Harvick takes hot streak to Kentucky, one of his last winless tracks
For the last two months, things have been going very well for Kevin Harvick.
In the 12 races since the Cup Series returned to competition on May 17 - with Harvick’s win at Darlington - the Stewart-Haas Racing driver has accumulated four victories, seven top fives and an additional three top 10s.
This year marks the eighth time Harvick has reached or exceeded four wins in a season. The only other time he’s had four wins prior to race No. 17 was 2018 when he had five. It was also in 2018 that Harvick went on to win a career-best eight races in a season.
Among his victories this year was his June 27 win at Pocono Raceway, his first on the three-turn speedway.
That left only two active Cup tracks the 44-year-old driver has yet to win on - Kentucky Speedway and the Charlotte Roval.
Harvick gets his 10th attempt to win at Kentucky on Sunday (2:30 p.m. ET on FS1).
Through nine starts, the 1.5-mile track hasn’t been too kind to Harvick.
In fact, while he’s led 128 laps there, those all came in the 2016 race. He trails only Jimmie Johnson (206 laps led) among active lap leaders who have not won at Kentucky.
He goes into Sunday’s race with just one Kentucky top-five finish (2018) and five top 10s.
Working in Harvick’s favor now is his 1.5-mile program. He’s led the most laps in four of the last seven races on 1.5-mile tracks.
In the five races at 1.5-mile tracks this season he’s led a total of 306 laps, including 151 in his win at Atlanta.
Following his win Sunday in the Brickyard 400, his second in a row and third overall there, Harvick was asked what it felt like to be competing at such a high level this season.
“I think when you look at the root of the equation, it’s the team, right?” Harvick said. “It’s the crew chief (Rodney Childers) and the driver that have been together, the engineer. We had one engineer move on, but we’ve had the same engineer with Dax (Gerringer). You keep adding little pieces to keep making that puzzle come together and fit together well. But experience plays a big role in this.
“I think for us, when we come to the racetrack, I know I have to be prepared. I know every guy on my team is going to be prepared and has done everything he can during that week leading up to that race to do 100% of his job. If you’re not prepared, you’ve let every person down because that’s the type of team we’ve been fortunate to put together over the last seven years.
“Everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing allowed us to do that from the beginning. It keeps progressing. You keep getting more and more details out of things because you keep the people together, and everybody believes in what I just said. If you don’t do 100% of your job during the week, you have let the rest of the team down because they have.”