How do you stop Kevin Harvick? Other drivers would like to know

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Other than putting nails in his tires or messing with his fuel supply, teams have had little luck in stopping Kevin Harvick.

The defending Sprint Cup champion and current points leader is riding the most consistent run NASCAR has seen in 40 years.

In his last eight Sprint Cup races (dating back to the last three events in 2014), Harvick has eight top-2 finishes: four wins and four runner-up finishes.

That’s the best run by any Sprint Cup driver since NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty had 11 consecutive top-2 finishes in the 1975 season.

And there’s no reason why Harvick can’t continue his outstanding ways in Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Several drivers talked about Harvick’s current run Friday. Here are some of those comments:

Jeff Gordon: “(Harvick’s success) inspires us to push harder. We know their (Stewart-Haas Racing) cars and their engines. We know a lot, but not everything, about their setups and they know about ours as well.

“When you’re getting beat out there on the track, it pushes you to try to find more. You start looking at photographs and what little small details are being done. We do that with our teammates and we do that with Stewart-Haas because we have that information and because they’re the best team out there right now.

“They’re the fastest cars. We’re always trying to make our own things better, but we’re also always trying to look around to make sure we’re not missing something.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: “I don’t think many people have had a season or 16 months like Harvick has. They should have won so many races last year. They had the same speed that they have this year. They just had these little gremlins and bugs that were biting on them and costing them a lot of victories.

“They are completing these races now and it’s obvious to everyone how good they are. They’ll be that way all year, I expect. And Kevin, he’s a good guy. He’s great for the sport. He’s a great representative of the sport. I enjoy a guy like that doing well because I think it helps the sport and it’s healthy for the sport. He has a great mind inside the car and outside the car. He’s very sharp about the direction the sport is going. As a business, safety-wise, he’s got a lot of great ideas and he’s just a great ambassador for us drivers and for the sport.

“Harvick has been quick everywhere. I think he’s a better driver than we ever imagined when he was with RCR and I think now that he’s with one of the better crew chiefs (Rodney Childers) in the garage, he’s able to really show his true potential and his true ability; and he’s good everywhere. He’s won here (at Martinsville). He’s won at a lot of different tracks and he’s starting to rack them up, here, now that he’s got his team really peaked-out.”

Denny Hamlin: “I think that we do have an idea of what we’ve got, but it’s so early in the season that it’s going to be mid-summer before we really start to understand where your program fully is and you go back to some of these race tracks again. I think everyone right now is chasing really the 4 (Kevin Harvick) car and some other Hendrick guys. Still plenty of time to catch those guys here in the future.”

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