Harvick Comfortable in Kansas

Kevin Harvick

Harvick has posted a 4.8 average finish in the last five races at Kansas, including a win in this event last year. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Kevin Harvick is in relatively good playoff shape heading into Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
 
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver is 22 points ahead of Kyle Busch, who sits ninth in the standings and is one spot below the cutline. If Harvick can manage a solid finish and avoid any problems in Sunday’s final race of round two in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
 
Harvick should have great reason for optimism coming to Kansas.
 
He has two wins at the 1.5-mile track most recently in last year’s edition of the Hollywood Casino 400 when he led 74 laps on his way to Victory Lane. Harvick also won in October  of 2013, when he started from the pole position, led 138 of 267 laps and beat current SHR teammate Kurt Busch to the finish line by 1.140 seconds to score his first Kansas Cup Series victory.
 
Harvick points to the track’s repave and reconfiguration as one of the keys that has impacted his performance.
 
“The repave is definitely what changed and turned things around for us at Kansas,” said Harvick, who will start outside the front row on Sunday. “Really, I liked the racetrack the way it was before with the asphalt really worn out and cars sliding all over. But, once the repave happened, we were able to really hit on some things and, for whatever reason, it kind of fits my driving style and we have gotten some good results out of it.
 
“It has been a really good-performing racetrack for us and one that we look forward to going to and hopefully continue to get good results out of it because it’s been so good for us in the past.”
 
There are many 1.5-mile tracks on the Cup Series schedule but Harvick says Kansas provides a unique set of challenges to be successful.
 
“It’s definitely a little bit different just for the fact the (corner) entries are a little different than at most places,” he explained. “Turns three and four remind me of turns three and four at Chicagoland Speedway, but there’s a lot more grip and fresher asphalt than what Chicagoland has nowadays. It’s a very high-speed racetrack.
 
“You run the middle to the bottom of the racetrack. But I’m sure, as time goes on, that the groove will move back up. But, for right now, it’s very fast and very sensitive to your line and, with all the speed and how tricky the entrance is into turn one, you can miss your line easily. So, you have to be very specific about where you put your car and pay attention to what you’re doing.”
 
Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" will have live coverage of Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400, beginning at 2 p.m. (ET) - with live streaming at MRN.com and on the MRN App.

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