NASCAR Cup Series: Power rankings entering the 2021 season

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images) /
17 of 18
Kevin Harvick, NASCAR
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, NASCAR -Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

2021 NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings: #2

#2. . No. 4. Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford. KEVIN HARVICK

Kevin Harvick did pretty much everything but win his second NASCAR Cup Series championship in 2020. His nine wins were the most for a driver in a single season since Carl Edwards won nine races in the 2008 season and also failed to win the title, and he finished the year with an average finish of 7.33, by far the best in the series.

But he went cold at the wrong time. His first win drought of more than four races came in the playoffs, and three winless round of 8 races led to him making a desperate attempt to pick up one more point to advance to the Championship 4.

That attempt failed dramatically, leaving him on the outside looking in for the first time since 2016. This is not the first time Harvick has been the top driver throughout the 36-race season and failed to win a title.

In fact, he would have four championships on points alone, all in seasons other than his actual championship season in 2014. He trails only seven-time champions Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and yes, Jeff Gordon, not Jimmie Johnson, in that category. Will “The Closer” manage to close out a season on top for the second time in 2021?