Harvick Looking To Close Deal On More Than Just Races

Charlotte, NC (April 4, 2011) – Kevin Harvick has won the last two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and suddenly he’s the greatest closer in the history of stock car racing?

Chalk it up to another outbreak of uber-hyperbole that seems to populate media and marketing claims about everything these days.

The real fact is Harvick is the hottest pistol in the Cup garage these days and all the top guns – Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and even Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – couldn’t bust a move on Harvick when it became ‘Showtime’ at Martinsville Sunday.

Not that we’re surprised. In case that whole short-term memory loss thing has you in its grip, remember that Harvick was also red hot throughout the first 26 races – and the Chase – last season.
Let’s recap. After the sixth race in 2010, Harvick was fourth in the standings – just 61 points out of first after an uncharacteristic 35th-place finish at Martinsville. A 13th-place finish at Phoenix followed before Harvick ripped off five-straight finishes of seventh or better to take the points lead by 69 over Kyle Busch.

‘Harv’ finished the first 26 races last year strong with more than a 200-point lead over the nearest challenger in the standings, but he had to settle for third behind Hamlin and Johnson in the ‘shuffle’ of the points prior to the Chase.

There, Harvick never stumbled averaging a stellar 5.8 finish over the 10 Chase races. Still, he scored no wins and came up a handful of points behind Johnson in the final 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship race.

Now, let’s look at this year.

After six Cup events, Harvick is fifth in the points, just 16 markers out of first in the new points system. He’s overcome a 42nd-place disaster in the season-opening race at Daytona to be right in the thick of the title race.

Look familiar?

It should because it seems like 2011 is shaping up a lot like 2010 did for Harvick. Based on the last two weeks, you can see Harvick and his Richard Childress Racing mates are definitely racing for wins this season.

Solid finishes are great points days, but there’s nothing like having your picture taken with the trophy after a race – especially considering that it leads to championship trophies and a lot more photos at the end of the season. That’s the deal Harvick really wants to close.

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