Photo Credit – Stewart Haas Racing
They call him “Happy” and rightfully so after he has won the last three straight NASCAR Cup Series races*.
Or has he?
The last driver to win three straight was Joey Logano in 2015 when he won Charlotte, Kansas, and Talladega.
Harvick won Atlanta, Las Vegas*, and Phoenix on Sunday…making it three in a row*.
But was it really three in a row*?
As was talked about in my last column, Harvick lost the points from the Vegas win, lost the earnings, was penalized points, his car owner was docked points, his Car Chief was suspended, and his Crew Chief was fined for two different violations…both of which aid a car in being faster and better handling.
But in the world of NASCAR he kept the win, so they can now claim he has won three in a row*, and is going for his fourth*…all of which make for nice marketing and promotional tools while raising ad revenue.
In local dirt track racing, if you get caught cheating you lose points, money, face suspension, and the next legal finisher becomes the winner.
Any time NASCAR or one of their PR peeps mentions that Harvick won three in a row* they should also mention an asterisk.
Cheating. Bending the rules. Looking for grey areas. Semantics.
As a student of the game, and someone who has wrenched on race cars, the thing that insults my intelligence the most about this whole deal is Harvick feigning anger towards NASCAR, while openly implying that there is a conspiracy against him and Stewart-Haas Racing.
You do not get to cheat and get mad at the people who caught you doing it. That is akin to breaking the law and being mad at the cops for arresting you, the DA for prosecuting you, and the judge for punishing you.
After the race Harvick openly mocked NASCAR by bashing on the rear window upon exiting the car.
Any respect that I was gaining for Harvick for his maturation on the track was lost due to his lack of maturation off of it.
I am 0-4 in picking winners, but came close this week as my pick Kyle Busch finished second. I am getting closer!
So the Toyotas seem to have been cooled off, and it appears to be Ford’s turn. We will keep an eye on the manufacturers race.
All four of Stewart-Haas Racing’s Fords finished in the Top Ten.
Harvick – 1st, Clint Bowyer – 6th, Aric Almirola – 7th, and Kurt Busch – 10th.
The lone Camaro in the top ten was Chase Elliot in 3rd.
Next time we are Talking Racing I will go further in depth about drivers who have legitimately won three in a row and what it meant for their Championship efforts.
Thanks for reading, and remember to keep it shiny side up.