NASCAR: Kevin Harvick Recently Matched Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt on One Achievement

by Suzanne Halliburton
nascar-kevin-harvick-recently-matched-richard-petty-dale-earnhardt-on-one-achievement
Logan Riely/Getty Images

Maybe Kevin Harvick shrugs off a record he just tied that highlights his amazing racing longevity. But the NASCAR community certainly appreciates it.

Did you hear that Harvick placed sixth in Sunday’s Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway? It was his second top 10 finish of the season. And he’s now 11th in Cup standings.

But here’s why the Kevin Harvick placement in Phoenix was significant. He’s now registered 18 straight top 10 finishes at Phoenix. That streak dates back to November, 2013. It ties an all-time record for consecutive top 10 finishes of any driver at any track.

Wow. Check Out the NASCAR Drivers Kevin Harvick Tied

So who did Kevin Harvick tie? Hint, he matched the exploits of two big drivers -Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty. And those two legends accomplished 18 straight top 10s at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina. The track, with its .625-mile oval, no longer is open, but NASCAR raced there from 1949 through 1996.

The average placement for Kevin Harvick at Phoenix is 3.94. He’s won races there six times, including four in a row from 2013-15. His lowest finish in the streak is ninth,

Petty pulled off his streak in North Carolina from September 1968 to March 1977. He posted 10 victories during the stretch and dropped no lower than seventh. His average finish was a stunning 1.89. Yes, that’s called dominating a track.

Meanwhile, Earnhardt conquered the same track from October 1983 to April 1992. His streak included four victories with an average placement of 4.22. So by placement, sandwich Kevin Harvick between Petty and Earnhardt. Before Sunday, he’d been tied with Jimmie Johnson for consecutive top 10s at the same track. Johnson did 17 straight at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia from October 2002 to October 2010. During this time, he won six races with an average placement of 3.59.

And Kevin Harvick has a chance to break the three-way tie. His next race in Phoenix is the NASCAR finale, Nov. 6. You can check out the rest of the drivers here.

Logan Riely/Getty Images

Earlier in the NASCAR week, Harvick talked about racing the new Next-Gen cars.

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

“These first five weeks of the season … we’ve had a mindset of survival,” he said. “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.”

Harvick said there’s still so many aspects to learn about the car. “There’s just going to be mistakes because the pit stops are different,” he said. “The way you shift these cars is different, they race different, so there are just a lot of things to learn.”

Outsider.com