Kevin Harvick is back atop the NASCAR Cup Series wins leaderboard after his sixth Sunday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. Over the weekend, Harvick tied and then passed Denny Hamlin for the mark, and extended Ford’s winning streak at Michigan to six.
“It’s good to have him on our side, for sure,” laughed Mark Rushbrook, the global director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “We were very excited to bring Stewart-Haas Racing to Ford three and a half years ago. We were excited from the first day we talked to them. We know the level of competition inside that organization; they’re all racers. They want to go win every single race.
“As a company, as a team, to have them with us as part of our Ford family has been really big. They’ve got a lot of great drivers, especially Kevin Harvick as a former champion is bringing home a lot of race wins. We’re looking to see him do well in the playoffs this year.”
Harvick and rookie Cole Custer have won for Stewart-Haas this season. Meanwhile, Aric Almirola is having a career year in all statistical categories and looks assured of having a playoff spot. Clint Bowyer and his team are having a bit of an inconsistent season, but he is above the playoff cutline with four races to go.
In all, Ford has 13 wins this season – most among all manufacturers. The others who have contributed are the three Team Penske drivers – Brad Keselowski (three), Joey Logano (two), and Ryan Blaney (one).
Ford has five drivers locked into the playoffs, with Almirola, Bowyer, and Matt DiBenedetto above the cutline as the regular-season winds down.
“We’ve been really happy,” said Rushbrook. “I think 13 wins now so far through this season out of 22 races. It means so much to have such strong performance with five different drivers with wins. Each of the teams has strong finishes at almost every race we go to across all different tracks. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a short course or superspeedway or mile‑and‑a‑half or two miles, we’ve had really strong cars and performance.
“We’re excited about the rest of the season and some of the variety in the schedule with the different tracks that we have coming up. We’re really looking forward to the playoffs and the sequence of races that we hope to see some more good strong competition and wins playing out there.”