Those who are already tired of seeing Kevin Harvick in victory lane won’t be happy to hear how Harvick is looking at the streak he’s been on.
“Now it feels like a game,” Harvick said after winning at Kansas Speedway.
Saturday night was Harvick’s second consecutive win after claiming Dover last weekend. And before Dover, Harvick had won three of the season’s first four races.
“It really does [feel like a game] because of the fact that you want to see how many races you can win,” Harvick said. “You want to see how many laps you can lead. We know that we’re riding a momentum wave that is hard to come by and you need to capitalize on it as many times as you can because it may never come again. I’ve never had it in my career and I’ve been doing this for 18 years.
“These moments are not something that happen very often and now you need to go put every detail into a car like you’re racing for a championship race at Homestead every week, because it just has that special feel to it.”
Three of the four SHR cars finished in the top 10 at Kansas. The outlier was Clint Bowyer, who was wrecked while inside the top 10 with 15 laps to go.
“It’s just a good time to be at SHR,” said Harvick. “They’re doing a great job putting fast race cars on the track, but I think when you look at a night like tonight, it really shows the experience of the team because I feel like this is the kind of cars that we had in 2014, but we had a lot of parts failures. We were all-new. We made a lot of mistakes and just didn’t really know how to deal with it like we do now.”
“It’s addicting. Now it’s a game.”
Harvick and crew chief Rodney Childers (pictured above, with Harvick) might be third in points but they have already racked up 24 playoff points and six stage wins. Paired together in 2014 when they both joined SHR, the duo captured the championship that first season after winning five races.
Harvick has won multiple races every season since. But it was not until this year had he ever, either at SHR or back when he drove for Richard Childress Racing, won three straight races. The Kansas victory now ties Harvick’s single-season career high (once again he already has five wins) and there are still 24 point races to go.
Harvick has 42 career Cup Series wins in 622 starts.
“We talked about this this week – it’s something that you may never do again in your career and while you have fast cars and while you have momentum and while you have a group of guys that gives it everything they have and a driver that gives it everything he can, you have to just fight every week and give it everything you’ve got,” said Childers.
“If it’s eight races you win, if it’s 10 races you win, if it’s 12 races you win, the reason that we all are here is because of watching people like Jeff Gordon and [crew chief] Ray Evernham win 12 races a year. And that’s what your goal should be no matter what race team you are. You’ve got to keep going.”
Some recent single-season win marks include Martin Truex Jr. winning eight races on his way to the championship last season and Kyle Busch doing the same in 2008. Jimmie Johnson won 10 races in 2007 and Jeff Gordon also won 10 in 1997. And in 1998, Gordon won an incredible 13 races.