Sprint Cup Driver Review: Kevin Harvick

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After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, my colleague Tony DiZinno and I are now going to start taking a look back on how each of the 13 Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders fared this past year.

Finishing third in the championship in his last go-round at Richard Childress Racing, Kevin Harvick…

KEVIN HARVICK
No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
2013 Stats: Third Place, Four Wins, Nine Top-5s, 21 Top-10s, 269 Laps Led
Average Start: 15.3
Average Finish: 11.2
DNFs: 2

Estrada Says: In his final season with Richard Childress Racing, Harvick’s consistency helped put him in position to contend for a Cup championship. From Darlington to New Hampshire in July, Harvick racked up nine consecutive Top-10s (one of which was a win in the Coca-Cola 600) and was able to avoid too many poor results in the remainder of the regular season to make the Chase comfortably. He then had a strong post-season, overcoming the controversy from his comments toward Childress’ grandsons, Ty and Austin Dillon, following the Martinsville Camping World Truck Series race. All in all, four wins and another Top-3 finish in the standings wasn’t a bad way to go out at RCR. Next stop: Stewart-Haas Racing.

DiZinno Says: I was impressed by Harvick’s dedication throughout the year and the consistent championship challenge as my colleague Chris notes above. Considering he knew the end was near for him at RCR, it would have been easy for him to “mail it in” but instead was the only reliable contender from the Childress stable, as Jeff Burton and Paul Menard had down years. His four wins came on three different sizes of ovals – 0.75-miles at Richmond, two 1.5-milers at Charlotte and Kansas, and the 1-miler at Phoenix- an impressive feat. Even more than Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch, it’s Harvick, the one driver without a Cup title thus far of that trio, who will probably pose Stewart-Haas’ most consistent title threat in 2014 if he clicks with his new squad.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.