2019 Preview: Stewart-Haas Racing


It could be said of this team “Stewart-Haas Racing, where careers are revived.” It happened in a big way for Kevin Harvick, it happened for Clint Bowyer, it happened for Aric Almirola, and Daniel Suarez hopes it will be happening for him.

Suarez is the latest addition to the team, succeeding Kurt Busch. Not unlike Almirola, one can’t help but think that Joe Gibbs Racing may have given up on him too soon. Of course, you can’t blame JGR wanting to make room for a top contender like Martin Truex Jr. For his part, Suarez has been neither terrible or great. Sometimes a fresh start is all you need.

Even if he isn’t great Aric Almirola has been a tremendous upgrade over Danica Patrick. He picked up a win at Talladega, and he made the playoffs. This won’t make anyone forget Dale Earnhardt, but when compared to his predecessor, Almirola is racing like a man with a new lease on life.

After enduring a winless streak that dated back to 2012, Clint Bowyer enjoyed his best since since that infamous 2013 campaign. In addition to his pair of victories, Bowyer led 490 laps, a career high. While not a pup, if Bowyer can keep the momentum moving forward, he should have another playoff run in him, maybe more.

The standard bearer since his arrival has been Kevin Harvick. In fact, it can be argued that Happy is the most consistent racer in NASCAR today. Some fans will hate the comparison, but like the New England Patriots, he’s there every year. For some, it was a mild shock Harvick didn’t win it all in 2018. Can you believe he’s 43? No worries. 40 is 30 in NASCAR. Since coming over from Richard Childress, Harvick has been piling up wins like Elvis piled up hits. No reason to think he’ll be slowing down.

When you think about the recent changes at Stewart-Haas Racing, it’s pretty interesting to see how they’ve remade themselves. It’s not hard to see Tony Stewart’s fingerprints on this organization, and that’s a good thing.

Stewart-Haas Racing will put at least two, maybe three drivers in the playoffs. A bolder fan could predict all four and not sound like a fool.