The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 22, for one of two remaining races in the regular season. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick is 95 points above the cut line but has yet to win a race in 2021 after reaching Victory Lane nine times in 2020. Now he heads to a track where he has immense success.
Harvick will enter the race at Michigan as the three-time defending winner. He locked up both wins at the two-mile oval during the 2020 race, as well as the second race in 2019. Counting his win from 2018, Harvick has reached Victory Lane three out of the past four times he has headed to Michigan. The lone outlier is a seventh-place finish in the first 2019 race, which Joey Logano won.
Despite the recent success at Michigan and five total wins at the track since 2010, Harvick will not be among the favorites to win. Per BetMGM, he currently faces 8-1 odds to win his fourth consecutive race at Michigan. This ranks behind Martin Truex Jr. (7-1), Kyle Busch (7-1), Chase Elliott (7-1), and Kyle Larson (3-1).
The reason is that the No. 4 SHR Ford Mustang has lacked the same amount of speed that it possessed in previous seasons. According to NBC Sports, Harvick’s car is currently the 10th-fastest car in the Cup Series. He previously ranked among the top four every single year since joining SHR in 2014 and winning the championship.
Harvick Joins Two Other Drivers With 3 Consecutive Wins at Michigan
While Harvick is currently riding a three-race winning streak at the two-mile oval, he is not the only driver to reach this mark. He currently sits in a tie with two other drivers for the second-most consecutive wins at Michigan.
Larson, the current Cup Series points leader, also won three consecutive races at Michigan. He reached Victory Lane in 2016 and twice in 2017 to reach three in a row. Similarly, David Pearson won both races at Michigan in 1972 and the first in 1973. Though Pearson holds the all-time mark at the track with nine total wins in only 29 starts while Cale Yarborough posted eight wins in 36 starts.
If Harvick can reach Victory Lane in 2021, he will tie a Hall of Famer for the most consecutive Cup Series wins at Michigan. Bill Elliott currently holds this mark with four consecutive wins spread across the 1985 and 1986 seasons. Awesome Bill from Dawsonville reached Victory Lane seven times at Michigan during his career.
Harvick Will Bring Back a Winning Paint Scheme
When the driver of the No. 4 heads back to Michigan, he will do so with a paint scheme that reached Victory Lane both times in 2020. He will drive the No. 4 Busch Light Apple Ford that features a red background and barrels filled with apples.
Harvick used the Busch Light Apple scheme three times during the 2020 season, winning twice. He captured the checkered flags during the Michigan doubleheader on Aug. 8-9. He also finished fourth overall at Kansas Speedway on July 23.
The Busch Light Apple scheme first debuted on the No. 4 SHR Ford Mustang during the 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Harvick started fifth overall in the bright scheme and raced his way to a third-place finish while Chase Elliott locked up the $1 million payday.
Harvick has used the Busch Light Apple scheme three times during the 2021 season but has not yet reached Victory Lane. He took 27th during the July 4 race at Road America, sixth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and eighth at Watkins Glen International. Now he will strive to lock up his first win of the season with the scheme.
The FireKeepers Casino 400 Cup Series race will take place on Sunday, Aug. 22, at Michigan International Speedway. NBC Sports will provide coverage for the 200-lap race as Harvick starts eighth overall, next to Kyle Busch.