NASCAR: Kevin Harvick can clinch regular season title with 3 races left

Kevin Harvick could clinch the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series regular season title and the 15 bonus points that go along with it with three races remaining.

It has practically become a foregone conclusion that Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick, who has won a series-high six of the 22 races that have been contested so far this year and is riding a two-race winning streak heading into the upcoming race weekend at the Daytona International Speedway road cousre, will win the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship.

The 44-year-old Bakersfield, California native is the only driver who has scored more than 900 points this season, and he is also the only driver who has eclipsed the 800-mark, which puts him in by far the best position to claim the bonus 15 playoff points for winning the regular season title.

With just four races remaining before the playoffs begin, Harvick sits a comfortable 137 points ahead of Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski in second place in the point standings.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin sits in third place in the standings, three points behind Keselowski, and Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney sits in fourth, 35 points behind Keselowski. Nobody else is within 194 points of the driver of the #4 Ford.

With 60 points available for each driver in each race (10 for winning stage one, 10 for winning stage two and 40 for winning the race) and the ability to make up 59 points over a given competitor since drivers who finish in 36th place or lower still score one point, Harvick is in position to potentially clinch the regular season championship with just three races remaining.

Harvick, who would need to be at least 177 points of his closest competitor to do so (assuming he doesn’t miss any races) is set to start this Sunday afternoon’s 65-lap Go Bowling 235 around the 14-turn, 3.61-mile (5.810-kilometer) road course in Daytona Beach, Florida from the pole position based on a new qualifying formula that NASCAR recently introduced and had not been used prior to this weekend.

He can do so by outscoring Keselowski (-137) by more than 40 points, Hamlin (-140) by more than 37 and Blaney (-175) by more than two, while avoiding being outscored by Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott (-195) by more than 18.

He would also need to avoid being outscored by Team Penske’s Joey Logano (-199) by more than 22 and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. (-200) by more than 23, but if he can do the above with respect to Keselowski, Hamlin, Blaney and Elliott, that would guarantee that he also protects against Logano and Truex since points are capped at 60 per race.

Tune in to NBC at 3:00 p.m. ET tomorrow afternoon for the live broadcast of the Go Bowling 235 from the Daytona International Speedway road course. Will Kevin Harvick do enough to clinch the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship?