SPEEDWAY, Ind.–It is no longer The Brickyard 400. Now it is the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard. The race also won’t happen on the oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Instead, it will be on the 14-turn road course.
NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick has always been a fan of Indycar driver Rick Mears, who won the Indianapolis 500 four times. He has always enjoyed driving on the oval at Indy, so competing on the road course in this year’s race will be a bit strange for him.
“I’m not a huge fan. For me, driving through that tunnel and understanding the history and everything that comes with racing on the oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is something that I always look forward to,” said Harvick. “I’ve been around this deal for a long time, so understanding the history of the Speedway and what it means to racing, so having to race on the road course is going to be a tough pill to swallow.”
He enjoys racing on road courses, but when it comes to Indianapolis, Harvick prefers the oval.
“Like when you look at Road America, it was a huge success. That’s a great facility with a permanent road course that’s been there a long time. I grew up a Rick Mears fan wanting to race in the Indy 500, so not racing on the oval for me is a gut check. As a kid, that’s where I wanted to race,” said Harvick.
He won the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 in 2020 when the race took place without fans. Fans are expected for this year’s race. He also won the Big Machine Vodka 400 in 2019.
“Our sport has done a phenomenal job navigating the whole COVID situation. As we’ve gone through a better part of this year having fans back at the race tracks with some sense of normalcy has been a lot of fun. From the sponsors to the fans and everybody else being back at the race tracks, it’s just great to see people’s faces again,” said Harvick.
Overall, Harvick has made 13 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff appearances, tied for second-most all-time.
The Verizon 200 at the Brickyard is set for August 15.
LISTEN: Full Interview with Kevin Harvick