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Statistically Speaking

4. Kevin Harvick

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Drivers learn from one another. Kevin Harvick watched Jimmie Johnson become the most successful driver in terms of championship wins and found a way to replicate his efforts. While that did not give Harvick the top spot last year, it did make him one of the best values in the final month of the season.

Harvick got off to a relatively slow start with only two top-10s and no top-fives in his first six efforts. It seemed that he was going to need a victory in order to be playoff eligible, but there were signs of strength that astute fantasy owners saw.

Two of Harvick’s worst results came as with crash damage at Daytona International Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Otherwise, he finished on the lead lap in every event at the start of the season. And one thing we are fond of saying is that a key to success is to be around at the end of the day in order to capitalize on others’ mistakes.

Come Texas Motor Speedway and the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, that is exactly what he did. Harvick ran with the leaders all day and finished fourth from the pole. His next two starts also ended in top-fives on a pair of short tracks: Bristol Motor Speedway and Richmond International Raceway. In fact, he had a seven-race streak of top-10s on unrestricted tracks at that stage and climbed comfortably in the points.

With so many unique winners at the beginning of 2017, no one felt safe, however, and Harvick scored his first victory of the season at Sonoma Raceway just before the halfway point. He wrecked at Daytona the following week, and then scored four more top-10s in a row.

After that, he got a little inconsistent again, but there is a strong likelihood that he was bidding his time and testing for the playoffs. That almost bit him because Harvick entered the playoffs with no top-fives in his last five races. He finished third at Chicagoland Speedway to start the final 10 races, but he crashed at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and finished 17th at Dover International Speedway. He was lucky that four other playoff contenders had a worse time of it during those events.

Harvick found his groove in the Bank of America 500 with a third-place finish. Another wreck at Talladega SuperSpeedway makes him an iffy proposition on plate tracks, but he was back on target with an eighth at Kansas Speedway and then four straight top-fives. Recently the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway has become a winner-take-all proposition, so his fourth in that event kept him from winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup trophy, but it did not keep him from being a place-and-hold driver in fantasy games.

There is no reason to believe that Harvick will not carry his momentum into 2018. Stewart-Haas Racing has added Aric Almirola to their lineup and his experience will trump Danica Patrick’s. The sum is going to be greater than the parts. And with Harvick as the lead driver, he is going to challenge for the Cup once more.

2017 Victories: Sonoma, Texas (fall)
Average Finish: 11.08
Top-fives: 14 (.389)
Top-10s: 23 (.639)
Top-15s: 27 (.750)

 

Track

3-Yr
Avg.
Fin

Career
Avg.
Fin

Career
Attempts

Career
Top-5s

Career
Top-10s

Race 1

Race 2

Homestead - Miami Speedway

3.00

5.87

15

9

14

4

 

Phoenix International Raceway *

3.17

9.73

30

14

19

6

5

Sonoma Raceway

3.67

13.76

17

5

8

1

 

Texas Motor Speedway +

4.33

11.37

30

8

18

4

1

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

5.00

9.71

17

5

11

6

 

Kansas Speedway *

5.33

10.04

24

7

13

3

8

Darlington Raceway

5.33

15.33

21

6

10

9

 

Auto Club Speedway

5.67

15.04

24

6

11

13

 

Atlanta Motor Speedway

5.67

17.30

27

6

12

9

 

Richmond International Raceway

7.67

10.44

34

12

21

5

15

Kentucky Speedway

8.67

10.00

7

 

5

9

 

Bristol Motor Speedway *

9.83

13.44

34

12

17

3

8

Pocono Raceway +

10.17

12.97

34

10

15

2

2

Charlotte Motor Speedway *

10.33

14.82

34

8

16

8

3

Michigan International Speedway

11.33

12.71

34

10

15

14

13

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

11.67

13.50

34

10

18

5

36

Martinsville Speedway

13.00

15.82

33

4

15

20

5

Dover Downs International

13.50

14.88

34

5

15

9

17

Talladega Superspeedway

14.67

15.44

34

6

14

23

20

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

15.33

14.82

17

4

7

38

 

Watkins Glen International

17.33

13.47

17

3

8

17

 

Daytona International Speedway

17.33

16.82

33

9

14

22

33

Chicagoland Speedway

21.67

11.71

17

9

10

3

 

 

+ Top-five sweeps
* Top-10 sweeps

2018 Top-25 Fantasy Values

5. Busch, Kyle 
6. Logano, Joey 
7. Hamlin, Denny 
8. Keselowski, Brad 
9. Blaney, Ryan 
10. Jones, Erik 
11. Johnson, Jimmie 
12. McMurray, Jamie 
13. Bowyer, Clint 
14. Suarez, Daniel 
15. Newman, Ryan 
16. Busch, Kurt 
17. Almirola, Aric 
18. Dillon, Austin 
19. Stenhouse Jr., Ricky 
20. Menard, Paul 
21. Bayne, Trevor 
22. Dillon, Ty 
23. Buescher, Chris 
24. Allmendinger, AJ 
25. Kahne, Kasey 

Rookie Watch

Wallace Jr., Darrell 
Byron, William 

Previous Kevin Harvick Profiles

2017
 
2016 
2015

Dan Beaver
Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.