Kevin Harvick remains on a mission to put more wins on the board and add more points to his total as the regular season winds down.
Harvick has scored six wins in the first 22 races of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series but finds himself 70 points behind Kyle Busch in the standings. The driver on top of those standings at the conclusion of the regular season collects 15 bonus playoff points, a valuable commodity to have in the quest for the championship that begins September 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Busch has 35 playoff points, just two more than Harvick, and the battle resumes Sunday in the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Harvick started fourth and dominated the FireKeepers Casino 400 at MIS in June, leading 49 of the 133 laps before the race was shortened by rain and ultimately won by Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer. Harvick finished second and has his sights set on gaining one more position on Sunday.
“We’ve finished well there over the last couple years, and scored a lot of second-place finishes and top fives,” Harvick said of his record on the two-mile oval. “I learned a long time ago that sometimes those things happen, so it’s better to be on a top-five streak than a 10th-place streak.
“The good thing about the racetrack is that it has definitely aged and the groove has spread out over the last couple of races, so you have a lot more options than you did a few years ago when they repaved it. Every time we go back there, it gets a little more racey.”
According to Harvick, finishing well has much to do with managing an entire race and dealing with the inevitable challenges that will arise over the course of 400 miles.
“How you finish at Michigan depends on how your day is going,” Harvick explained. “If you’re having a good day, it’s not hard to tell your guys what you need and everyone is in a good mood. If you’re having a bad day, you can get behind at Michigan really fast.
“You’re going to end up with a green-flag pit stop and a whole bunch of green-flag laps. You just have to be going from the time the green flag drops and keep yourself in position at the end.”
Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” will have live coverage of Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 from Michigan International Speedway, beginning at 1:30 p.m. (ET) – with live streaming at MRN.com.