That’s how Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick is approaching the new format for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, a format that features three elimination rounds of three races each and a winner-take-all battle among four title contenders at next month’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"It’s just week-to-week at this point," Harvick said Monday afternoon during an exclusive interview with FOXSports.com. "You just never know what’s going to happen. We’ve got to keep grinding it out. That’s really what it’s all about. It’s really just about surviving at this point and trying to get yourself to Homestead and then go from there."
Harvick was one of 12 drivers to advance out of the Challenger Round of the Chase and after the first of three races in the Contender Round, he is sixth in points, 15 behind leader Joey Logano.
With several top drivers experiencing issues in Sunday’s Hollywood Casinos 400 at Kansas Speedway, Harvick said the intensity is ratcheting up in the fight for NASCAR’s championship.
"There’s always a lot of pressure, I just think there’s more pressure a lot of times when you go through each race and each round, because three races is not a long time to make up deficits, so it’s definitely a lot of pressure," said Harvick.
So far, it’s been a good, if somewhat unusual, season for Harvick. From 2001-13, he had only six poles, but this year he already has a series-high eight, including poles in the last two races. Harvick also has led the most laps of any Sprint Cup driver, although he hasn’t won a race since Darlington in April.
Sunday at Kansas Speedway, Harvick led 61 laps but finished 12th after a green-flag pit stop for what he thought was a flat tire but wasn’t. With all the tire problems other drivers had, though, 12th wasn’t so bad, though it was nerve-wracking.
"I think, obviously, it’s pretty intense at this point, just for the way the day shook out (Sunday)," said Harvick. "The first round, a lot of uncommon things happened as well, so it’s definitely made it exciting."
Harvick was at FOX Sports 1’s Charlotte studios Monday to announce ditech as his primary sponsor of his No. 4 SHR Chevrolet for two races next season. Last month, the mortgage lender signed on as an associate sponsor on Harvick’s car and next year will be one of his primaries as well.
"When you can bring a new company in, and ditech’s been on the car since Chicago, to be able to bring them into the sport, have them be excited about being in the sport, is something that you want to see," said Harvick. "To put together some primary sponsorship for the years to come is important, and to bring in a new company is impressive for everybody at SHR."
For now, Harvick is keeping his eyes firmly on the only unchecked box left on an impressive resume that includes victories in the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Coca-Cola 600: a cup championship.
"That’s our goal, that’s why we’re all here to race," said Harvick. "In the end, that’s what you want to do. You want to be competitive every week and have a chance to race for a championship. For us, and me personally, it’s important to try to accomplish that. We’ve been able to accomplish it in everything else I’ve raced in my career. It’s definitely a goal for my career."
VIDEO: Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway highlights