Kevin Harvick has won 22 races since Jimmie's last win

JJ_14

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I think this deserves a read of it's own. These guys are exactly the same age & both are driving for top tier teams. What in the world happened to Jimmie Johnson? Before Harvick joined Stewart Haas, he was considered a middling talent who was barely gonna make it to the hall of fame. He now has a whooping 57 career victories.

To put into perspective how good Harvick has been, this is the 2nd time in 3 years that he has won at least 8 races in a season. Tony Stewart, who is considered an all time great, never won more than 6 races in a single season, & he only did that once in 2000.

I know drivers peak at different points in their careers. Jeff Gordon peaked early, so did Jeff Burton. OTOH, you have guys like Harvick & Truex who peak in the late stages of their careers. What Harvick is doing, however, is 1990's Jeff Gordon esque. The craziest thing about it is that he's doing it at an age where most drivers usually lose a step. If Jeff Gordon's 1990's run is impressive, Harvick might be taking it to a whole 'nother level, at age 44!

If he keeps this up, he could win 70+ races & a couple titles, which would statistically put him amongst the 10 greatest to ever do it. Maybe 80 wins?

As for Jimmie, there could be a number of factors contributing to his decline. Perhaps Hendrick isn't as good as they used to be? His teammates have been fast & winning though. I think Chad Knaus played a bigger role in his success than people give him credit for. Maybe Johnson lost all of his confidence after that Pocono wreck.
 

Hendrick4ever

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I’ve been a huge Johnson fan since 2007 and these last three seasons have been gut-wrenching. One time I was literally in tears at the end of the race when he had a good chance to win the race but blew the restart.
 

Speedbowl14

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Harvick was never a "middling talent" imo. He had some rough years but I think that's only because he got lost in the shuffle in the 2006-2010 era when you had stupid-high levels of talent with Jimmie, Jeff Gordon, KyBu, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, and Carl Edwards all at or near-prime.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Harvick was never a "middling talent" imo. He had some rough years but I think that's only because he got lost in the shuffle in the 2006-2010 era when you had stupid-high levels of talent with Jimmie, Jeff Gordon, KyBu, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, and Carl Edwards all at or near-prime.
And RCR was really struggling as a whole. Even then, Harvick won like five races in 2006, won the Daytona 500* in 2007 and should have won the championship in 2010.
 

Pyrogrine

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I'm not so sure Hendrick has been a top tier organization over the past few years. In terms of resources alone? Absolutely. But when it comes to performance on the track, in particular the 1.5 milers, Hendrick cars have handled noticeably worse than Team Penske, the top three JGR teams, and the #4 team. They can't work through traffic as well as their top competitors and they don't have the raw speed they had ten years ago.

For reference, since Jimmie's last win in 2017, Hendrick has only three victories on the 1.5 mile tracks. JGR has 13, Penske has 6, and Harvick alone has 7.

This isn't me trying to downplay what Harvick has accomplished. It wouldn't surprise me to see him win another title or two and get past 70 wins, and in my book he's a top 10 driver all time in the sport and the best in the garage right now. But all that being said I don't think the #48 car has been a top tier ride recently, no matter who's driving it.
 

JGR_20

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I can’t think of a recent example quite like what harvick is doing... maybe Mark Martin 09-11 is the closest one?

A driver who on paper should be slowing down due to his age... but I swear since Kevin turned 40, he somehow became a better driver than he already was.

It’s really wild when you think about how darn great he has gotten in recent seasons.
 

JJ_14

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I also forgot to mention Jimmie's hard wreck @Charlotte in 2011. That might've been the start of the downward spiral. A talent like Jimmie should be winning even at his age. He's an all time great, for some he is the G.O.A.T.
 
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Wrangler1

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Perhaps they are similarly talented race car drivers enjoying dominant teams at different points of their career.
 

DRS3

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If he still had the magic spoiler he would have a ton more wins!!
 

Ford 222

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He took that golden horseshoe he spoke of from JJ, as alluded to above.

