News Kevin Harvick chasing perfection after fifth win in 12 races

22:10  13 may  2018
22:10  13 may  2018 Source:   ap.org

Kevin Harvick: “We’re better than Truex” on 1.5-mile tracks

  Kevin Harvick: “We’re better than Truex” on 1.5-mile tracks Stewart-Haas Racing driver says his team has surpassed last year's series champion, who set a record in 2017 for 1.5-mile victories.So does Harvick feel his No. 4 Ford is right with Truex’s No. 78 Toyota (which notched a record seven wins on 1.

Charging from sixth place and chasing race leader Martin Truex Jr. after a restart on Lap 259 of 267, Harvick found speed in the top lane with five laps left and passed Truex on the outside through Turns 3 and 4 on the penultimate lap. In winning his second straight race and his fifth in 12 starts this

Last week, Kevin Harvick was frustrated and angry. But after cruising to his third consecutive win of the 2018 season, he proved he’s one of — FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) March 12 , 2018. “For all the supporters out there – and all you haters – I see you,” Harvick clapped back after the race .

Video by NASCAR.com

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kevin Harvick had just taken the checkered flag for the fifth time this season, wheeled his car into victory lane and bathed in another confetti shower when he lamented what could have been.

Come again?

"Still wasn't really happy with it," Harvick said of his No. 4 for Stewart-Haas Racing, which he set a record in Saturday night at Kansas Speedway by becoming the fastest to five victories.

"I think," Harvick said, "we can make it better when we come back."

Points leader Kyle Busch: Kevin Harvick has the edge

  Points leader Kyle Busch: Kevin Harvick has the edge NASCAR Cup series points leader Kyle Busch says that Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick is still "a little bit better" than he is in the 2018 season. Busch has risen to the lead of the standings after back-to-back victories in the two most recent races at Texas and Bristol.Prior to his winning breakthrough, Busch had said he was "on an island" in races as he lacked the speed of the race winners and was clear of third.That came during a spell in which SHR's Harvick won three races as the ageing Ford Fusion enjoyed a renaissance.

Denny Hamlin, who led 18 laps, finished ninth after being passed by Kevin Harvick . Chase Elliott’s win give Hendrick Motorsports its 15th Duel win , tying Richard Childress Racing for the most all time …. Hendrick has won five of the last eight Duel races .

Kevin Harvick takes must- win race ; Jimmie Johnson eliminated in Chase . Facebook. Twitter. * Eliminated from Chase ; ** out after tiebreaker. Harvick did all that was needed in the No. 4 Chevrolet and pulled off another victory in a must- win Chase race .

That shouldn't make the rest of the Monster Energy Cup Series feel very good about things. Harvick has won back-to-back races after a three-race win streak earlier this season, and heads into next week's All-Star race at Charlotte as the one guy head and shoulders above everyone else.

But his response to his victory at Kansas, where he overcame trouble getting through inspections and a car that was off much of the night, speaks to a couple of very crucial facts.

First, it shows how demanding Harvick is of his team, and how nobody in the garage is willing to settle for greatness — not when there is perfection to chase. Pit stops could be cleaner, the car could handle the least little bit better, and the margin of victory could be even more comfortable.

Kevin Harvick and SHR keeping their "eyes on the prize"

  Kevin Harvick and SHR keeping their They key to Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team’s continued success this season is to continually look ahead and not behind, crew chief Rodney Childers said. Harvick won his fourth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season last weekend at Dover, Del., and as happened with Kyle Busch’s three consecutive wins this season, there is talk of peaking too soon with the playoffs months away.“The biggest thing is we haven’t went back and talked about the races that we’ve won.

Kevin Harvick (4) celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, May 12 , 2018, in Kansas City, Kan.

Kevin Harvick was all smiles after his Saturday night win at Richmond International Raceway moved him into a tie with rival Kyle Busch atop the Chase standings. Drivers who made NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship pose after the race at Richmond.

"They're hitting on all cylinders," marveled reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr., who was in a similar spot last season, when he reached victory lane eight times. "They've got a great balanced race car and they're doing all the right things, and we're just a step behind that."

So is everybody else.

The second thing Harvick's response to his victory demonstrates is that, well, he hasn't changed a whole lot over the years. Harvick earned the nickname "Happy Harvick" as a joke, a play off the fact he was prone to emotional outbursts.

And while he may have mellowed over the years, that streak is still in there, capable of rearing its head at the most unsuspecting of moments.

Given the way the season has gone, though, Happy Harvick probably ought to be simply happy.

He began his winning streak at Atlanta, continued it at Las Vegas and made it three straight with a triumph in Phoenix. An early wreck in California ended the streak, but he finished in the top 10 in each of the next five races, including a second-place run at Texas and a pole at Talladega.

