It’s no secret that Kevin Harvick has been the most dominant NASCAR Sprint Cup driver so far this season. Through eight races, he has two wins (back to back in Las Vegas/Phoenix) and four second-place finishes. His other two races resulted in an 8th place finish and a 38th place finish due to a wreck in Bristol last weekend. In addition to dominating on the racetrack, he is also dominating the points standings with 314 points, which is 30 ahead of the next driver, Joey Logano.
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Harvick made an incredible run through the Chase last year and won three of his five total races in the last month of the season. So how does this year’s start compare to last year’s start?
This year, we have gone through eight races, and it seems like it has flown by, so let’s take a look at how Kevin Harvick performed in the first eight races of the 2014 season:
- Daytona: 13th
- Phoenix: 1st
- Las Vegas: 41st
- Bristol: 39th
- California: 36th
- Martinsville: 7th
- Texas: 42nd
- Darlington: 1st
By looking at last years start, we can see that, besides his two wins, he had terrible luck. Overall, he just struggled out of the gate and his positioning took a severe hit. Now the races he did win were a different story. In his win at Phoenix, he led 224 of 312 laps and he won from the pole at Darlington. Those were just glimpses of the man we would see later in October and November of 2014.
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As stated above, Harvick already has 314 points this season compared to only 186 at the same time last year. With the new points system that was recently integrated, it makes it difficult to crawl out a hole if you make too many mistakes, so by going in a hole earlier in the season, it was easy for him to chip away during the long stretch of summer racing.
Phoenix has been proven as one of his best tracks and his win there a little over a month ago made it his fourth in a row at the speedway. It’s unfortunate for other Chase drivers that it is the second to last track that the Sprint Cup series visits in the season.
One thing I’ve noticed this season, from seeing him in person and on television, is that his cars seems lot better and a lot faster. Early on last season, he had engine problems in one race and just had trouble getting past some drivers. There’s been several times in 2015 when he’s simply used pure speed to propel himself into the lead.
So what does all of this mean? It means that Kevin Harvick is even more dangerous this season than he was last season. He started off last year finishing below 35th four different times and still managed to win a Championship. For him to have six top-two finishes in the same amount of time this season, all I can say is this: Watch out Sprint Cup drivers, because Kevin Harvick wants another trophy!