Kevin Harvick may have locked up a Championship 4 berth at Homestead-Miami Speedway but that won’t slow him down Sunday at ISM Raceway.
Harvick’s Texas Motor Speedway victory last Sunday gave him a spot in the Championship 4 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and a chance to win a second career title. It will be Harvick’s fifth appearance in the championship race in the six years of the current playoff format.
However, Harvick is not planning to coast his way into the finale by any means and has his sights set on a 10th career ISM Raceway win on Sunday. Harvick has won four of the last seven Cup races held at the one-mile desert track and another trip to Victory Lane in Sunday’s Bluegreen Vacations 500 would put him in double digits.
Harvick’s 16 top-five finishes are most all time at the track as are his 1,595 laps led. Between November 2012, and March 2016, Harvick won six races, including a record four consecutively from November 2013-March 2015.
He is on a streak of 12 consecutive top-10 finishes – 10 of them top fives. In just six races between 2013-2016 he led 1,064 laps – 66.7 percent of his career total. Three times he’s led more than 200 laps en route to route a victory (2014 sweep, 2015 spring race).
Harvick’s next Cup win will also be his 50th career victory and tie him on the all-time list with his team co-owner Tony Stewart.
“Them letting us go out and build a team with people that came to Stewart-Haas Racing to be on that No. 4 car is really what started this whole thing, and now we’re, I don’t know, what are we, 26, 27 wins later, six years in,” Harvick said of Stewart and co-owner Gene Haas. “So it’s been a lot of fun. He’s so laid back and understands how the peaks and valleys go of this particular sport.”
Harvick is proud of the effort his team has put in this year even though he’s well short of the eight victories on the board in 2018. Making the title race was the goal from the beginning of the campaign but now that Harvick’s there again he can take at least some time to reflect in the accomplishment.
“So I’m surprised but I’m not because of the character of the team, and I love the way that it’s evolved and the battle that we’ve had to get there and really tried to achieve something that wasn’t really achievable when we first started the season this year,” he said.