Stewart Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick will hop down into the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend in preparation for what is sure to be a wild, unpredictable race for Sunday’s Cup Race at Circuit Of The Americas.
The former Xfinity Series champion will join B.J. McLeod Motorsports in the No. 5 Rush Truck Centers Ford Mustang. Many of Harvick’s partners including BUSCH Light, Jimmy John’s, and Hunt Brothers Pizza are also hopping on board for the effort.
“I’ve spent a lot of time on iRacing and we’ve had a couple of simulator dates to get prepared for this weekend, one just for basically learning the track and the second for actually trying to go fast enough to be competitive when you get on the racetrack,” Harvick said. “But the main reason we decided to run the Xfinity race at COTA, and a couple of the other new road courses, is that being on track in real-time is the best experience you can get. There’s just nothing that can replace reality and being on the racetrack.”
A number of Cup drivers are expected to join the Xfinity race in effort to prepare for the unknowns of Sunday, including Harvick’s teammate Cole Custer. Driver No. 41 will become driver No. 17 for Rick Ware Racing and Production Alliance Group.
“I’m a huge visual person,” explained Harvick. “The experience I have in going to these racetracks for a long time – I can tell you every crack, every curve and every marker on the wall, and those are the things I want to have embedded in my mind before we get to Sunday. I want to make sure we’ve hit most of the curbs and know where you can take a risk making a pass and where to make time and how to get on and off of pit road in a live situation, because the practices are short. The Xfinity car is going to be the best tool, and just being able to make laps is the most important thing.”
Fans can see Harvick tackle COTA on Saturday, May 22nd at 4:00 PM EST on FOX Sports 1 and the FOX Sports app.