Start ‘N’ Park Blog is taking a look back at the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver by driver. This recap will take a look at the driver’s stats, the season’s highlights, the season’s lowlights, what a quick look at next year. This installment takes a look back at Kevin Harvick who finished in the 8th place in the final standings.
Preseason Pick: 4th
Top 5s: 5
Top 10s: 14
What Was Said Prior To The Season:
“Three years in a row finishing third? No, won’t happen for Kevin Harvick, but it won’t be in the direction he’d hope. I think he keeps the same consistency that has kept him in the top three, but he won’t make the jump just yet. He won three races quickly in the first part of 2011 by leading minimal laps, but then puttered along for the rest of the year. He needs more wins or the same number just spread out throughout the year. Shifts at Richard Childress Racing are getting the wheels moving in the right direction.”
What Happened In 2012:
Richard Childress Racing took a step back in 2012, and Harvick had probably the quietest run into the Chase ever. He was mostly an afterthought for myself, even with second place finishes at Phoenix and Dover early in the season. He got into a comfortable position of sixth-ninth in the points and just stayed there all season long. He did raise spirits with a win at Phoenix to help close the season with three consecutive top 10 finishes for something to build on.
On To 2013:
While they can try to build on those last three races, they will have a troublesome 2013 with the elephant in room being Harvick is leaving after that year. I’m split so far on whether he will have a great run because of no pressure, or will collapse under the constant questioning about 2014.