Tag Archives: Kevin Harvick

Win and Advance in the Chase, Win Again and Eliminate a Chaser

Martin Truex Jr. was caught a lap down at Chicagoland Speedway. He was fast, so fast that he all but unlapped himself. Fast forward to this past week at Dover International Speedway and Martin Truex Jr. was real fast. He was so fast that he almost lapped the field. When he won there were only six cars on the lead lap. Truex has now won two of the three races in the Round of 16 of the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Wining one race automatically advances you to the next round of the Chase. Winning another race may keep another competitor who may have needed to win from advancing. In this case it did not since Kyle Busch already had enough points to advance. It does get one to question what could be done with multiple wins in the Chase. Can there be a way to encourage and reward it.

Here is an idea. What if drivers win multiple races in the Chase and an extra driver is eliminated from the Chase in each round of a multiple win. For instance this round Martin Truex Jr. won two races in the first round. The next round of the Chase is the Round of 12. Since he won an additional race then the next round could have only 11 drivers; 16 drivers minus the scheduled 4 plus an extra one.

Kevin Harvick won the second race of the Round of 16. If he should win another race in the Round of 12 then another driver would be eliminated for the Round of 8 such that there would only be 7 drivers in that round.

Extrapolating out if Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. should happen to win three races in the Round of 12 then there would only be 5 drivers in the Round of 8.  If this pattern continues then Harvick and Truex would be left to fight it out at Homestead Miami Speedway.

If Truex were to win all three races of the round of 8 then he would win the Championship prior to Homestead Miami Speedway.

Think about it. Right now you win to guarantee to advance in a round but you race to maintain your position in the standings to advance. This format throws some Offense into the game. Win and advance. Win again to eliminate your competition. This just ramps it up to a whole new level.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 321972 Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images

Does Anyone Have Anything for Superman at Martinsville?

Jimmie Johnson has as perfect a driver rating at Martinsville Speedway as a driver can have of 118.4.  This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to action from the Easter break. Does anyone have anything for Jimmie Johnson?

To reiterate a perfect driver rating is 150. The only way a driver can have a perfect rating is if they lead all the laps and win the race. It is impossible for a driver after many races, in this case 22 races to have a perfect rating. A dominating driver will have a rating of 120. Johnson is almost there.

If it was up to me we would race at Martinsville more than two times a year, it’s a special place for me, and my Lowe’s team.” Johnson added, “I had a great weekend off with the family, we are still so excited to have won California and heading to one of my favorite tracks. I’m ready to get back behind the wheel.

Martinsville is one of the hardest tracks in NASCAR. That is what makes Johnson’s driver rating so impressive. There is hope though.

Denny Hamlin, the winner of this race last year, also has an impressive driver rating of 110. Of active drivers Hamlin is second only to Johnson in wins with five to his eight.  Jimmie Johnson has not won this race since the spring of 2013.

I think it will be another fight this weekend to get the win at Martinsville. We have had a lot of success over the years at that track and seem to battle the same guys each year for the win.” Hamlin added, “Jimmie (Johnson) is obviously strong there and our teammates will be tough to beat. Friday’s qualifying is big in terms of getting a good pit stall and on Sunday it’s important to have a mistake-free race. Any sort of issue or penalty can get you a couple laps down in a hurry and spoil a good day. I believe our FedEx Camry will be up front competing for another win.

As Denny Hamlin noted it is important to have a mistake-free race. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick will be there to pounce and scoop up the win. Last year Joey Logano and his teammate Brad Keselowski worked well together but just couldn’t get it done in spite of leading many laps between them in both races. They will also be a factor. If any of these drivers can qualify up front and race mistake free they will have something for Johnson or Hamlin.

If you cannot get to Martinsville Speedway for the STP 500 it will be broadcast live on FS1 Sunday April 3rd, 2016 at 1 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 318109 Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images

Driver Rating
Martinsville Speedway
STP 500
Provided by NASCAR Statistics Stats Represent Points Races From 2005-Present
Rank Car Driver Team Avg. Finish High Rating Avg. Rating
1 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s 6.9 149.1 118.4
2 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground 8.1 141.1 110.6
3 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Nationwide 11.9 133.1 99.4
4 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s 75 15.1 133.4 96.5
5 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John’s 14.7 129 94.6
6 15 Clint Bowyer Aaron???s 13.7 127.9 92.5
7 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil 14.9 121.9 89.7
8 2 Brad Keselowski AutoTrader 15.5 114.9 87.8
9 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald???s 16.8 114.4 86.9
10 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar 14.5 109.6 86.5
11 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General 13.9 134.6 85.9
12 19 Carl Edwards Arris 15.5 121.1 81.5
13 41 Kurt Busch Monster Energy / Haas 21.2 115.8 80.2
14 14 Brian Vickers Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 19.2 112.4 79.4
15 5 Kasey Kahne Panasonic 20.5 112.8 77.5

A NASCAR Storybook Ending – Kyle Busch

It is finally upon us, the season ending NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead Miami Speedway where a new Champion will be crowned. This is the second year for the still new Championship format where four drivers will race each other to see who wins.  Each of the four contenders can write their own personal story to end the 2015 NASCAR history book.

