Harvick going for the West Coast sweep

Fontana, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – This weekend, Kevin Harvick is hoping to
accomplish something that he has never done before in his Sprint Cup Series
career — win three races in a row.

Harvick, the defending Sprint Cup champion, is 2-0 in NASCAR’s three-week West
Coast swing. He’ll aim for the trifecta on Sunday at his home track, Auto Club
Speedway. The Bakersfield, California native has never won three consecutive
races during his 15-year career in NASCAR’s premier series.

When Harvick and his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet team headed to Las
Vegas earlier this month for the start of the West Coast tour, they never
imagined completing it with a sweep. They have one more race to go to do it.

“We never talk about stuff like that,” Harvick said. “We don’t talk about
things we’ve done. We always talk about the things we do wrong, and we talk
about the things we need to do differently. It’s never really anything about
last week. It’s always about next week and the things we have to do to try to
be prepared when we come to the racetrack.”

Perhaps they should have a broom on hand at this two-mile Southern California
track on Sunday afternoon.

Harvick has one win and nine top-10 finishes in 21 Sprint Cup starts at this
track. His victory here occurred in 2011 when he passed Jimmie Johnson and led
only the final lap.

He finished 36th at Fontana last year, his first season with Stewart-Haas
Racing after spending the past 13 years in the series with Richard Childress

“I know everybody kind of wants to redeem themselves after last year,” Harvick
said. “We ran really well and had two or three flat tires and things didn’t
finish well. But it was a great performance for us all in all.”

Last weekend, Harvick won at Phoenix for a record-extending seventh time,
including his fourth victory in a row there. He also continued his streak of
finishing either first or second to seven races, dating back to last season.
Not since Richard Petty in 1975 has a driver in the series finished in the
top-two in seven or more consecutive races.

What’s been Harvick’s secret to success?

“I think that just comes down to the guys on my race team and everybody at
Stewart-Haas Racing for just bringing really good cars to the racetrack,” he
said. “Particularly the No. 4 team and being able to capitalize and manage the
weekends, races, and keeping the cars together, as well as doing all the
things it takes to just make laps and keep yourself in contention.

“Just really proud of everybody on my team for everything they have done.
Hopefully, we can keep it rolling. We will try to ride the wave as long as we

After California, the series heads back east to Martinsville (March 29) and
then Texas (April 11) followed by Bristol (April 19) and Richmond (April 25).
Harvick has finished in the top-two at each one of those tracks in the past.

No driver in Sprint Cup has won three or more consecutive races since 2007
when Johnson claimed four victories in a row during the championship Chase
(Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas and Phoenix).

Johnson, who hails from nearby El Cajon, California, holds the record for most
wins at Fontana with five. His most recent victory here happened in February

Kyle Busch has won the Sprint Cup race at this track the past two years. Busch
continues to be sidelined due to a fractured right leg and left foot he
sustained during an accident in the Feb. 21 Xfinity Series race at Daytona.
David Ragan has been substituting for him in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing

Forty-five teams are on the entry list for the Auto Club 400.

Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup. Date: Sunday, March 22. Race: Auto Club 400. Site:
Auto Club Speedway. Track: 2-mile oval. Start time: 3:30 p.m. ET. Laps: 200.
Miles: 400. 2014 Winner: Kyle Busch. Television: FOX. Radio: Motor Racing
Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.