Kevin Harvick and Rodney Childers have won three races since NASCAR resumed its season, and there may be a simple answer why.
To start, Childers believes the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team has “the best group” in the garage — from those in the shop down to the pit crew and those on the road. And people, as Childers doesn’t have to explain, are an essential part of any successful race team.
Second, the format NASCAR has adapted under COVID-19 restrictions fits the group Childers has put together. In addition to the three wins, Harvick has seven top-10 finishes in the last 10 races and continues to lead the point standings.
“I will say that I feel like, for the 4 team, it’s an advantage to unload and not have practice and those things,” said Childers. “(The) history of our team has been unloading good and doing a great job at the racetrack (with) details and all that stuff. So, I think some of this since we have (gone) back to racing has been in our hands and our wheelhouse a little bit.
“Obviously, with being able to win three of them and coming close to even more, that part shows,” said Childers. “It’s been a great deal for us so far, and hopefully we can keep it up.”
Only the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte has had a qualifying session. Other than that, NASCAR has been running one-day shows with drivers showing up and racing.
Pocono, however, is hosting two Cup Series races this weekend. After 325 miles Saturday, teams will work on their cars to turn them around for 350 miles Sunday afternoon, and Harvick said after taking the checkered flag, he thought his team could make the No. 4 Ford Mustang a little better.
“I think the experience of our team plays a huge role,” said Harvick. “I think the experience of our organization plays a bigger role. We have a boss who has been through a lot of different situations that the company has had to navigate in order to move things around, change things, do a lot of things when Tony [Stewart] had his accidents. There were those type of situations where we had to put different drivers in the car. It was definitely not easy.
“I think when you look at a company that is able to navigate those types of times, this is a very similar situation with the same group of people. You listen to the things that are happening, the way the shop has to be organized and work, it’s difficult. To be able to take this quality of cars to the racetrack is definitely a huge credit to everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing.”