Kyle Busch is not supposed to be in the Championship. He missed eleven races of the regular season and without a waiver from NASCAR would not be in contention to win the Championship at Homestead Miami Speedway. Unfortunately for many NASCAR fans if Busch wins this will be the Story even though it shouldn’t be.

It was tough to be at home and laying in bed and whatever and watching other guys race my race car first of all, but I can’t say enough about Adam Stevens (crew chief) and the teamwork and everything that went through this season of being able to keep everyone together and keep everyone focused and motivated for my return to get back in that car.” Busch added, “Since then, to go on and win some of these races and to get ourselves Chase eligible and with the rules the way the rules are, it was fortunate for us to be in this position and I feel really good about things. Can’t say enough about the M&M’s Crispy Camry tonight, we did what we needed to do and I felt like we finished fourth, which was about where we should have – maybe third, we could have run third. Overall, just did what we needed to do tonight, looking forward to next week.

Make no mistake about it. Kyle Busch came back from his injury, put on a show on his way to racing the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry into the top 30 in points so he could use his waiver. In reality he raced his way up to 20th in points wining four races along the way. With 11 top five finishes in only 24 races his season was incredible.

Fred Lorenzen is in the NASCAR Hall of Fame for his incredible seasons running less than all the races. It’s a different time but there are similarities to Kyle Busch’s season.

If Kyle Busch can win the Championship after missing eleven races in the season it will be one for the record books. His record in his shortened season was incredible. To cap that off with a Championship will truly be a Storybook finish.

If you cannot get to Homestead Miami Speedway for the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday November 22nd it will be broadcast live on NBC at 3 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 314252 Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A NASCAR Storybook Ending – Martin Truex Jr.

It is finally upon us, the season ending NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead Miami Speedway where a new Champion will be crowned. This is the second year for the still new Championship format where four drivers will race each other to see who wins.  Each of the four contenders can write their own personal story to end the 2015 NASCAR history book.

Martin Truex Jr. drives for the single car team of Furniture Row Racing. It has been rare in NASCAR for a single car team to compete with the huge multi car teams little alone challenge for a Championship. Truex and his no. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet have been right there winning races and challenging them the entire season.

Truex said, “We have kind of overcome a lot of odds, and just proud to be part of this group and looking forward to having the opportunity to do something that we’ve all dreamed about our whole lives next weekend.

No single car team has won a Championship since 1992 when Alan Kulwicki wrote his name into the NASCAR history book. Kulwicki’s Championship is one of the most memorable and talked about Championships for NASCAR fans.  If Martin Truex Jr. should be able to prevail his would be right there with Kulwicki’s and be popular with all NASCAR fans.

If you cannot get to Homestead Miami Speedway for the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday November 22nd it will be broadcast live on NBC at 3 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)

A NASCAR Storybook Ending – Kevin Harvick

It is finally upon us, the season ending NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead Miami Speedway where a new Champion will be crowned. This is the second year for the still new Championship format where four drivers will race each other to see who wins.  Each of the four contenders can write their own personal story to end the 2015 NASCAR history book.

Last year Kevin Harvick won the Championship with his own Storybook ending by wining with a brand new team in the first season of competition together. Considering that it was also the first year for the new Chase format; Harvick and his No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet team had a lot of obstacles to get through.

When asked about going to Homestead Miami Speedway again to repeat Harvick said, “I mean, you just go down there and race.  Last year I got to experience that all for the first time.  It’s definitely, definitely different.  It’s definitely ‑‑ there’s a lot more to think about.  There’s a lot more to do.  There’s a lot more things to manage.  I feel like the playbook worked okay last year, so we’ll just try that again.

This year Harvick picked up right where he left off last year and dominated the entire season. In the Championship playoffs he did show that he could be beat. He was able to win when he needed to and put together some great finishes in order to hang on and make it to the finale.

Harvick said, “I think it’s definitely been a Chase that’s been a little bit up and down for us, but the guys have battled through, and we’ve survived a lot of situations to be in contention for next week.

The Closer, as Harvick has been called, is in the last race and in contention. If he can live up to his nickname he will write another Storybook Ending for the NASCAR history book.

If you cannot get to Homestead Miami Speedway for the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday November 22nd it will be broadcast live on NBC at 3 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 314246 Chris Trotman/Getty Images