Who is Mr. Clutch? He’s that guy who can close the deal, the one who gets it done when it is all on the line. Kevin Harvick has been Mr. Clutch in 2o14.
Consider the evidence: after winning at Phoenix International Raceway in March, Harvick went on a stretch that left him with a hole to dig out of. Happy was anything but after finishing 41st at Las Vegas, 39th at Bristol, and 36th at Fontana. After finishing seventh at Martinsville, disaster struck again with a 42nd place run at Texas.
Even with NASCAR’s quirky “win and you’re in” format, he appeared destined for a season similar to what Kurt Busch experienced: a campaign dotted with a high point, followed by repeated disappointment. Harvick never lost his grit, and turned things around with a victory at Darlington, followed by three second-place runs in seven points-earning races during the height of spring.
Other than a pair of potholes at Daytona and New Hampshire in July, Harvick has been rock-solid consistent with an average finish on 8.1 in his last 20 races. In 12 of those the Bakersfield Burner has earned a top 10, and he’s finished in the top five on eight occasions and he’s picked up two more wins for good measure.
Even with all of that accomplishment, Kevin Harvick found himself in a spot Sunday. After laboring to a 33th place finish at Martinsville, he found him in a must-win situation at Phoenix. The two-time Busch Series champion responded with an old-fashioned butt-whoopin’ and punched his ticket for shot at his first Sprint Cup championship at Homestead-Miami.
He used to be known as “The Closer” or Mr. “Where Did He Come From?” With eight poles this season, Kevin Harvick, in his maiden voyage with Stewart-Haas Racing, as become “Mr. Clutch.” If there’s a favorite in the field of four competing for the 2014 championship, it’s Harvick. If it’s possible to will one’s way to victory, he has what it takes.