Crunching The Numbers: Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick – #4 Stewart-Haas Budweiser/Jimmy Johns Chevrolet

Harvick 3

Keelan Harvick knows what’s up with this Chase thing!

Standings: 2nd

Points: 1,320

Bonus Points: 48

  • 26.67% of total possible bonus points

Starts: 36
Wins: 3
Poles: 2
DNFs: 1
Top 5s: 23
Top 10s: 28
Top 15s: 30

KH1

Best Finish: 1st – 3 Times

  • Race 3: Kobalt Tools 400 – Las Vegas
  • Race 4: Campingworld.com 500 – Phoenix
  • Race 29: AAA 400 – Dover

Best Start: 1st – 2 Times

  • Race 4: Campingworld.com 500 – Phoenix
  • Race 27: Myafibrisk.com 400 – Chicagoland

Average Finish: 8.67 (Best)

Average Start: 8.36 (3rd best)

 

Laps Run: 10,180 (14th most)

  • 97.65% of total possible season laps

Miles Driven: 13,357 (15th most)

  • 96.63% of total possible miles

Laps Led: 2,294 (Best)

  • 22.00% of total possible season laps

 

Kevin Harvick's Finishes

Kevin Harvick’s Finishes

Harvick 4

“Win or lose I can always say I was a part of his last race!! #ThanksJeff”

Many might argue that Kevin Harvick should really be the 2016 NASCAR Spring Cup Champion, and the numbers back that up completely. With 3 victories, the most top 5 finishes and tied for first with the most top 10 and top 15 finishes. He had the best average finish, and if we eliminate the outlier  finishes, in this case anything beyond a 17th place finish, his average finish drops even further to 4.52. He may have had only 3 victories, but he racked up a whopping 13 2nd place finishes! Just imagine if he was able to capitalize on most of those. He led the most laps as well, which means he had an incredibly strong season and was always up front. It is true that Harvick was dominate all season long, and it got going from the very beginning.

In the first 5 races of the season, Havick’s average finish was 1.6, thanks to 2 victories and 3 2nd place finishes. What other driver could say they have ever done that? Off the top of my head, not many. The 6th race was his worst to date, only an 8th place finish, but then came back with another 2nd place finish. All these 2nd place finishes really helped Harvick rack up the bonus points, which was another category in which he was the best driver. It is virtually impossible not to start at the numbers Harvick put up this season and be beyond impressed; they are quite possibly some of his best numbers in a season in his career. His first season at Stewart-Haas Racing produced a Championship, and that just does not happen, and then he followed it up wither another bang out season and finishing 2nd in the points standings. His worst finish was 42nd, and that occurred twice this season, with only one of those resulting in a DNF; the other time it was during the Challenger Round of the Chase and he had a huge hill to climb to keep his championship hopes alive. With his regular season average finish of a solid 7.44, he was poised for many more top 5 and top 10 finishes just like his entire season.

Entering the Challenger Round, Harvick found himself in one of the worst possible places – a 42nd place finish. In order to be successful in this Chase era, finishes like that mean you can stick a fork in that driver; only a victory can save them at that point. Luckily, there were 2 races left in the Challenger Round for Harvick to make it happen. Loudon produced a better finish, but not the victory he needed. Entering Dover, all eyes were on Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch as they are the most dominate drivers at that track, so Harvick needed a miracle. A miracle came in the way that Johnson had issues and found himself in a pickle, and Harvick capitalized on the 48 team’s misfortunes and was able to find victory lane in dominate fashion, moving him to the Contender Round. While his average finish in the Challenger Round was the worst of all 16 drivers, 21.33, the victory sent him on. The Contender Round got off to a much better start, with a 2nd place finish. Rounding out the round with an average finish of 11 was just enough to sneak him into the Eliminator Round. Thus far, Harvick’s Chase has not been as powerful as the regular season, but he is still hanging on.

The Eliminator Round is where Kevin Harvick could not afford any mishaps because the other 7 drivers have been basically flawless and a bad finish would really make it a challenge to bounce back. But Harvick need not worry as top 10 finishes during the round gave him the best average finish of the Chasers and earned himself a spot in the Final 4 at Homestead, a race that he won last year and was crowned the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion. Give him that opportunity again and you can bet he will have everything set up to capitalize on the competition and pull into victory lane again and earn double trophies.

Of the 4 drivers left, Harvick boasted the best average finish at Homestead, which makes him the favorite. Along with his dominate season, the odds were in his favor of winning a 2nd title, and just one year after he got his first one. No bonus points were on the line this time; it was all about who could finish the best of the 4 remaining drivers. With all the stats on his side, Harvick was feeling pretty good. But with Harvick were 3 other drivers who all had great stories that would love to have the story book ending; from the retiring veteran, to the dark horse all season long, and the come back kid of the season, none of these drivers were going to lay back, and Harvick knew that. He had a very strong car, being up from all race long and leading laps. However, he fell just 1 position short of a 2nd year of glory. Normally a 2nd place finish would be reason to jump for joy, but when the guy who finished 1st was a guy you were battling with for the Championship, that 2nd place finish might as well have been a 42nd place finish. None the less, Harvick’s season was incredible beyond words and they have everything to be proud of. With his overall numbers and Chase average of 11.20, he has nothing to be disappointed in. He has proven himself the number 1 driver at Stewart-Haas Racing and just dominated the field, including his teammate. His finishes at the different types of tracks this season just show how incredibly strong he was everywhere he went. A little work could be done on their Super Speedway program, and if they can adjust that program, Kevin Harvick will once again be the driver to look out for in 2016.

Kevin Harvick's Finishes By Track Type

Kevin Harvick’s Finishes By Track Type

 

Type Starts Avg. Finish Avg. Start Wins Top 5s Top 10s Top 15s DNF
Intermediate 14 8.43 7.07 1 9 11 11 0
Restrictor Plate 4 7.25 19.00 0 2 3 4 0
Road Course 2 3.50 10.50 0 2 2 2 0
Short Track 10 7.80 8.10 2 6 8 9 0
Super Speedway 6 13.33 4.00 0 4 4 4 1

 

The best driver on the track this season, no doubt about it. 44.44% of his season results in a front row finish while 55.56% of the season resulted in a podium finish. This entire team has everything running on all cylinders and I do not see them slowing down any time soon. Harvick is hitting his peak right now, and who knows how far he will be riding this high, but I know it will be there in 2016. Congratulations to Kevin Harvick and the entire #4 crew on the best season in the garage area and I cannot wait to see what they have up their sleeves for 2016.

Ashley Hobbs

I was born on the 9th of March in a year which you need not know. I was born and raised in the great state of New Jersey, but I now reside in Florida. Here is a bit about myself:

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I hope you enjoy my segment, Crunching the Numbers, and getting insights into each weekend's NASCAR race!

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