5 keys to success for Kevin Harvick in 2017 Chase Wilhelm Feb 13, 2017 at 8:45a ET It’s a new beginning for Kevin Harvick for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, as the Stewart-Haas-Racing stable have ditched the Bow Ties for the Blue Ovals. Although making the switch to Ford Performance will have its fair share of challenges, Harvick still has the same championship-winning crew chief and team behind him. With that said, here are five keys Harvick needs to have a successful 2017 season: NASCAR NASCAR via Getty Images Adapt to new manufacturer quickly Switching to Ford was no small task for Harvick and the No. 4 SHR team, but this championship-caliber group has all the potential to adapt quickly and find success early. Getty Images Getty Images Get off to strong start After the first 10 races in 2016, Harvick had already scored one of his four total victories and only finished outside the top 10 twice, the worst result being 17th. That’s the kind of solid start Harvick needs once again. Consistency Harvick first finish outside the top 20 in 2016 didn’t come until the July race at Daytona, where he finished 39th. Overall, he collected 17 top fives and 27 top-10 finishes. That’s the type of consistency Harvick needs to gain maximum points under a new race format and points system. Live up to the nickname Over the years, Harvick has earned the nickname “The Closer” for his ability to get the most out of his racecars and finish out races strong. But that’s not how he closed out the 2016 season, with four finishes of 20th or worse in the final 10 races of the season. If Harvick get hot when it counts in 2017, the 2014 Cup champion will be a dangerous threat for the title in the playoffs. Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. AP Maintain driver-crew chief chemistry Harvick and crew chief Rodney Childers have one of the strongest relationships in the NASCAR Cup Series garage. If anyone can adapt quickly to the Ford switch and start winning early, it’s this pair. Getty Images Getty Images Next Gallery 15 List of Daytona 500 announcers since 1979 Start Gallery » FOX Fantasy Auto Form a Racing Team, Compete for Prizes Play Now!