For one, Harvick is the defending winner of the event and is coming off one of his best performances on an intermediate track this season, leading 104 laps at Kansas Speedway last weekend before having to pit under green for what he believed was a tire going down.
Last year’s All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway debuted the aero rules which have become the foundation of the new rules package being used in the Cup series this season.
In that race, Harvick was the dominant driver, winning Stage 1 and Stage 3 before leading all 10 laps of the final segment and collecting the $1 million top prize. In all, Harvick has two wins, five top-five (including three seconds) and 11 top-10 finishes in 18 starts in the all-star event.
This season the All-Star Race will once again feature some new aerodynamic rules that could be utilized in the Gen-7 car expected to debut in the 2021 season.
The first is single-piece carbon fiber splitter/pan that should offer dramatic improvements in ride height sensitivity for the drivers, providing a more stable aero platform and create more consistent performance in traffic.
Also, the car will be configured with a radiator duct which exits through the hood as opposed to the engine compartment, which should create improved aerodynamic parity and reduce engine temperatures.
Harvick said he is looking forward to seeing if the aero rules improve the racing product on the track.
“These cars are really, really sensitive, currently, with this particular splitter to the height to the ground. If that improves the sensitivity to the splitter height and the cars lose less downforce because of where the cars run on the race track behind each other, then I am a fan,” he said.
“They are losing 400 to 600 pounds of downforce when you get behind somebody. At Texas, we had a weird situation where the splitter was at a weird height and the car vibrated and bounced so bad that you couldn’t drive it.
“The splitter is the part that I am excited about. When you get behind a car right now, the car raises up. If it raises up a couple hundred-thousandths of an inch, it is going to lose hundreds of pounds of downforce because of the car coming up off the race track.”