Since he drives a Ford, it's not as hard to watch but he's still a big-feeling, instigative dirtbag that acts as if he's beat asses his whole career and yet to do so off the track. On the track, can't argue the talent but I'd say his CC has something to do with it too. Sometimes the combination is magic (JJ-Knaus, JG-Evernham).
 

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Harvick has been outstanding...really glad this was raised as a topic. Frankly I'm not sure what it takes to be this successful, but it is certainly not all driver. Happy drives the premier equipment for SHR, and has developed a great synergy with his crew chief. Jimmy Johnson is not a washed up racer. Physically he is as fit as any driver ever, and outstanding for his age. When his car is near the front and ready to challenge for a win (not too often) he has made key mistakes that cost him the chance. Is that from trying too hard? He has also made some bad moves where he closed too soon and wrecked, or made a blunder on pit road that was surprising for a 7 time champion.

My take is that Jimmy doesn't have the car/team combination that is in-sync enough to produce a challenge for wins. Some of that is with Jimmy, some with the team. Jimmy has lost a bit of his sharpness relative to decision making/judgement/spatial acuity. At this level it doesn't take much to lose your edge. I don't think it's fear, as he has put the car into harms way. Call it touch. Combine that with a race car that, on it's best days, requires everything you've got to get near the front, and you have Jimmy's situation.
 

Nitro Dude

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I think Jimmy is probably doing the same thing Bowman has been trying to do this year and that is getting more out of a car then the car is set up to give.
 

aunty dive

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He took that golden horseshoe he spoke of from JJ, as alluded to above.

Since he drives a Ford, it's not as hard to watch but he's still a big-feeling, instigative dirtbag that acts as if he's beat asses his whole career and yet to do so off the track. On the track, can't argue the talent but I'd say his CC has something to do with it too. Sometimes the combination is magic (JJ-Knaus, JG-Evernham).
Are playoff points awarded for off-track ass beatings?
 

Ford 222

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Are playoff points awarded for off-track ass beatings?
Doubtful.....but he acts as if, and DW is wholeheartedly bought into, he has many. Never seen one since he got to NASCAR. Gets tough when his crew or officials are there to “hold him back”....
 

10-4

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Doubtful.....but he acts as if, and DW is wholeheartedly bought into, he has many. Never seen one since he got to NASCAR. Gets tough when his crew or officials are there to “hold him back”....
So Harvick is a ***** that's all talk is that what you're saying? There's lots of drivers out there that don't do jack schitt. A few years ago on TV I saw him go jawwing all red faced and mad at Jimmie Johnson over at Johnson's hauler after an incident where they got together and it ruined Harvicks day so bad that he was in a must win to advance the next playoff round. There were no crew or officials around in that confrontation. Jimmie calmed the situation before it got out of hand. And Harvick won the next race advancing lol.
 

jaqua19

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A lot of factors. Harvick wasn't a midling talent, but he definitely had a jump in 2010-2013. He was elite with RCR those years and had genuinely elite speed in his cars. Him getting the best equipment in 2014, in addition to fatherhood made him a better driver.

I would imagine you have a greater opportunity to sharpen your racing skills when you don't have to overdrive the car. I firmly believe that top tier equipment makes a good driver better.

Also, just as a reminder of how good Jimmie was..despite those 22 unanswered wins, Harvick is still 26 wins behind Jimmie.

Harvick was won 26 races during these last 5 seasons, 2016-2020. Kyle Busch and Truex were similar. As often as Harvick is winning, Jimmie won 35 times during his best 5 year stretch..9 more wins than Harvick over their best 5 year stretches. It's hard to imagine anyone being more dominant than Harvick these last 5 years, but even this run is a step below Jimmie's, and more comparable to Jimmie's post peak/end of prime years of 2012-2016. 2 titles and 25 wins.

2008 was the the most frustrated i've ever been as a nascar fan and believe it or not, I never disliked a driver more than Jimmie that year. There's was this Brady Bellichek air to Jimmie and Chad and they were just unbeatable for so long. The team gets a lot of credit, but you almost forget how good Jimmie was behind the wheel. He was the biggest spoiler..the race was always in doubt when he was fast, and he was just so methodical at finding speed and making passes...and just being clutch. As a talent, Jimmie from 2006-2013 is better than anyone today imo.

