The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing is no longer in the playoff picture, but he has a considerable amount to fight for in the remaining races. If Kevin Harvick does not win a race before the end of the NASCAR Cup Series season, he will watch his 11-year streak come to an end.
According to a list provided by NASCAR, Harvick is currently in a tie with Brad Keselowski for the second-most consecutive seasons with a win among active drivers. Both men have 11 consecutive seasons with wins while two-time Cup Series champion Kyle Busch sits atop the list with at least one win in 17 consecutive seasons, which he extended by winning the Buschy McBusch Race 400 at Kansas Speedway on May 2.
Harvick had multiple opportunities to extend his streak of winning seasons. He settled for second at Kansas after making a late pass to get by Keselowski. Harvick also finished second in the Bristol playoff race after Chase Elliott slowed him in the closing laps and opened up an opportunity for Kyle Larson to make a pass.
Harvick Started the Streak With a Different Race Team
Harvick first kicked off this 11-year winning streak during his time with another championship organization. He took the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway on April 25, 2010, marking the 12th win of his Cup Series career. He then added wins at Daytona International Speedway and Michigan International Speedway to reach three on the season.
Harvick has continued to win at least one race each year since the 2010 season while keeping this streak alive. His run includes five wins during his 2014 championship season, eight in 2018, and a career-high nine in 2020. Now he will strive to keep this streak alive at Kansas Speedway, the site of three previous wins, while driving the No. 4 Subway Ford Mustang.
“I think Kansas has been a great racetrack and, really from a driver’s standpoint, a fun racetrack because of the fact that it’s worn in so well,” Harvick said in a press release on Wednesday, October 20. “You can race at the top of the racetrack, which is the preferred groove as the tires wear out. It’s faster at the bottom of the racetrack on new tires. But as a driver, having options is something that is a lot of fun.
“As they repave Atlanta and you look at some of the other racetracks, really Kansas is going to be one of the more unique racetracks because of the fact the asphalt and the shape of the racetrack is so driver-friendly as far as where you can drive on the racetrack. You can literally drive from the wall to the apron all the way around the racetrack. So, it’s a fun racetrack. It’s been good to us and, hopefully, we can continue that trend on Sunday in our Subway Delivery Ford Mustang.”
Busch Faced a Similar Situation in 2020
Heading toward the end of the season without a win is nothing new for Cup Series drivers. Busch also faced a similar situation during the 2020 season. He spent the majority of the season dealing with issues that kept him out of Victory Lane, but he managed to reach the playoffs by virtue of points.
Busch finally snapped the season-long winless streak after the Round of 12 came to an end. He fell below the cutline and did not advance, but he turned in a strong performance at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch led a race-high 90 laps and held off teammate Martin Truex Jr. for the win, keeping his streak alive. Though he had to first deal with a weather-forced delay that lasted 72 hours, 28 minutes, and 34 seconds.
The lack of wins disrupted Busch so much that he forgot to complete his celebratory routine. He did not take the checkered flag and bow until the trackside reporter asked where it was. “I forgot,” Busch responded. “It’s been a really long time.”