NASCAR – Is Kevin Harvick the new favorite?
Kevin Harvick has become the first driver to clinch a berth for the 2010 Chase. He is the most dominant driver out there and his dominance over the rest of the field in this Sunday at Michigan should be enough to post him as the No. 1 Favorite to win the Sprint Cup Series.
AS of press time, Harvick has managed to shadow the 4 consecutive-time winner Jimmie Johnson and company. Wit three races to go, on the regular Sprint Cup season, Harvick has cleared up a 239-point gap between him and the second place, and as if that was not enough, he has opened up a 400-point lead over Jimmie Johnson.
But not all has been said about this possible dwell. We shouldn't forget that Jimmie has never been in the lead in any of his previous four Championship wins. He has not been the points leader by the time the regular season ends, but he has managed to show off beautifully once the Chase begins. But here is the thing, 400 points is a very significant distance.
If the sports betting industry had not already handicapped Harvick among the favorites, well, after this great performance over at the Michigan International Speedway has had to catch their eye. Harvick has been in the top 10 for most of the season, and he has had all but three top-20 finishes in this current Sprint Cup season.
There is an upside and a downside to the way this tournament has been deployed. The thing is that you are not winning the Sprint Cup because of your good performance year round, but because of what happens in the last 10 weeks. And, considering it follows with most of American sports competition formats, with a regular season and a postseason, what really matters at the end is what happens at the end. Harvick, for instance, is well aware of his dominance over Johnson in the regular season, but he is also well aware of the fact that Johnson is still his number one threat. He has been in a similar position at the end of the season during the last 4 Sprint Cup Championships and yet he has managed to make the most out of the Chase.
Harvick knows that his team has to be very efficient in the postseason, otherwise, it would not matter what a great season they have had up to this point. After the race he said: "We're fast enough to beat 'em (Johnson and his team), but the circumstances and all the things have to go your way over the last 10 weeks. It's not about a whole season anymore; it's about 10 weeks."
Johnson could now be facing his fifth in a row, if everything moves as usual. But this year, the Sprint Cup might go not to the guy who wins the most races at the end of the season, but rather to the driver that can be more consistent in the last 10 weeks. And that gives Harvick the edge. Johnson has been up and down all season long. The bottom line is that Harvick could put an end to Johnson hegemony. He is not as dominant as he has been and Harvick is got the motivation and the talent to pull off the upset.
About the Author:
Stephen Lars is a prominent sports blogger and currently covers the NASCAR news, previews and handicaps for the BetIAS' Sports Betting Blog . You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.