Season Review: Kevin Harvick

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Kevin Harvick didn't make it to Victory Lane in 2008 but the Richard Childress Racing driver could still be proud of his season.

Harvick steered the No. 29 Pennzoil Chevrolet to a fourth-place finish in the final Sprint Cup standings in 2008.

After winning twice in 2007 including the Daytona 500 and the Sprint All-Star Challenge, Harvick was shut out this year.

But he improved as the season wore on and his final statistics were impressive.

Harvick posted seven top-10 finishes during the Chase and in two others he ran in the top 10 most of the day. In the 26-race regular season, he finished in the top 10 only 12 times.

Harvick averaged a 9.1 finish for the 10 Chase races.

“The whole Chase we’ve been really good,” said crew chief Todd Berrier. “Not good enough. We’re probably a ninth-place average finish for 10 races. That don’t cut it today. It’s a shame we weren’t a little bit better. We gained on it as the year went [on]. We gained on it towards the last few races in the Chase. We’ve got to take a big step, and that step’s going to be a hard one to take.”

Harvick knows making that jump to title contender next year will be a challenge but is confident it can be done.

“We just have to figure out how to lead more laps and just make everything a little bit better,” Harvick said. “I know that sounds dumb, but it’s just a lot of little things that add up to be one big thing.”

Harvick's season included his continued success as a team owner running entires in both the Nationwide and Truck Series.

RCR teammate Jeff Burton believes Harvick's foray into ownership has helped him mature as a driver as well.

"I think being a car owner has helped him mature in a lot of ways,” Burton said. “He’s very deliberate with what he does today. He thinks about what he’s going to do today. He’s an emotional guy, and emotions get the better of you when you’re in competition. He’s much more calm today than he was five years ago. He’s able to take things for what they are and understand that a bad day today doesn’t mean that the whole world is going to come to an end.

“He’s an incredible driver, and I think owning that team has really helped him. He’s been a great teammate to me. He’s really gone out of his way to help me in a lot of areas, and he’s been awesome to work with.”

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