The No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang has a new look for the first Cup Series road course race of the year. Kevin Harvick will debut his black and orange GearWrench scheme while pursuing his third top-10 finish of the year.
Stewart-Haas Racing provided the look ahead of the trip to Circuit of the Americas. The new stock car features the massive GearWrench logos on the hood and sides, as well as associate partner logos for Busch Light, Subway, and Pristine Auctions. Harvick previously teased the look during an October 27, 2021, appearance on “NASCAR Race Hub” when he helped announce the new partnership with the tool manufacturer. Now he will showcase the GearWrench scheme in person.
This race at Circuit of the Americas will be the first featuring GearWrench as the primary partner on the No. 4 Ford Mustang. The company will join Harvick for four others throughout the 2022 season while also serving as an associate sponsor for the remainder of the year.
GearWrench, which holds naming rights to the Stewart-Haas Racing shop, will have a presence on all four SHR stock cars. There will be GearWrench associate partner logos on Aric Almirola’s No. 10, Cole Custer’s No. 41, and Chase Briscoe’s No. 14.
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Harvick’s Previous Trip to COTA Featured Double-Duty
The last time that Harvick headed to the Texas road course, he spent extra time on the track trying to gain experience. He pulled double-duty by also driving the No. 5 BJ McLeod Motorsports Ford Mustang in the Pit Boss 250 Xfinity Series race and finishing fourth overall.
Harvick achieved success during the inaugural Xfinity Series race, but his Cup Series race at COTA came to an early end. A lack of visibility led to a wreck involving multiple cars. Harvick, in particular, began to check up on the back straightaway when Bubba Wallace hit him from behind and sent the No. 4 into the wall.
The collision ended the race for both Wallace and Harvick, relegating them to 39th and 37th-place finishes, respectively. Christopher Bell’s day ended with a 38th-place finish after an incident on the same lap damaged the No. 18. Ryan Blaney, who sustained damage in an incident on the same lap, was able to continue in the race and finish inside of the top 20.
Harvick’s Preparation Involves Extensive Simulator Work
Harvick will now have the opportunity to turn in a stronger performance in his return to COTA. He already has two wins at road courses in his Cup Series career — one at Watkins Glen International and one at Sonoma Raceway.
In order to prepare for his return to COTA, Harvick has spent extensive time running virtual laps. He has put in work on the Ford Performance simulator while striving to memorize all of the turns. He has also fired up iRacing and completed laps in a V8 supercar to help him better prepare.
“There’s just a lot more time that goes into a road-race week,” Harvick explained in a release from SHR. “You have to spend a lot of time in the simulator. You have to spend a lot of time with your previous notes and make sure you have the shift points and all the things that you remember as far as curbs you need to hit and things you don’t need to hit, where you need to be on the racetrack, tire falloff.
“You have to have everything memorized before you get there so that the first few laps are valuable because you’re still going to be learning the real-life tolerances of the grip level. And you’re going to have to blend that into also trying to do it in a short amount of time and get something out of those practices to give some feedback about the cars. It’s a different preparation week for the road courses than it is anything else.”