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Harvick hopes to take home second championship in Miami

Kevin Harvick side by side with another car racing down the track

DEARBORN - Kevin Harvick will attempt to capture his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title in Sunday’s season finale Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang)

By The Numbers:
1 –
 Number of wins Kevin Harvick has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway (2014) 
2 – Number of wins from pole position in 2019 (Indianapolis, Texas-2)
4 – Number of wins Kevin Harvick has during the 2019 season, including one during the Playoffs (New Hampshire, Michigan-2, Indianapolis, Texas-2)
5 – Number of times Kevin Harvick has made it to the Championship 4 in the new Playoff format.
6 – Number of stage wins Kevin Harvick has posted during the 2019 season.
– Number of Busch Pole Awards Harvick has earned in 2019 season – most in series
6.11 – Kevin Harvick’s average finish in first nine Playoff races of 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs
6.6 – Kevin Harvick’s average finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway 
8.7 – Kevin Harvick’s average starting position during the 2019 season
10.2 – Kevin Harvick’s average finish during the 2019 season
10 – Number of top-five finishes Kevin Harvick has posted at Homestead-Miami Speedway – most all-time.
14 – Number of top-five finishes Kevin Harvick has logged during the 2019 season.
16 – Number of top-10 finishes Kevin Harvick has recorded at Homestead-Miami Speedway – most all-time.
25 – Number of top-10 finishes Kevin Harvick has tallied this season.
104.9 – Kevin Harvick’s 2019 season-to-date driver rating –  second-best in the Monster Energy Series.
108.2 – Kevin Harvick’s career driver rating at Homestead-Miami Speedway (best among the Championship 4).
373 – Total number of laps led at Homestead-Miami Speedway by Kevin Harvick (most among the Championship 4).
912 – Total number of laps led in 2019 

Happy hopes to take home second championship in Miami

The No. 4 SHR Ford Mustang driver won the first championship race at Homestead under the current elimination-style postseason format in 2014 for his first and only series crown.

In 18 starts at the 1.5-mile track, Harvick claims one win and a series-high 10 top fives and 16 top 10s. He has the track series-best average finish (6.6) and second-ranked driver rating (108.2). His 373 laps led is tops among the championship contenders at Homestead.

He has finished worse than third-place only once (fourth in 2017) in five championship races (under this current format) there. It also marks the only time in those five races he did not lead a lap. He’s led at least 46 laps in four of the five races.

Rodney Childers calling the shots for Harvick

A most familiar face will be back atop Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team pit box this week after missing the 2018 Championship race while serving a two-race suspension. The penalty was handed down after failing post-race inspection at the R&D Center following the race in Texas.

Childers guided Harvick to the Monster Energy Series title in 2014 – the pair’s first year working together at the Stewart-Haas Racing team. The pairing and the success it has produced makes Harvick a favorite at any track any week of the season. But after missing a title opportunity last year, Childers is eager to re-take his position on the pit box and try to lead Harvick to a second title – to make him the only other active driver besides seven-time Cup champ Jimmie Johnson with multiple series championships.

Since the two joined forces full time at SHR six years ago, they have won 26 races and earned 102 top-five and 149 top-10 finishes together. The pairing has recorded at least 14 top fives and 20 top 10s all six seasons they have worked together. During that time, Harvick has won multiple races each season, including a career-high of eight in 2018.

In earning the victory at Texas Motor Speedway two weeks ago, Harvick now has 49 career wins – tying him with his team owner and newly named NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Tony Stewart. A 50th win this weekend at Homestead would tie Harvick with NASCAR Hall of Famers Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett on the wins list.

NASCAR’s intermediate master

For years, Kevin Harvick has been known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ top driver on intermediate tracks.

Harvick has 16 wins on intermediate tracks in his career – most among the four championship contenders. Kyle Busch has 13, Martin Truex Jr. has 12 and Denny Hamlin has nine. All four of the drivers have won at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway with Harvick (2014), Busch (2015) and Truex (2017) doing it in their championship years. Hamlin won twice there prior to the 2014 Playoff format.

Since the beginning of the Playoff system in 2014, Truex leads this title-seeking foursome with 12 wins on 1.5-mile tracks. Harvick has 10, Busch has seven and Hamlin has three.

This season, Harvick has led more than twice the number of laps (549) at 1.5-mile venues compared to his three fellow title contenders. Busch, who did not win this season at a 1.5-mile track, has led 249 laps on the intermediate tracks, slightly more than his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin (232) and Truex (195).

Stewart-Haas Racing can win third championship in 10 years

If Kevin Harvick wins the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title on Sunday, he would give Stewart-Haas Racing its third championship in the 10 years since Tony Stewart left Joe Gibbs Racing to form the team with Gene Haas.

Stewart won the organization its first championship in 2011, while Harvick earned the second title for it in 2014.

Championships with different manufacturers

Kevin Harvick won his 2014 championship in a Chevrolet and is attempting to earn his second title driving a Ford. The last driver to win a new championship with different manufacturers was Harvick’s team owner, Tony Stewart. He earned the 2002 crown racing a Pontiac, then captured the 2005 and 2011 titles driving a Chevrolet.

Nine drivers have won championships with multiple manufacturers: Buck Baker, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Ned Jarrett, Richard Petty, Tim Flock and Stewart.

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