NASCAR’s Kevin Harvick Weighs In on Season and Challenges He Faces Moving Forward

by TK Sanders
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick started slow this season, and with the Martinsville short track upcoming, the star may face another week of difficulty. Harvick, 46, went winless in his 21st season as a Cup Series driver last year, and hasn’t fared much better this year. His best finish came last week at Richmond where he finished second behind fellow veteran Denny Hamlin.

The Hamlin win snapped a 12-race streak dating to last season of race winners aged 30 or younger. The 1-2 podium finish with Hamlin and Harvick helped show fans that the NASCAR veterans still have plenty in the tank, but things just aren’t coming easy for the older guys.

Harvick said he still enjoys the challenge of driving and wants to stick it out with his current team, according to the Associated Press.

“I like where I race. I like Stewart-Haas Racing, the atmosphere. And I like the people,” Harvick said. “That’s really the biggest reason that I like to do it, especially this year. You’re with a group of people where you’re constantly problem solving. You’re trying to fix it faster than everybody else and come to something that is better than everybody else so you can win races.

“I like the core group of guys that I started here with. That’s why they all came here, and I guess I would feel like I’m abandoning them if I didn’t go a couple more years. For me, I still enjoy that challenge. I enjoy where this series is, and learning about the new car is not a bad thing to do as you go forward into the future and do something different.”

Kevin Harvick expects better NASCAR results moving forward with more Next Gen repetitions

Harvick won the Cup Series championship in 2014, though those days seem long ago now. The Next Gen car changed the playing field for all competitors; and so far, the changes probably lend themselves more to young guys without much experience racing the older models. Less knowledge means less to forget and relearn, after all.

Harvick said he and his team still need to break some old habits. He also said that crew chief Rodney Childers expected early growing pains and worked hard during the offseason to prepare.

“We’ve put in a lot of time this year; the NASCAR simulator, we’ve been to two tests so far,” Harvick said. “We knew coming into this year that we had some habits we were going to have to break, thought processes that you were going to have to break, to really understand this car, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that with all the adversity we’ve gone through so far this year.

“Martinsville will just be more of that same process, and that’s going to be our aggressive process until we get to victory lane.”