will break a tie with Kurt Busch for the most starts at Auto Club Speedway among active drivers.
Both champions have suited up for 28 Cup Series races at Auto Club Speedway, and they have each celebrated in Victory Lane one time. However, Busch has walked away from Cup Series competition as he continues to recover from a concussion sustained at Pocono Raceway in 2022.
When Harvick climbs into the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang, he will make his 29th career start at Auto Club Speedway. He will take sole possession of the top spot among active drivers, and he will try to join the list of multi-time winners.
Harvick will not have his signature Busch Light scheme as he makes this historic start. Instead, he will have GearWrench as his primary partner, which continues a deal that began with the 2022 Cup Series season.
Harvick Faces Favorable Odds Entering His Final Fontana Race
The Closer will make one more start at Auto Club Speedway before he retires and heads to the FOX Sports booth to become a full-time analyst. He will try to make the most of this final run by winning for the second time at the California track.
According to BetMGM, Harvick will have decent odds to achieve this goal. He enters the race weekend at 20-1, which puts him between Alex Bowman (22-1) and William Byron (15-1).
Harvick has the best odds among Stewart-Haas Racing drivers. Chase Briscoe is 33-1 while Aric Almirola and Ryan Preece both sit at 50-1. Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson has the best odds at 7-1.
While Harvick has not won at Auto Club Speedway since the 2011 season, he has still contended for wins. He has five top-10 finishes in the past seven races at the California track, headlined by consecutive runner-ups in 2015 and 2016.