Harvick is closing in

NKP

At the very least, Kevin Harvick is keeping the competition honest. The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford has answered his dominating win-from-pole in the Indianapolis regular season finale with three top 10s in the opening round of the Playoffs.

Harvick was runner-up to Truex at the Las Vegas opener, seventh at Richmond and a third at the Charlotte ROVAL during the weekend. His 4.0 average finish exceeded only by Martin Truex Jr., who won the first two Playoff races and has a 3.0 average finish.

Since his first win this season at New Hampshire, Harvick has nine top-10 finishes in 10 races. He won at New Hampshire, Michigan-2 and Indianapolis and finished runner-up at the Vegas Playoff opener. The only finish worse than seventh in that time is a season-worst 39th at Bristol Motor Speedway when his car suffered an early race mechanical issue.

His work at the ROVAL last weekend was Harvick’s 20th top 10 of the season and marks the seventh consecutive season he has earned at least 20 top-10 finishes on the 36-race schedule.

The “Monster Mile” has been a strong mark on Harvick’s resume, particular since he switched to his current Stewart-Haas Racing team in 2014. He earned his first Monster Energy Series win there in Oct. 2015 leading a dominating 355 of the 400 laps. He won again in May 2018, leading 201 laps and taking a class-of-the-field 7.450-second win over SHR teammate Clint Bowyer.

Harvick has seven top five and 18 top 10 finishes at Dover, with two victories and a pole position. He’s led 1,443 laps – one of only three drivers to top 1,000-laps led at the track. Jimmie Johnson’s 3,109 laps is most. Kyle Busch (1,210) is the only other active driver to top the 1,000-laps led mark.

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