Is Harvick’s No. 4 team the best in the Sprint Cup Series?
Saturday night at Darlington, Kevin Harvick became our first two-time winner of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. We know that absolutely punches their ticket to the 2014 Chase. We all continue to believe that winning a single race this season will put you in the Chase, but the reality is we aren’t there yet, so there’s a bit of an unknown. We can easily say, however, that winning twice like the No. 4 car just did guarantees them a spot.
I think this win also does a lot for the morale of that team. Sure, they won at Phoenix which was our second race of the season, but they then had four finishes outside the top 25. So the win Saturday night as we go into an off-weekend has to do so much for them from simply a momentum shift.
We actually interviewed Kevin during one of our FOX Sports 1 practice shows from Darlington. We asked about those mechanical issues that had been biting them. Kevin was very quick to state they as a team weren’t worried. The reason they weren’t worried was because they know every week when they roll off the truck that they have speed in that race car. That’s the thing that every team in the garage wishes they had and is very hard to come by.
As Kevin pointed out, the mechanical woes will happen. They happen to the No. 4 car and they will happen to others. Those are things that can be fixed. It’s when you don’t have speed in your race car that keeps you scratching your head. We all know you can never live in a "what if" world. With that said, if you take away those mechanical issues that No. 4 car experienced, combined with how well they were running, we might very well be talking about that team having three, four or maybe even five wins already. That’s just how good they have been running.
I think it’s definitely in the realm of possibility that we could see Kevin have the type of season we saw out of Matt Kenseth last year when Matt won seven times in his first year with Joe Gibbs Racing. Setting that aside, the most important thing is we know the No. 4 car is going to be in the Chase come September.