Kevin Harvick fastest in Kansas Cup practice delayed by weepers

  Kevin Harvick fastest in Kansas Cup practice delayed by weepers Kevin Harvick picked up at Kansas Speedway where he left off at Dover. Fresh off his fourth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season, Harvick went out late in the two-plus hour session and rocketed to the top of the speed chart.Harvick’s average lap speed of 186.149 mph topped his closest rival, Kyle Larson (185.982 mph), who made a final attempt just before the conclusion of the session. Kyle Busch ended up third-fastest (185.166 mph).Erik Jones was fourth and Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Clint Bowyer, completed the top-five.

Race 5 : Kevin Harvick does a burnout after winning the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to clinch a berth in Round 3 of the Chase .

Kevin Harvick wins for the first time in a Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. climbed from his car after finishing fifth Sunday, walked to Kevin Harvick ’s car on pit road and shrugged.

Harvick returned to his winning ways at Dover, when he started second and led 201 of the 400 laps en route to a dominant victory. And the hot streak continued at Kansas, where he had to race out of the garage for qualifying because of problems at inspection and still landed on the pole.

He was clearly the fastest car on the track early on, then struggled to keep pace with Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney through the middle stretches. But a series of late wrecks, including a tangle between Larson and Blaney that knocked the latter from the race, reset the field for a final sprint.

With four fresh tires, Harvick roared from sixth on the restart with 10 laps to go, chased down Truex at the start-finish line of the final lap and cruised to his record-setting win.

One that left everybody else feeling just a bit helpless.

"There isn't a real bright shiny tool you can use and say, 'There it is!'" said Joey Logano, who finished third. "It's just a bunch of little things. They're doing everything right. They've got a ton of speed, they're qualifying first and they're winning a bunch of races."

Kevin Harvick: 'Chase Elliott winning is better for our sport'

  Kevin Harvick: 'Chase Elliott winning is better for our sport' Harvick thinks the 22-year-old Elliott is destined to be NASCAR's next megastar.Video by NASCAR

WBAL Radio 1090 AM - Kevin Harvick surged past Martin Truex Jr. with one lap to go to win at Kansas Speedway, his fifth win in what has turned out to be a dominant start to the season. Nobody had ever won five of the first 12 races in NASCAR's top series.

Harvick ’s win also is his seventh in the last 12 races at the Arizona track. Only one driver has won four of the season’s first five races (Bill Elliott in 1992). Quote of the day: “All you haters, I see you,” Kevin Harvick said after the win .

Indeed, the entire Stewart-Haas stable has had a ton of speed this season. Clint Bowyer ended his long victory drought at Martinsville, and teammate Aric Almirola was in the top 10 on Saturday night.

"I think as an organization all our cars are running better, which is exciting to me and everybody back at the shop," said Greg Zipadelli, the team's vice president of competition. "It's crazy to see what these guys have done this year. It's just really cool. You have to keep riding it."

Harvick said the same thing: When you're on a hot streak, you have to ride it as long as possible.

Maybe that's why he bemoaned what little bit of speed was left on the track Saturday night, and why he is pushing his team so hard despite so much success. He knows that everything can spin the other way in a hurry, and that it's time for him to make the most of his chance out front.

"This is something you may never do again in your career," crew chief Rodney Childers said, "where you have fast cars and guys who give you everything they can, and a driver who gives you everything he can. You have to fight each week. If it's eight races you win, if it's 10 races or 12 races you win, that is what your goal should be, no matter what race team you are. You got to keep going."

___

More AP auto racing: https://racing.ap.org

Related slideshow: 2018 NASCAR Cup Series winners (Provided by photo services) 

Kevin Harvick: Clint Bowyer's tire gamble "paid off pretty good"

  Kevin Harvick: Clint Bowyer's tire gamble Kevin Harvick can’t control the weather or untimely cautions caused by fellow competitors. Clint Bowyer was the only driver to take two new tires during the break between Stages 2 and 3 of Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Raceway, with Harvick – with four new tires – lining up alongside him when the final stage went green on Lap 126.Rain had been threatening for most of the day and it seemed like the race – now official after the completion after Stage 2 – could end at any time.

A week after Kurt Busch won the Daytona 500 in the team’s first race with Ford, Kevin Harvick captured the pole for Sunday’s race at Atlanta. The pole is the 18th in Harvick ’s career and his 12 th in three years and two races with Stewart-Haas.

After carefully weighing their options, they decided that Kevin should race in Earnhardt’s stead. During that time, Kevin struggled to win . In fact, he barely made the final 12 in the Chase for the Cup. Kevin Harvick , Racing Milestones.

Even after Kevin Harvick’s first Kentucky top five, team might ‘ramp it back up’ .
Kevin Harvick earned his first top five at Kentucky in eight starts.Kevin Harvick, who entered Saturday’s Quaker Stage 400 with three wins on 1.5-mile tracks this season, placed fifth at a track he admitted is “definitely not my favorite place.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!