This is Kevin Harvick's best chance for a Sprint Cup Series championship. Can he capitalize?
Harvick's had success at every type of track in the Chase. Two of his wins (Fontana and Charlotte) were on intermediate tracks. The other two (Martinsville and Richmond) were on short tracks. And minus the blown engine in the Daytona 500, he's had seventh and fifth place finishes at Daytona and Talladega.
Sure, that win at Charlotte was wrapped up in a pretty bow after Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of gas. But Harvick's success does raise an interesting point: can he continue to win without leading many laps? He led 202 at Richmond. Nine everywhere else.
Harvick's best Chase track: Perhaps fittingly, Harvick's best average finish at a Chase track is at Homestead, the final race of the season. He's got eight top 10s in 10 Homestead starts. That's a nice comfort to have.
Harvick's worst Chase track: As the stats go, it's actually Charlotte, where he averages a 19th place finish. The win there and Martinsville were the first wins he's recorded at either track.
Key Question: Is the ability that Harvick has shown to storm to the front late in races an asset or something that could come back to bite him?
NB's Prediction: 4th. I have a sneaky feeling that Harvick will be in the hunt entering the final few races. Harvick's a cool and calculated customer in the car and it's hard to imagine the Chase pressure getting to him.
- Kevin Harvick