Kevin Harvick Right On Time

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has been leading the way nearly the entire NASCAR Sprint Cup season. He leads most statistical category, but trails in the most important category – wins.

The Sprint Cup point leader would like to score his third Sprint Cup win Sunday at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International in the Cheez-It 355k at The Glen. A win would be Harvick’s third of the 2015 season. He scored his first of the year in the season’s third race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and his second the very next week at Phoenix International Raceway.

The Bakersfield, California native scored two Sprint Cup wins within the season’s first four weeks, but it has now been 18 weeks since the No. 4 Chevrolet has made an appearance in victory lane.

Only Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch have more wins in 2015. Harvick, SHR teammate Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth are the only other drivers to win two races. Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards each have one win. In total, the 2015 season has produced 11 different winners through the first 21 Sprint Cup races.  

Harvick is no stranger to victory lane at Watkins Glen. He scored a Sprint Cup victory at Watkin Glen International in 2006, when he started seventh and led 28 of 90 laps and beat current SHR teammate Tony Stewart to the finish line by 0.892 of a second.

Harvick also visited victory lane in the NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Watkins Glen in August 2007. Harvick started from the 11th position, but turned in a dominant performance when he quickly raced his way to the front where he led 49 of 82 laps to beat runner-up Jeff Burton by 3.529 seconds. 

Harvick clinched his spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship playoff field with his eighth-place finish July 11 at Kentucky. Harvick is now guaranteed to finish in the top-30 in driver points after race No. 26 Sept. 12 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. He only needs to attempt to qualify for the remaining five regular-season Sprint Cup events to secure his spot in the Chase.

Twenty-one races into 2015, Harvick has a series-best 14 top-five finishes and 18 top-10s and sits atop the driver standings with 780 points. The No. 4 Chevrolet SS has led a series-high 1,362 laps with an average finish of 8.3. The 1,362 laps led are 641 more than the next-closest competitor – 721 by his SHR teammate Busch.

Harvick has led at least one lap in 17 of 21 Sprint Cup races in 2015, including a streak of 14 in a row from March 1at Atlanta Motor Speedway through June 14 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The staggering number of laps led and the 14 consecutive races with laps led is among numerous other impressive numbers Harvick has compiled this season.

He leads several other statistical categories: 119.6 driver rating, 30 bonus points, 850 fastest laps run, 22.1 percent of fastest laps run, 23.6 percent of laps led, 1,701.3 miles led, 5,207 laps in the top-15, 90.1 percent of laps in the top-15, and average running position of 7.591 in addition to his average finish of 8.3.

While Harvick and the No. 4 team are locked into the Chase field by points and wins, gaining bonus points for additional wins is now their top priority through the next five races starting this weekend at Watkins Glen.

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Speedway Digest Staff

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