It took back-to-back victories in the final two races of the season to do it, but Kevin Harvick has added his name to the prestigious list of drivers that are NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions.
Harvick won the Eliminator Round finale at Phoenix International Raceway to become one of the four drivers to compete for the Cup in Sunday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Then, in South Florida, Harvick outdueled Ryan Newman in the final laps to not only win the race but also win the title.
As he explained to NASCAR AMERICA’s Rick Allen on today’s episode, Sunday saw him finally become comfortable after a week filled with obligations that exhausted him. But during the race, he found himself in a situation that he wasn’t expecting.
“I would never have imagined that all [Championship 4] cars would have been that close together, swapping the lead and positions – and there at the end, you have three of the four cars still in it and racing for the win,” he recalled of his battle with Newman, Denny Hamlin, and Joey Logano.
“It was just one of those races that unfolded about as storybook as you could ask for, and in the end, that race wound up being the key to winning the championship.
“I didn’t know that you’d have to do that coming into championship week, and I just think everybody performed at a very high level last night and it turned into a special moment for the sport.”
For more thoughts from Harvick on winning the title in his first year with Stewart-Haas Racing and being able to do it in front of he and his wife Delana’s young son, Keelan, check out the full interview above.