Kevin Harvick has had a difficult season so far, but the upcoming Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway presents him with an excellent opportunity to get his season back on track.
After all the track is one of Harvick’s best track since joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. He has just one finish outside the top-10 in his last eight starts there.
He had a competitive car in the last race at Atlanta but a flat tire from a broken valve stem forced him to pit and after that he couldn’t recover for the race to compete for the win.
“This year at Atlanta I think we just kind of missed it a little bit. We were further off on our cars early in the year than what we thought, and just a lot of little things that I probably don’t need to get into, but, overall, I think our car this weekend should be a little bit better,” Rodney Childers, Harvick’s crew chief, said.
“I’m not going to say that we can just blow the doors off everybody, but hopefully we can run with them and have a shot.”
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Harvick too admits that he had one of the better cars in the first race at Atlanta but the unfortunate events in the race lost him a chance to win the race.
“Ryan Blaney won the race and we raced right with Blaney at the beginning of the race. The unfortunate part for us was two things – the untimely pit stop that we had to have because of the valve stem, and (Kyle Larson) was extremely fast,” he said.
“So, every time we would pass cars, he would pass more cars and there just weren’t a lot of cautions and we never could get back to where we needed to be until the very end of the race. I really felt like we had a top-five car in that particular race.
“It wasn’t a car that was as fast as we’d like to have capable of winning the race and setting the pace, but it definitely put us behind and we never could make it up because of how fast (Larson) was.”
Harvick can get his season back on track with a win at Atalanta. Nonetheless, he is ninth in the series standings and still on course to go for the playoffs.