Kevin Harvick won for the third time in 38 starts at Michigan International Speedway. He also has 19 top-10 finishes at the track.
Michigan International Speedway is said to be in Ford’s backyard.
Well, the backyard has turned into quite a playground of late for the Blue Oval, as Kevin Harvick’s victory on Sunday was Ford’s fourth consecutive win at the 2-mile D-shaped oval. It was Harvick’s third win at Michigan. He also won the Cup Series race at Michigan last August.
“Of all the active tracks on the circuit, we have 39 wins at Michigan,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance. “I think it is a combination of the power and fuel economy which is a testament to Doug Yates, Roush Yates and the engine team and use of our analytical tools of optimize the power and fuel economy which we saw today with what Kevin and the Stewart-Haas team was able to do.”
There also might be a little home cookin’ that doesn’t hurt.
“This is our home track and in the backyard of Ford Motor Company and it is really important for us to perform well in front of our employees, executives and all their families,” Rushbrook said. “It is a big deal. We brought 1,100 employees and their families out to watch the race today and we had great support from all our senior management here today to watch and to celebrate this victory.”
The win sends the Heritage Trophy — a traveling trophy that goes to the winning manufacturer after each Cup Series race at Michigan — back to Ford HQ in Dearborn, Michigan, some 70 miles from the speedway.
“We want to win every race but we definitely want to win here at Michigan,” Rushbrook said. “To have the Heritage Trophy, we display it proudly and it will go back and be in Dearborn first thing in the morning for our executives to see there and we will put it on display for our employees to see. It is kind of neat the way the trophy works. You bring it out here and give it back at the beginning of the race and it is kind of neat to take it right back at the end of the race.
“It is great to do it four races in a row. We want to keep that streak going.”
Ford’s victory came in the 50th annual fall race at Michigan. Harvick’s victory was the 47th of his career. He’s a cinch for the Hall of Fame when that day comes. He’s one victory shy of Herb Thomas and two back of Tony Stewart on the all-time list.
“Well, you remember those days when you made the most power and you had the best fuel mileage, right?,” said Harvick driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford. “It’s nice. Doug and everybody at Roush Yates Engines do a great job, and obviously Ford puts a big circle around these two Michigan races to come up here and be the top manufacturer, and when you look at our engine program, I think that these particular racetracks really fit the style of our torque curves and the things that we do, and it was right in our wheelhouse.”
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