Kevin Harvick had a dismal 42nd place finish last week at Daytona, but can he make a comeback this week at Phoenix? Kevin Harvick has two wins and three top five finishes at Phoenix with an average finish inside the top 15. Do we smell a come back? Coming into this season, Kevin Harvick is one of the favorites to throw five-time Jimmie Johnson off the champion stage, but an early engine failure in the Daytona 500, has left Harvick digging out of a hole as he comes to Phoenix.
Going into the off-season, the Budweiser 29 RCR car was red hot. Although they cooled a bit in Daytona, Harvick remains one of the best 2011 contenders for the Sprint Cup Championship. What does Kevin Harvick have to do to win at Phoenix?
Qualifying has always been one of Kevin Harvick’s downfalls. Harvick needs a good qualifying run on Saturday morning. A good start means a prime pit location, it could be a winning edge the Budweiser 29 crew needs over the field.
Harvick has not won on the mile in half Phoenix track in the sprint cup series since April of 2006, which doesn’t exactly place him among the ideal fantasy racing drivers for this race. This season, NASCAR has revamped the cup schedule, including moving the second race of the season to Phoenix. All of these changes by NASCAR have lead to resurgence in popularity by the fans and therefore an increase of fantasy racing games. Last week’s Daytona 500 was one of the best in years. Will this continue this week at Phoenix and will Kevin Harvick be able to regroup?
In order to win the Phoenix Subway Fresh Fit 500 this year, Harvick needs to find the right handle to his car. The art of handling has become more complex, especially since NASCAR has gotten rid one crewmember over the wall this year. Fantasy drivers and teams now need to learn to adapt to this change without the cost of time on pit road. The Budweiser crew remained the same over the off-season, giving them confidence in each other coming into this week’s race at Phoenix. Trusting in his team and communicating the right changes could win Harvick the race.
With Harvick’s qualifying record, he could be coming from the back of the field this week. The driver to the Budweiser 29 car is use to coming from the back and RCR has mastered the one-mile tracks such as Phoenix, but was is their engine trouble a one-time thing?
Lots of questions remain as the Phoenix Subway Fresh Fit 500 comes around, but don’t count out the Budweiser 29 crew and Kevin Harvick.