Same script for Kevin Harvick yet again: Strong start, strong car, not so strong finish


Kevin Harvick has become NASCAR’s version of Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day.

No matter what he tries or does, Harvick just keeps getting the same outcome: bad luck and misfortune.

It’s like a broken record, second verse same as the first.

What began as a day that promised the potential of finally breaking his run of frustration ended with a not-so-promising finish.

For the second time in as many races and for the fourth time in the last seven, Harvick started Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway from the pole.

As he typically has done, he had a great start and was headed for what appeared to be a great run.

And also as he’s looked probably close to a dozen or more times thus far in the 2014 campaign, Harvick appeared to have the fastest car and the one to beat.

But by the time the checkered flag came around Sunday afternoon, Harvick was nowhere to be found near victory lane.

Once again, the bad luck that has plagued him throughout the season struck again, relegating him to a disappointing 12th-place finish.

Harvick has had a spate of issues this season, mostly pit crew errors that ultimately led to a swap of pit crews with Tony Stewart’s team before the Chase began.

Yet as old-time radio disc jockeys used to say, “the hits just keep on comin'” for Harvick.

This time, on Lap 215 of the 267-lap event on the 1.5-mile layout, Harvick came onto pit road with what appeared to be a right front tire issue.

Or so he thought.

“I thought I had a flat tire and pitted just because you see all the trouble that’s going on,” Harvick said to ESPN about the number of his fellow drivers that had tire problems in the race.

As it turned out, it was not a flat tire but simply a handling problem.

“We missed it a little bit on the handling today,” Harvick said. “We qualified well and had good track position that saved us at the beginning of the race.

“But when I thought I had a flat, it got us behind.”

You could tell the disappointment from Harvick by the look on his face and the terseness in his voice.

When asked what it was that made him believe he had a flat, Harvick simply said “Didn’t turn” and walked away.

Sure, having one crazy thing after another seemingly every race can drive a race car driver batty.

But sooner or later the law of averages is bound to turn around for Harvick, who is now sixth in the Chase standings, 15 points behind new series leader Joey Logano.

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Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

More SuperMotocross coverage

How to Watch Seattle Supercross
Dylan Ferrandis may return before SX finale
SMX develops “Leader Lights”
Power Rankings after Detroit
Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan
Results and points after Detroit
Chase Sexton wins in Detroit, penalized seven points