It's still surreal to see him getting outperformed by guys who he won all 7 of his championships against. The wreck, family, HMS decline I think had something to do with it. Signs with an Indy team..Jimmie is just done with his nascar career.

He's just riding around now.



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aunty dive

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Kevin is an 08’er from Bakersfield.

In spite of that, he managed to make it to mature adulthood. Ass beatings don’t fit well with parenting. Just my opinion, of course.
 

Ford 222

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So Harvick is a ***** that's all talk is that what you're saying? There's lots of drivers out there that don't do jack schitt. A few years ago on TV I saw him go jawwing all red faced and mad at Jimmie Johnson over at Johnson's hauler after an incident where they got together and it ruined Harvicks day so bad that he was in a must win to advance the next playoff round. There were no crew or officials around in that confrontation. Jimmie calmed the situation before it got out of hand. And Harvick won the next race advancing lol.
Yeah if he wanted any he would have walked through his wife. Delana was there to “hold him back”. I agree, JJ acted like a man in the face of a spoiled bully wannabe.
 

DaBiff1618

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If Harvick had Childers his whole career, he'd be right there in the Dale Sr./ Jimmie range of career wins. I also think he'd have 3 or 4 titles. He's that good. As of now I think he ends up with 60ish career wins and a 2nd title. And while I think Jimmie is better then Harvick, you also can't ignore that harvick is still elite late into his career while Jimmie is washed. That should further add to his legacy
 

jaqua19

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If Harvick had Childers his whole career, he'd be right there in the Dale Sr./ Jimmie range of career wins. I also think he'd have 3 or 4 titles. He's that good. As of now I think he ends up with 60ish career wins and a 2nd title. And while I think Jimmie is better then Harvick, you also can't ignore that harvick is still elite late into his career while Jimmie is washed. That should further add to his legacy
I don't think anyone has been this good this late into their career. Winning a title past 40 is one thing..competing for titles and races past 40 is another..

But being the best in the sport in your mid 40s? Have we seen this?

Harvs gonna retire with around 65-70 wins and 2 titles. 10 years ago, no one had him locked in as a top 30 driver. Now, he's probably a top 10 driver of all time.

Johnson
Gordon
Stewart
Busch
Harvick.

Arguably 5 of the 12 best ever.

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10-4

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Yeah if he wanted any he would have walked through his wife. Delana was there to “hold him back”. I agree, JJ acted like a man in the face of a spoiled bully wannabe.
I went back and found a video. Yep, Delana was there and Harvick's manager was too. You really got some Harvick hatred going on there. I hope you feel better when he wins another championship.
 

Ford 222

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I went back and found a video. Yep, Delana was there and Harvick's manager was too. You really got some Harvick hatred going on there. I hope you feel better when he wins another championship.
As I stated, driving a Ford helps, but he’s always been and always will be a punk that thinks he’s a bully....
 

Daytripper

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I always thought that the younger harvic back in rcr days was a bt of a dick. I remember laughing when he tried to get in montoya's face after a wreck years ago and montoya wasn't having it and harvick quickly backed down. He definitely had a bit of a bully in him it seemed. Since joining shr he seems to have grown up.
 

Ford 222

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I hope people don't judge me forever on mistakes I've made in the past. You really need to allow people to change and get better. What is the most recent thing he has said or done that upset you?
You are right, and I would if I saw anything that showed any remorse in how he acted. He seems to revel in his days when he thought he was as good as “a pimple on the intimidators ass” as Bobby Hamilton referred to him. He had the ego and had morons like Darrel Waltrip and Mike Joy buffaloed into thinking he was too. Which just perpetuated his attitude.

I‘d have to say the way he would throw his crew members under the bus instead of encouraging them and praising them (he will after a win) has been the most recent examples of his assholeness. I know, hasn’t happened lately as they have rarely had issues. I’m sure some will say their performance gains has been due to his harshness and that may be true to an extent. But I‘d bet it’s another role that oversees pit crew performance.
 
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