NASCAR: Kevin Harvick did what hadn’t been done since 2007

Kevin Harvick’s 7.33 average finish in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season was the best since 2007 and tied for the best by a non-champion since 1990.

Kevin Harvick may have come up shy of winning his second NASCAR Cup Series championship in 2020 despite having a career year which saw him win nine races, the most for a driver in a single season since 2008, and record a series-high 20 top five finishes and a series-high 27 top 10 finishes.

However, he still pulled off something that the sport hadn’t seen since 2007.

Coupled with his win percentage of 25%, Harvick’s off-the-charts consistency, which resulted in him finishing outside of the top 20 in just one of the 36 races on the schedule, led to him recording an average finish of 7.33.

That is the lowest average finish for a NASCAR Cup Series driver in a single season since Jeff Gordon recorded the same exact average finish of 7.33 in 2007.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, Gordon and Harvick both scored the most points throughout the 2007 season and the 2020 season, respectively, when removing the playoff point resets from the equation.

In fact, Harvick’s 2020 season marked his fourth time scoring the most pure points but not winning the championship, breaking the tie for first he had held with Gordon in that category. Gordon finished his career as a four-time champion with no championships in the playoff era. Ironically, the year Harvick actually won (2014), Gordon scored the most points.

Nobody has recorded an average finish of lower than 7.33 since the 34-race 1999 season, when Dale Jarrett won the championship with an average finish of 6.76.

No non-champion has recorded an average finish of lower than 7.33 since the 29-race 1990 season, when Mark Martin finished in second place behind Dale Earnhardt in the championship standings with an average finish of 6.55.