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.
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.