Kevin Harvick scored two victories Sunday at Dover International Speedway.
After winning the first stage of the Drydene 311, Harvick clinched the regular-season championship. Doing so will give the Stewart-Haas Racing driver an additional 15 playoff points when the postseason begins on Sept. 6 at Darlington.
“With Denny [Hamlin] winning yesterday, we needed to win today, and we need all the points we can get,” said Harvick. “I think as you look at these playoffs, you never know what to expect, but I know that as we go week to week, we will give it all we have, and I am just really proud.”
It is the first time Harvick has won the regular-season championship, and he also has set a record in playoff points earned during the regular season. Following a dominating victory at Dover, which included winning both stages, Harvick has 42 playoff points. When the additional 15 are awarded, that will give him at least 57 to begin the postseason. The most a driver had previously earned was 53 by Martin Truex Jr. in the debut season of playoff points.
“The bonus points are really where it’s added up, and that’s come purely by winning races and winning those races on the days we weren’t capable of winning races, putting ourselves in position to grab some stage points,” said Harvick. “Ultimately, in the end, winning the regular-season championship is like winning three races. So, that added on with a bunch of race wins — they have definitely piled up.
“Hopefully, we don’t have to use them. It’d be nice just to win races and get ourselves through (the playoffs), but as we’ve seen in the past, these playoffs can get pretty crazy. People can go on runs, and you can get in trouble in a heartbeat. We just have to go about our business and do the things that we’ve been doing and see where it all falls in the end. I can tell you that using our regular season to gather that many points is definitely something that we’re happy to have to fall back on if we need it.”
Additionally, Harvick has 56 career wins in the NASCAR Cup Series. He is now tied for ninth on the all-time wins list with Kyle Busch.
Harvick is also the 11th driver to lead at least 15,000 laps in their Cup Series career.