In a sport that is based so much on numbers such as elapsed time, speed and more, Kevin Harvick is becoming a walking, talking advertisement for the science of numerology.
Think about it: not only does Harvick drive the No. 4 Stewart Haas Racing Ford Mustang, he now has three fourth-place finishes in the first five races of the 2019 NASCAR Cup season.
Harvick had to work at it in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. He didn’t have the best or fastest car in the field, but constant adjustments by his team on pit road throughout the race kept improving the car, leading to its ultimate fourth-place showing.
“My guys did a great job,” Harvick said. “We didn’t have much that we thought was going well this weekend, but they made the car better and did a great job of keeping us in the game. It raced well and we had a great day on pit road. We overachieved today and I am really proud of everyone on the team for that.”
Harvick acknowledged he didn’t have much late in the race for eventual winner Kyle Busch, runner-up Joey Logano and third-place finisher Brad Keselowski, which is why he was so happy to put forth yet another fourth.
“I didn’t have anything for the Penske cars or the 18 car (Busch),” Harvick said. “They did a great job of racing hard all day and we made a lot out of the West Coast Swing with not very much. We have some work to do but we know you still have to go race. Our Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang was okay today and we got a decent finish.”
Harvick has earned fourth-place finishes at Atlanta, Las Vegas and now Fontana, sandwiched around a ninth-place showing at Phoenix, falling back from a potential top-five finish in the closing laps.
While he’d obviously love to reach victory lane, his fourth-place finishes have helped to keep him right in the middle of the points standings, leaving Fontana in third-place in the rankings, 24 points behind points leader Busch.
“We have done that four weeks in a row but when you come to this West Coast swing you have what you have and we left here with four top-10’s and three top-fives over the first five races.
“I am proud of everybody for that. It isn’t always going to be good. You have to try to figure out how to do things better when they aren’t going very good and our guys have done that.”