This week, four drivers will be eliminated from the NASCAR playoffs as the first round is coming to an end and only 12 drivers will be moving onto the next round. So, pressure is high.
Except for Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., and Kyle Busch, who have already clinched their spots in the Round of 12. So this week’s race on the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway “roval” should be fairly easy.
But, let’s be honest, nothing is easy in the NASCAR playoffs. While there is little to gain, the bottom line is Harvick likes to win. That’s the whole point of being in NASCAR racing.
While there is little to gain at Charlotte, a win would put Harvick in elite company. He is looking for his 49th win in NASCAR’s top series, which would put him past 2013 Hall of Famer Herb Thomas and into a tie with his boss Tony Stewart for 14th on the all-time list.
A win at Charlotte would also give him a victory at every “road course” in NASCAR as he’s already scored victories at both true road courses on the schedule – Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. Busch and Truex are the only other active drivers who have won at The Glen and Sonoma.
The Charlotte roval is a “road course” built within the oval portion for Charlotte Motor Speedway. Think Daytona International Speedway for the IMSA sportscars or Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy cars. Charlotte has only had one race on the roval, but Harvick also has failed to win on the ovals at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
So he could check off another racetrack from his list this weekend.
Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has three wins, 10 top-five finishes and 19 top-10s in 2019. And he’s had two consecutive top-10 finishes to the starts the playoffs.
He’s been freaky fast again in 2019.
And he hopes to be in victory lane Sunday afternoon at Charlotte