Jeff Hammond: Harvick will win 2014 Cup title with new team

Kevin Harvick stands in the garage area during preseason testing at Daytona International Speedway.

Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images

If you asked me today to put money on who I think is going to be the surprise driver and team this season, I will pick Kevin Harvick. Kevin showed us all last year what it was to be a true professional. He was in a lame-duck year, yet he raced hard and competed for the championship all the way to the end. Kevin will openly tell you it was an awkward situation and one of the most difficult seasons he has ever had.

This year, he has moved over to Stewart-Haas Racing and will be driving the No. 4 car. I really believe that Kevin is motivated like never before to show Tony Stewart that he didn’€™t make the wrong choice in adding Kevin to the company.

Naturally, Kevin is going to benefit at Stewart-Haas Racing because of the support they get from Hendrick Motorsports. On top of that and probably even more than that, I think Kevin is going to make the big difference. It’s just a feeling I have, but I really think Kevin is going to find a way to put it all together this season and close the deal on being a NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.

Kevin Harvick drives the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy during testing at Daytona International Speedway.

Kevin Harvick (right) had a somewhat awkward relationship with team owner Richard Childress (left) in his final year at RCR.