By admin | January 19, 2009
By Richard Allen
Over the next few days and weeks I will be presenting a review of 2008 and a preview of 2009 for each of the drivers and teams who appear to be set for a full time run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For the most part these pieces will run in order by car number. If you should miss out on your favorite driver simply type his name into the search box at the upper right hand portion of the website.
#29- Kevin Harvick
Time passes more quickly than many of us would like to acknowledge. It seems like only a short time ago that the young, brash Kevin Harvick was stepping in to take over for the legendary Dale Earnhardt.
Harvickâ€™s career started off with a bang. Shortly after Earnhardtâ€™s death he won his first race in Atlanta. He added another win that season and had a solid points finish despite the fact that he had run one race fewer than his competitors.
However, Harvickâ€™s career has lacked that sustained explosion necessary to reach true superstar status. Other than his first year in 2001 in which he won two races and the 2006 season in which he won five times, he has either had one win or no wins every other year.
Now, entering his 9th season in the Sprint Cup division at the age of 33 it is time for Harvick to begin a sustained explosion of multiple win seasons, if he is to ever have one.
In 2008, the driver of #29 did not find victory lane. As a matter of fact, he has not won a points paying race since the 2007 Daytona 500. He did manage seven Top 5s and 19 Top 10s on his way to a 4th place run in the championship standings.
That may not sound so bad until it is considered that 2008 was really a season of the â€œBig 3â€ and â€œEveryone Elseâ€.
2009 is the last year of Harvickâ€™s contract with RCR. There is no need to hold anything back. It is time for him to show that he can indeed begin that sustained explosion of winning multiple races over a number of consecutive years.
In 2009, Harvick needs to show that he can get headlines for something other than wrestling around the garage area with other drivers and crew members. However, I believe two wins would be a best case scenario for this team. They will make the Chase for the Championship but their story will be much like that of last year. Good, but not really good enough.
Driver: Kevin Harvick
Owner: Richard Childress Racing
Sponsor: Shell/ Pennzoil
Crew Chief: Todd Berrier
Scanner Frequencies(?): 469.0125 & 462.0250
Chances of making the Chase for the Championship: Good
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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