Kevin Harvick really likes his position in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup. Sitting third in the standings, he can fall no further in the overall points in the final two races — and he is poised for a stealthy attack on the squabbling pair in front of him.
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The way the Richard Childress Racing driver sees it, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson — and their teams — attempting mind games with one another can only help his cause.
And for Harvick, that’s nothing but a good thing.
“We have two great racetracks for us, and we have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said Harvick, who enters this weekend’s race at Phoenix International Raceway 59 points behind Hamlin. “Whatever it takes to gain is what you do on the racetrack and what you do off the racetrack. There’s really nothing else that matters at this point. Just throw it all out there and if it gets rough, it gets rough — if it doesn’t then we just go race and see where it all falls in the end.
“It’s still a no-pressure, no-lose situation for us, and I like it. I like coming from behind. I like when people write us off — it’s kind of like or how everybody’s been my whole career. You just go out there and it’s fun to come up and see everybody after that.”
As to the chatter over recent decisions by Hamlin crew chief Mike Ford and Johnson crew chief Chad Knaus to pit beside each another, and the ensuing comments made by each, Harvick just watches — and waits.
“When things are going good, it’s one thing to be cocky around your team, but when you want to be cocky publicly, you have one place to go and that’s to back it up and you’re not going to back it up in this sport forever,” Harvick said. “You might back it up this year, but you’re probably not going to back it up week in and week out forever.
“There’s just nothing to be gained from it as far as the team standpoint. It’s a crew chief, for God’s sake. … I just don’t understand, I guess.”