BROOKLYN, Mich. — Winless 14 races into the Cup season is not frustrating to Kevin Harvick.
“I am beyond all the frustration,” he said at Michigan International Speedway. “To me, it is now a challenge just because I feel like this is very similar to 2014 and 2017.”
Those were years when Harvick was fast but saw some opportunities to win go away for various reasons. Stewart-Haas Racing, which had all four of its drivers win at least once last year, has yet to claim a Cup victory this year. Instead, Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske have won 13 of the first 14 points races this season.
“Honestly, we just chose the wrong direction to start the year,” said Harvick, who won the most recent Michigan Cup race last August. “Our cars weren’t where they needed to be and everyone realizes that as a company.
“We had some situations where we were in position to win some races and had some things go wrong, whether it was my team or (Clint Bowyer). In the end, our cars just weren’t fast enough. I think everybody has kept their head down and are looking at it as a challenge now. Aside from the second half of the Charlotte race, I think over the last month or so the cars are coming the right direction.”
Last weekend, a steering box issue and a pit road penalty conspired to keep Harvick from a chance to win.
Harvick said he asked his team about the steering box issue this week.
“I think the steering box issue is a new conversation that you have to look at all the suspension pieces and parts and everything that goes with it,” he said. “Every week we are 12-18 miles per hour faster through the center of the corner. There is a ton more load on suspension pieces, spindles, wheels, steering boxes, front clips and everything that has to do with the car is under a lot more load.
“To me, the learning situation that came out of breaking the steering box is asking the questions about everything else. Obviously that was a topic of conversation. I don’t get too in-depth involved in the conclusions to those questions but you have to ask questions. I think they have done a good job in trying to wrangle up everything that we feel like could be a problem going forward.”