The Stewart Haas Racing Ford is locked into the Championship 4 – Kevin Harvick expected struggles with the switch to Ford
Stewart-Haas Racing took a bold approach to the 2017 season. Now, Kevin Harvick is locked into Homestead.
Yet, with a switch to Ford it really wasn’t suppose to happen. Not because Ford’s aren’t fast but because that’s basically like starting from scratch. At the start of this season, Stewart-Haas was essentially a brand new race team, all over again. They didn’t have data sheets, they had to collect that data.
“The things we can do in the future, is great. They all need a break. They’ve all just been working day and night trying to get us caught up from a competitive stand point,” Kevin Harvick states of the transition.
“Everything’s just different. You could talk about the body. You can talk about the underneath of the car. You could talk about the engine, transmission ratios. Anything you want to talk about has been different.”
Related: Kevin Harvick vs Ryan Blaney
On the change to Ford
When Stewart-Haas Racing announced a switch to Ford, that was a huge undertaking. They had to cut the clip off of every car in the shop. Stewart-Haas is a 4 car team. Each driver has a fleet of machines. That’s a massive number of cars to re-clip and re-design. “It’s a big ship,” Harvick states of SHR.
Then those cars need engines. Once you get that done, you need a setup. But, Stewart-Haas didn’t have a reference of data to find a setup. It was very much expected to be a development year.
Now, Kevin Harvick is heading to Homestead.
I was pretty open minded about where things could go and there could be some struggles.
“It was more than I anticipated for sure. I was pretty open minded about where things could go and there could be some struggles.”
Struggle no more, a Ford is locking into the Ford Championship weekend.
“I think the R&D sometimes surpasses the production. Once they started finding areas to work on, then you gotta get them put into place. It’s easy to draw them on the computer and take them to the wind tunnel.”
You find yourself cutting bodies off that are brand new and never even go to the track.
“Now you gotta put them into production. Sometimes that production doesn’t keep up with the R&D side. You find yourself cutting bodies off that are brand new and never even go to the track.”
Yet, the team didn’t quit. The development has been constant, all year. Kevin Harvick has clinched his way to Homestead. He joins Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.
The rest of the playoff field, is fighting for the single remaining position.