Kevin Harvick’s Success Has Only One Potential Weakness


Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Havick won his first NASCAR championship in 2014 and he looks to be more than determined to win his second title in 2015. Harvick has four consecutive top-two finishes to open the 2015 season, two of those finishes were wins. If you go back to the end of 2014, Harvick has put together seven consecutive top-two finishes. The record for such finishes is 11 (Richard Petty) and NASCAR hasn’t seen such a dominant stretch since Jeff Gordon had six such finishes in 1996. It would seem as though there is nothing that can stop Kevin Harvick, however that is not the case as there is one weakness in his armor.

More from Kevin Harvick

The NASCAR chase.

The good news for Harvick fans is that with two wins Harvick has guaranteed himself a spot in the chase. 22 different drivers could win the next 22 races and Harvick will still be in the chase. The bad news is that the chase nullifies everything that Harvick is going to have accomplished in the first 26 races of the year. Let’s say that Harvick wins 12 races heading into the chase (and 12 might not be a stretch at this rate) but then has a couple of poor finishes in the opening round of NASCAR’s playoffs. Harvick could find himself out of the hunt for a second championship despite all of the success that he had leading up to the chase.

Some of you might think that this is a knock on the chase, it isn’t. NASCAR is now very similar to the NBA or the NHL. For the most part in both of those sports all of the good teams make the playoffs since both leagues take so many teams there. Once in the playoffs the regular season means nothing and if one team gets hot at the right time it could lead to a championship.

NASCAR is now the same way.

With the chase there are always going to be 16 drivers competing for a championship each year. Of those 16 drivers you’re going to have all of the “worthy” and “deserving” one as well as some that people might feel don’t belong. Just like hockey and basketball, the regular season will no longer matter and a driver getting hot or cold could decide whether a championship is won or lost. Again, this isn’t a knock on NASCAR and it’s by no means a knock on Harvick; it’s simply the reality of the situation.

The NASCAR season is now made up of two seasons. The first 26 races are where drivers earn the right to compete in the second season. The second season is where 16 drivers earn the right to become a champion. Dominating the first season means nothing when you get to the second season. Harvick is lights out right now and that’s great because if he is winning races it means that other drivers are not. However, if Harvick wants his second title he knows that the real test begins with the 27th race of the season. Everything between now and then is simply icing on what he hopes will be a championship cake.

Christopher Olmstead is the Editor of on the FanSided Network. Follow us on Twitter @Beyond_The_Flag and “Like” us on Facebook.