Kevin Harvick finished the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season with 26 Top 10s, marking his fifth consecutive season with at least 25 plus top 10s. Harvick also wrapped up the season third in the points standings for the third consecutive year.
Despite finishing third in the points, Harvick’s season didn’t have the dream start like he did in 2018 winning three of the first four races.
“I think as we started the season the results weren’t bad, we had mediocre results, I think for what we expect as the No. 4 team,” Harvick said. “It’s been a grind and a battle week in and week out as to what do we need, what do we need to do different, because the thought process is just so much different than what we have ever done before.
“I think as an organization we have had to struggle through that and it’s been a grind. So, I would be lying to you if I told you it wasn’t taxing on everybody in order, in the amount of work that has been put in to get to this point.”
While it wasn’t the “best” start by most people’s standards, through the first 19 races of the 2019 season he finished in the top 10 a very solid 11 of 19 races.
The 2014 NASCAR Cup champion remained consistent in the early going of the season, but a win was still missing. He finally found his way back to Victory Lane at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In the closing laps of the Foxwoods Resorts Casino 301, he held off a charging Denny Hamlin to get his first win of the season.
His deep playoff run almost came to an end as he found himself on the outside looking in going into Texas Motor Speedway. He entered the race 14 point below the cutline. Despite the circumstances, him and his team had a fantastic start to the weekend by starting on the pole.
Once the green dropped it was the Kevin Harvick show at Texas, he notched his fourth win of the season in dominating fashion by leading 119 laps, which locked him into the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“I think the strength and experience of our race team has kind of carried the results that are in the finish column and the stages won and stage points and those types of things,” Harvick said.
“As we went through the late summer and in the playoffs, I feel like we obviously have got our cars back to being competitive and, when I say competitive, I mean able to lead laps without circumstances, and so we’ve been able to do that.”
Rolling into Homestead-Miami he was faced with the same cards as his competitors as rain plagued the Friday practice and qualifying sessions. After the field was set by points, the second-place start wasn’t enough help for Harvick and his team. While he led 41 laps in the Ford EcoBoost 400 his efforts would result in a fourth-place finish.
“Yeah, we just needed to do something different. They were so much better than us on the long run,” Harvick said. “That was our best chance, to have a caution there at the end, and we never got one. We did something different, hoping for a caution.”
“We had to do the opposite, and it just didn’t work out. On the restarts I could do what I wanted to do and hold them off for 15 or 20 laps.”
2019 Driver Season Reviews