10 Days 'Til Daytona - Today's Featured Driver: Kevin Harvick

In case you missed it, StatChat is counting down the days ‘til the 2021 Daytona 500.  Every two days, we will have a new article featuring one of the Top 30 Drivers of 2020. 

 

5th Place – Kevin Harvick – 2410 pts

 

By the Numbers:

 

13 Years – Not only was 2020 Kevin Harvick’s best season, it was the best season any driver has had for 13 years.  With his 7.33 average finish (Nearly two whole spots better than Denny Hamlin, who came in 2nd in that category this year), Harvick made history.  Strangely enough, the last time something like this happened was in 2007, when Jeff Gordon scored an identical 7.33 average finish.  Even stranger still, just like Harvick, Gordon didn’t win the championship that year, either.

 

20 Top 5s – Kevin Harvick’s 2020 numbers are insane.  He scored 20 Top 5s, which is more than Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon and William Byron have in their entire careers. 

 

33 Lead Lap Finishes – Not only was Kevin Harvick the only driver to not have a single DNF (Did Not Finish) in 2020, he also finished on the lead lap 33 times.  At each of Martinsville 1, Homestead, and Texas 2, he finished just a single lap down.  This means that Kevin Harvick finished the entire season completing all but 3 laps.

  

9 Wins in 2020 – With over 58% of races being won by just three drivers (Harvick, Denny Hamlin and eventual winner Chase Elliott), Kevin Harvick had the most of 2020 with 9.  The last time a driver won 9 races in a single season was when Carl Edwards did it in 2008.  Since then, 4 drivers (including Harvick once in 2018) managed to score 8 wins in a single season, but 9 is much more rare.

 

3 Starts – Near the beginning of his career, it only took Kevin Harvick 3 starts to earn his first ever win in the NASCAR Cup Series, in a season he wasn’t even planning to run in the first place.  With the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt at the 2001 Daytona 500, Harvick (who had planned on running the full season one tier down in what was then called the Busch Series) was tapped by Richard Childress Racing to take over the car.  In his 3rd start, he scored his first ever win at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

 

It may be difficult to have a better year in 2021, but Kevin Harvick will get the chance when he returns to Stewart-Haas Racing in the No. 4 Ford.  At 45, Harvick will be the oldest driver in the field, some 24 years older than 2021 Rookie of the Year contender Anthony Alfredo.

 

Coming up in two days – Denny Hamlin

 

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