NASCAR: Kevin Harvick Has ‘Survival’ Mindset Through First Five Weeks of Season

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The beginning of each NASCAR season isn’t all trophies and autographs – for drivers like Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing, those first five weeks can actually be pretty grueling.

Don’t get him wrong – Harvick, like all NASCAR drivers, is grateful for every opportunity to show what he can do on the track. But that doesn’t mean the job doesn’t come with hard work. Kicking off the season is the L.A. Coliseum in early February. Then, two weeks later, Harvick has the Daytona 500. And after that, there are three more races on the West Coast ending with the Phoenix Raceway. There, the drivers are traveling nonstop, swapping out cars and hoping they have all the parts they need. Of course, a huge component of their first performances is how well the drivers can handle the new Next Gen car.

“The situation is manageable because we have to manage it,” Harvick said, according to Racer.

“These first five weeks of the season, including the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, we’ve had a mindset of survival,” the NASCAR racer continued. “We’re learning a lot about these race cars in regard to wear and tear on the parts and pieces, how to fix things, how well you can fix things and the tendencies of the car. I think finding the limits of the car and learning about the car from a driver’s standpoint, that’s why you’re seeing accidents.”

NASCAR Racer Kevin Harvick Explains How Start of Season Can Be Difficult

So far, Harvick sits in 16th place in the standing and completed 665 of 675 laps in the first three races in the season. In Daytona, he averaged a running position of 14th. Meanwhile, in Vegas, he was up in 12th place.

“There’s just going to be mistakes because the pit stops are different, the way you shift these cars is different, they race different, so there are just a lot of things to learn. Keeping the cars together — and keeping yourself in a position to have solid finishes — is going to put you in position to where, if you can bring everything home and have made all the laps in the first four points races, you can come home and work on your cars and be in a good position to start the rest of the season on the East Coast.”

There’s still a lot of work for him to do, but the NASCAR driver has a positive outlook on the season and the upcoming events.

He concluded,“…just like last year, there are going to be weeks this year where the car is just not going to be very good, and you have to figure it out and grind it out. Those things just come with time.”