Has Kevin Harvick (at age 43) Lost A Step?

Discussion in 'NASCAR chat' started by LewTheShoe, May 31, 2019.

  1. Joker

    Joker #1 Harvick Fan

    >checks standings
    >harv is in 4th

    Lol k den
     
  2. Truex_rox

    Truex_rox 19 looks better than ever.

    The team has.
     
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  3. Joker

    Joker #1 Harvick Fan

    Almirola and Bowyer weren't going to be top 5 cars forever.
     
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  4. Truex_rox

    Truex_rox 19 looks better than ever.

    Exactly. Another thing to consider is that Bowyer seems to be letting pressure get to him, and he has obviously acted out on top of bouncing around from marginal top tens to "also-ran" results.
     
  5. Turtle84

    Turtle84 Chastain Supporter

    A driving style adjustment of this magnitude is a killer when you're in the twilight of your career. Atlanta and Phoenix might as well been a repave. The small advantages that he had found and mastered over the years, gone.

    At the same time I have not seen the dominating race long speed with their cars, not in the same ballpark that they've had in previous years. The exception being Kansas, that was a race winning car, failed on execution.
     
  6. Mispeedway15

    Mispeedway15 Team Owner

    Yeah I mean it's those advantages in the low downforce days that gave him an advantage. His ability to hook the bottom consistently is really top notch
     
  7. Team Penske

    Team Penske Team Owner

    Harvick: "I'll Be Back"
     
  8. Revman

    Revman Stop asking me about the package!

    Hell no, Kevin isn't over the hill, and hell yes, it's the package. IMO Harvick kills people on corner entry and center speed. The new package has evened all of that up. It will be fascinating to see if Rodney can find him something to help. Harvick has been the fastest by a ton for several years now.
     
  9. Revman

    Revman Stop asking me about the package!

    I think EJ will be fine there, but to your point, yeah, young guns struggle there. I think they are intimidated by Kyle Busch. I really do, and I bet that the data makes it easy for them to feel that way.
     
  10. Revman

    Revman Stop asking me about the package!

    My two cents....The SHR engineering department was a step off in anticipating what the new package needed. They are trying to catch up, and you can ask Chevy how easy that is.
     
  11. Revman

    Revman Stop asking me about the package!

    Rodney wants the splitter now. I think he has pictures of splitters hanging on his bedroom wall. When you say, "step splitter," he lights up a cigarette.
     
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  12. sdj

    sdj Just a race fan

    :rolleyes:, just had to say it didn't you. :D
     
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  13. kyle18fan

    kyle18fan Proud member of Rowdy Nation Contributor



    I did, I have no self control :(
     
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  14. Joker

    Joker #1 Harvick Fan

    Looks like the old man was doing just fine until the penalty.
     
  15. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    That's it! It's Harv that's lost a step, it's the crew!!!
     
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  16. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    Oops, I meant 'It's NOT Harv ... '
     
  17. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Team Owner

    Doesn't matter. He's going to the Fox booth after this season anyways.
     
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  18. Madman88

    Madman88 Crew Chief

    A step no, but he did lose a steering box
     
  19. JohnHill

    JohnHill Rusty Wallace & Terry Labonte Rule!

    If he lost a step, he had a step to loose...

    (And I ain’t one to defend him usually...)
     
  20. Zerkfitting

    Zerkfitting Team Owner

    It would be rare for a driver to maintain the same results year after year. There are too many factors that affect it including racing luck.
     
  21. Nitro Dude

    Nitro Dude Hauler Driver and Cylinder Head Maintenance

    Yep, unless they just had such a large performance advantage over the rest of the field like Richard Petty did for a while.
     
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  22. Madman88

    Madman88 Crew Chief


    not like someone could win say 4 or 5 championships in a row these days.....:tongue:
     
  23. Nitro Dude

    Nitro Dude Hauler Driver and Cylinder Head Maintenance

    They would be lucky to win 4 or 5 races in a row these days.:)
     
  24. Madman88

    Madman88 Crew Chief

    I don't think Jimmie was even winning 4 or 5 races in a row when he was winning his championships in a row.

    That's more like Gordon during the early part of his career to pull off consecutive wins like that. I remember in like his 5 or 6th year in cup his win percentage was something stupid like every third race on average.
     
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  25. Kiante

    Kiante Team Owner

    Harvick is still a top 5 driver in the field. Honestly, I'd say top 3. He and Keselowski are toss ups IMO.

    Ky. Busch
    Logano
    Harvick
    Keselowski
    Truex

    All close IMO.
     
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  26. Team Penske

    Team Penske Team Owner

    I don't agree with the order you have but will concede KB in first place
     
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  27. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    That B.S. uncontrolled tire penalty last week killed a brilliant pit call from Harvick's bunch that would have put him out front. Who knows if that would have been a winning move, but it sure would have made things interesting even if it wasn't. Logano's win at Homestead proved that a team doesn't have to dominate the season to win the championship. The POINTS MATTER playoffs pretty much negates threads like these sadly. Oh yeah they give out a highly coveted regular season winner trophy to cover up the smell. I think Penske caught them napping last year by building all new latest greatest cars for the playoffs. I doubt that is going to happen this year, the front runners will all have new pieces.
     
