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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2008 Driver Review: Kevin Harvick

2008 Ride: No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
2008 Primary Sponsor: Shell/Pennzoil
2008 Owner: Richard Childress
2008 Crew Chief: Todd Barrier

Stats: 36 races, 0 wins, 7 top fives, 19 top 10s, 0 poles, fourth in points

Best Finish: Second (Bristol – spring and Homestead)

High Point: In a season marked by a failure to visit victory lane, Kevin Harvick’s high point of the season was arguably leading 80 laps in the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond before fading to seventh at the finish. Harvick also finished second at Bristol and Homestead, but did not really look as though he would have a chance to win those races.

Low Point: Harvick’s low point was at the Brickyard 400, when he was taken out in an early crash and finished 12 laps down. Heading into the race, the RCR team was feeling very confident that they could become two-time winners at the hallowed grounds, but never had the chance to even assert themselves.

Summary: Harvick’s season was more successful than most of his other previous seasons in Cup, tying his career-high points finish of fourth. He continued his series leading string of races without a DNF by running at the end of every race this season, making the total now 80 in a row without being in the garage at the end. Harvick was strong during the Chase this season with seven top 10s, a 13th place and a 20th at Talladega in October after being wrecked. As the season ended, Harvick was the highest-finishing driver of the three drivers in the RCR stable. The only thing missing was a win; it was the first time in four years since Harvick failed to visit victory lane, and he had his lowest number of laps led (192) since 2004.

2009 Outlook: Harvick and the No. 29 race team are not supposed to have any major changes for 2009. Todd Berrier will once again be on top of the pit box, with continued sponsorship from Shell and Pennzoil. The expansion of RCR to four teams may put some strain on the resources of the organization, but the chemistry and history of Berrier and Harvick should make them a formidable team once again. The big question is whether RCR’s longest-tenured driver will remain with the team long-term. Headed into the final year of his contract with RCR, discussions about his future could potentially be a distraction for this team.

2006 Frontstretch Grade: A-
2007 Grade: B
2008 Grade: A-

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