Last weekend, Kevin Harvick made reference that he won a ton of races during the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season but didn’t have a championship trophy to cap it all off. This year, while he struggled at the start, he’d rather be heading into the playoffs hot rather than doing the peaking earlier in the season.
No doubt perennial championship favorite Harvick and his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Team were starting to miss their frequent visits to Victory Lane. By the time the Monster Energy Cup Series made its second trip to Bristol, Tenn. for the “Night Race” summer highlight last year, Harvick had already hoisted seven trophies.
He picked up his second trophy of the 2019 season last week at Michigan – the second in the last four weeks – a sign perhaps the 2014 Cup champion will get a well-timed boost to his Playoff launch.
Harvick is a two-time Bristol winner – first in 2005 and the last victory coming in this 2016 August race. He was eighth in the first Bristol stop of the season. And the other two races to close out the regular season also look promising to give him a positive Playoff sendoff.
He won at next week’s stop, the notoriously tough Darlington (S.C.) Raceway from the pole position in his 2014 championship year and has finished in the top-10 in half his starts – 11 times in 22 races. Harvick is also a former winner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – earning the victory from pole position in 2003. He has 12 top-10 finishes in 18 Indianapolis starts.
“So, we’ve had a lot of things that we’ve had to overcome to get to this point,’’ Harvick said. “But it’s kind of like last year – we started off on fire, we won eight races and then didn’t win the championship. In the end, you want to win that championship and hopefully we’re peaking at the right time.”