That’s a scary thought for Harvick’s fellow competitors for the 2020 Cup Series championship.
In nearly every one of Harvick’s seven wins in the regular season, he and his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team ran up front a good deal of the race and many times simply overpowered its competition.
Sunday night’s Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway was different, however.
It became clear in the early-going Harvick’s No. 4 Ford didn’t have the race-winning speed to match Martin Truex Jr. or Chase Elliott.
Harvick did have a backup plan – a change-up in pit strategy initiated by crew chief Rodney Childers that put Harvick up front and in position to capitalize when Truex and Elliott took each other out racing for the lead late in the race.
Harvick inherited the lead with 12 of 367 laps remaining and held off a spirited charge from Austin Dillon to secure the win and lock himself into the Round of 12.
“It was a battle. It wasn’t necessarily pretty,” Harvick said. “But everybody on our team did a great job keeping us in the race. Rodney had great strategy. Our car was extremely loose all night, and we were able to manage to get it better but never really got it going as good as we’d like to.
“But they battled, and we kept ourselves in the right spot. The leaders got tangled up and…