Let’s See How Harvick Putts

Kevin Harvick is the reigning champion. The confetti keeps right on flying. (Christa L. Thomas/HHP photo for Chevy Racing)

Kevin Harvick is the reigning champion (Homestead, 2014). The confetti keeps right on flying. (Christa L. Thomas/HHP photo for Chevy Racing)

Gotta go...to an indie bookstore!

Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, March 16, 2015, 9:37 a.m.

Kevin Harvick has lots of fans, and they’re happy today, as they’ve been happy for quite a while, and they’ve always liked that word. Their favorite driver has won twice this year, four times in the space of seven races dating back to 2014, and in the other three races, he’s finished second.

Monte Dutton

Monte Dutton

It’s so hard to digest, Harvick’s accomplishments are comparable to a mouth full of peanut butter.

In the current young season, Harvick’s average finish is a nice, quaint 1.5. The co-owner of his team, Tony Stewart, has a big, fat 36.0. Another teammate, Kurt Busch, has more points in one race (39) than the boss (32) in four.

Then there’s Danica Patrick.

Kevin Harvick and his crew chief, Rodney Childers, are dominating the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Stewart-Haas Racing is not.

Let’s forget whether you’re a fan of Harvick or not. It matters not where your sentiments lie, whether you’re a card-carrying citizen of Junior Nation or you live in a shack near the blinking caution light of Gilliland Gulch. Let’s just assume you’re in favor of tight, competitive racing and duels for the lead that go on for lap after lap.

Also, nice, long walks on the beach at sunrise.

A sense of deja vu must be familiar to the great Richard Petty. (John Clark photo)

A sense of deja vu must be familiar to the great Richard Petty. (John Clark photo)

It could be worse. Harvick’s finished first or second in seven consecutive races. Big deal. It’s been done before. Just 40 years ago, and Richard Petty, when he had his big, bad seven straight, heck, when the year was over, all he had to show for it was 13 victories.

And a championship.

Compared to the past, the significance of Harvick’s valiant early exploits, in terms of the hallowed Sprint Cup Trophy that will soon have another name, is minuscule. It’s said that golfers drive for show and putt for dough. (And, as Kurt Busch once said, everybody knows that NASCAR is just like golf.)

Yes, Harvick is pulling in his share, but the real dough is in the championship, and, by that standard, Harvick isn’t going to reach the green until September, and the putt that matters won’t be struck till Thanksgiving is nigh.

It just doesn’t matter … much.

Harvick's going to wear that right arm out with all those fist pumps. (HHP Photo for Chevy Racing)

Harvick’s going to wear that right arm out with all those fist pumps. (HHP Photo for Chevy Racing)

Harvick could finish first or second in the first 26 races of the season, and a week later, he’d still have 15 other drivers, fortified by The Truly Great Wave-Around Also Known as The Chase. He can finish first or second nine more weeks in a row, and when it all ends at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he’s still going to have three other drivers dead even with him.

Resistance to the Chase is futile.

By the way, not even Harvick, the Sultan of Swagger, can maintain his current pace. This year he strode out onto the first tee flashing a “wood” made of rare metals and space-age polymers, and he’s hitting it so straight and true that the rest of the boys (and somewhere back there, a girl) are getting a little restless, but they all have the same wishful thought.

Let’s see how Harvick putts.

Last year he putted right well.

For more thought-provoking insight on the most recent race, you may find my latest Bleacher Report column instructive, or, of course, maybe not. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2398034-kevin-harvicks-early-nascar-domination-wont-do-him-much-good-come-chase-time

Take a look at my books (and, preferably, buy at least one) here: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1

 

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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7 Responses to Let’s See How Harvick Putts

  1. Ron Schwalbe says:

    Under this rediculous “musical chairs” Chase , score changing, farce of “Championship”, it would be possible for a driver to win – – THIRTY FIVE straight races, and finish SECOND at Homstead – and yet — Not–NOT be the “Champion” – – Isn’t that grand ? !!!!

  2. Ron Schwalbe says:

    Under this rediculous “musical chairs” , irrelevent , frequent score changing farce Chase system, – a driver could win THIRY FIVE STRAIGHT RACES – then finish Second at Homestead -and yet Not – NOT – – be — the CHAMPION !!!
    Isn’t that a grand system ?!!!!

  3. Robert Johnson says:

    Not sure I’m a Harvick fan, but I think we can all fist-pump at the idea that we may just be at the end of the JJ era.

  4. Ron Fleshman says:

    That, old friend, is a brilliant column. I dare say, this is needed in the new world of NASCAR reporting, which consists of many columns about Junior, Jeff, Tony, Jimmie, and occasionally Kasey. Those who forgot a couple of racers won 11 races and it pretty much didn’t matter. The Chase is King and I don’t care anymore. I’m just lucky I can read you here.

  5. Anne says:

    Well Monte, I take your word that he has fans (I am sure a few, the most hated have a few). He for me (and many I know) can’t stand him since day one, and no it isn’t because of Dale Sr. He is just not a nice guy to root for or like, my feelings haven’t changed in all these years. A once race champ based on Brian’s whims at the time does not make him a champ..Yes I know that’s what the trophy he is holding says, but it is hard to get excited about a one race win, regardless of what anybody did before that. If he was Jeff Gordon that was the classic points leader, or Joey Logano who would have won the Championship based on Old Chase points or if he was Brad K. with the most wins, one could almost buy into it. But a reset with 4 guys, it came down to one race…it didn’t matter what Hamlin, Newman did or Logano or Harvick for that matter. Hard to respect the format or the person who happened to have a good day. What about the other 35 races? Doesn’t count. Hell I am in agreement with other posters…lets just mid race put the top 15 drivers at the a half way mark and make them have a musical chair shootout..don’t laugh the poor man’s PT Barnum, Brian France…just might dictate it!!!!!!!!!!! Oh and really getting tired of seeing his overexposed child…I respect the other drivers who keep their children public and media exposure to a minimum..they are only better for it in the long run. Harvick seems to be “branding” his family, shameful.

  6. Tony Geinzer says:

    Even though Roses are Red, and Everyone is in Smoke’s Way, I’d think I’d not so secretly long for 1st Time Winners, and if Kevin Harvick’s Car is going to be the Black Star, why not have Talib Kweli and Mos Def at the All Star Race as Harvick’s Guests? I’d be okay with that as long as they aren’t appointed to the National Anthem like the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2006.

  7. Monte says:

    Much obliged and glad to do it, Ron.

Comments are closed.