  28. AuzGrams

    AuzGrams Team Owner

    Even if he didn't win and finished 4th or 5th in points with some stage wins he'd have 10-14 playoff points, that's at least top 8 imo in playoff points which is what we should be tracking.

    Busch, Keselowski, Truex look poised, but you got Harvick, Elliott, Logano lurking.
     
  29. Zerkfitting

    Zerkfitting Team Owner

    I'd say the team is a big factor. An IROC race on a road course would show who's the best driver.
     
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  30. LewTheShoe

    LewTheShoe Team Owner

    I've always been a guy that likes data. On the job, in my personal life, as a racing fan, all of 'em. Others prefer to to rely on the eyeball test. Sometimes the two agree, sometimes not. So the question is... Is Kevin Harvick still The Closer?

    For full year 2018, Harvick had the fastest car, but his #1 rank was just barely better than Kyle Busch at #2. After those two, there was a big gap to the rest.

    For the 15 races of 2019, the rank order at the top has flipped... Busch fastest, then Harvick. However, at four races, Harvick was the #1 fastest car... Dover, Kansas, Charlotte, Michigan (and the All Star Race, but not counting that). That's not bad. It's just *slightly* less than last year, but it's still great speed.

    Since moving from Childress Racing to Stewart-Haas for 2014, Harvick has driven 195 cup races. He has had the fastest car 48 times, according to David Smith at Motorsports Analytics. Those 48 races resulted in 13 wins... a conversion rate of 27% on days with the fastest car.

    The long term cup series average is 40% conversion for the fastest car, so Harvick's 27% is not too spiffy, IMO. What has happened to The Closer?

    And this year, Harvick's passing efficiency has slipped in a big way, as discussed in the OP. So if he can't turn that around, it doesn't bode well, IMO.
     
    JohnHill likes this.
  31. Truex_rox

    Truex_rox 19 looks better than ever.

    If it continues the way it has for him, that conversion rate will continue to dip.

    I often look back at 2015 when it comes to Kevin Harvick. He had an unforeseen number of runner-up finishes, easily was the champion under the normal format, but still only got three wins.

    The Closer does not seem like an appropriate nickname for him anymore. He is still a great driver beyond a shadow of a doubt, and his crew has played an instrumental part in scarring his conversion rate. However, I have not seen him sneak into a win a late clutch move for some time now. There is no other team that springs to mind when it comes to tossing races away on pit road. The only thing comparable that I think of is how Denny Hamlin individually screws up his races on pit road, and even he seems to have gotten it together as of late.
     
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  32. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    I believe they have been calling Harvick The Closer along with many other names for a number of years. :p No doubt he is in a terrible slump at season midpoint. Don't need a rocket scientist as they say
     
  33. gnomesayin

    gnomesayin Team Owner

    Genuine question: did the data ever show Harvick in fact being The Closer to a greater degree than other top drivers? As in, there was a period when anecdotally he gained the rep for taking control of races late and being a clutch performer. Was this statistically true or just the eyeball test?

    It seemed to me that the #4 team threw away a lot of victories when he was at his most dominant, but again, that's my eyeball test, and I'm aware that the fastest car wins less than 50% of Cup races.

    I'm still leary of judging Harvick's declining performance from 2018 to 2019 as if the driver's ability is the most pertinent variable. There are great momentum racers who excel using this year's rules, and I'm inclined to think that isn't where Harvick's strengths are relative to his other top competitors.
     
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  34. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    I think Larry Mac gave him the name or DW because he had the propensity to win the big races.
     
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  35. Truex_rox

    Truex_rox 19 looks better than ever.

    Daytona 2007, Charlotte 2011.
     
  36. gnomesayin

    gnomesayin Team Owner

    Yeah, I thought it was DW, could have been them together when they were in the Fox booth.
     
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  37. gnomesayin

    gnomesayin Team Owner

    I guess by that weird measure, Jamie Mac was quite a Closer for a time because he only won big races.

    I thought it had to do with Harvick always seemingly showing up late in a race to take control and win.
     
  38. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    Harvick has had at least a couple races he should have won this year, and the usual suspects are clustered at the top of the pole racing the brand new baby.
     
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  39. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    yeah, What the heck were the calling Jaimie back then? something like big money racer?
     
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  40. Truex_rox

    Truex_rox 19 looks better than ever.

    It's just the two big races I thought of in which he seized the lead on the last lap and claimed a crown jewel in the blink of an eye. Of course, there may be more races from the past decade I missed. I'm not exactly sure how he got the moniker, but he sure isn't The Closer now. :lol2:
     
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