In the 10-year history of NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup, Team Chevy’s Kevin Harvick has finished in the top five six times, including three third-place finishes in 2010, 2011 and 2013, but never won. This season Harvick is back in third and is scrambling for points as he trails Joey Logano and a consistently quick Brad Keselowski with only seven race weekends left in the season.
Harvick needed a win going into Sunday’s race at Dover and for a moment, it looked like he was going to pull it off. The 38-year old led a race-high 223 laps after scoring pole, but a punctured tire on Lap 252 thwarted his chances and he went on to finish 13th. He has led more laps than anyone else in 2014, but yet has only two victories to show for it with five runner-up finishes.
Jeff Gordon, winner of Sunday’s AAA 400, acknowledged Harvick was the car to beat at Dover.
“I think Kevin definitely was the car to beat today. Even on long runs we could reel him in a little bit, but I don’t know if we could have passed him,” he said.
Harvick’s inability to win can partially be tacked up to a string of bad luck, both in the pits and on the track. The same thing which punctured his tire on Sunday, a valve stem getting hit, is what also ended his race at Dover on June 1. He described it all as “crazy luck.” and “unbelievable.”
Stewart-Haas racing and Harvick believe they can catch up to Logano and Keselowski in the Chase. In fact, Harvick claimed they can “beat every car on the track,” if they can turn their luck around. It will all start as NASCAR enters the “Contender” round of the Chase with the remaining 12 drivers at Kansas Speedway next weekend.