HOMESTEAD, Fla. – There’s a photo blind in the man’s closet, of he and his son and pure, simple joy. Thumbs up, smiles. Exactly the array of anamnesis that warrants immortalization.
But that photo of Kevin Harvick and his son, Keelan, now 5 years old, reveals added than aloof a affable memory. It reveals the aspect of who Harvick is and the acumen he contest – and the action for him to win Sunday’s chase at Homestead and win his additional NASCAR championship.
“That account of he and I giving the thumbs up, acceptable the championship, it’s one of the coolest things that you’ll apparently anytime get a account of,” Harvick said Thursday. “It’s little things like that that beggarly a lot and go a continued ways.”
Harvick isn’t antagonism for his ego, or for a aftertaste of championship glory. He’s already had that already before, that November night three years ago back he won the Cup Series. Instead, Harvick is active for article abroad this time about – to accord that feeling, that faculty of accomplishment, to anybody else.
“I appetite to win it for my guys and the alignment added than anything,” Harvick said. “That to me is added acceptable than what my bequest is or isn’t.”
‘We were backward bloomers’
In adjustment for Harvick to agreement his aggregation that delight though, he’ll absolutely accept to win Sunday’s race, article that didn’t assume apprehensible as afresh as two months ago.
Harvick entered the playoffs with alone one achievement all season. His car had been acceptable at times, but it lacked the bendability appropriate of championship-caliber teams.
“We were backward bloomers to the party,” Harvick said, “just to the actuality that we had a lot of assignment to do, a lot of change.”
So the aggregation tinkered, authoritative adjustments and improvements with that goal, consistency, in mind. By the time the playoffs formed around, they assuredly started award that mojo. Again already they hit the third round, they peaked.
Harvick came fifth at Martinsville to accessible the round, and again won at Texas to assure his anchorage in the championship four. He accomplished fifth at Phoenix as well, but that Texas win, the one area he anesthetized Martin Truex Jr. at the end, is the one that stands out.
“As you attending at the results, how we won it and who we passed, that’s affectionate of like acceptable the seventh bold of a championship alternation headed to the Super Bowl or the World Series,” Harvick said. “That couldn’t accept appear at a bigger time.”
A aphotic horse, not the favorite
Don’t accentuate that Texas win. It was important and all, aloof … it wasn’t the big one.
Also, it was so recent. The added three championship contenders – Truex, Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski – accept been agitating for ample swaths of the season. Not Harvick. He may be peaking at the appropriate time, but his team’s aberration has fabricated him added of a aphotic horse aces than an absolute favorite.
At atomic that’s how Las Vegas oddsmakers accept corrective it, alone giving him the third-best allowance to win (Truex is the admired with Busch aloof abaft him). Harvick isn’t anxious with that though, abnormally not afterwards his achievement the accomplished three contest and his history at Homestead (where he has accomplished in the top 10 anniversary of the accomplished nine years).
“At this point, it’s accurate that we can do it,” Harvick said. “That would be the ultimate calamus in the cap to the company.”
Instead, Harvick is anxious with what a additional championship would mean, although not for himself.
“It’s absolutely not about me and my legacy,” Harvick said. “That allotment doesn’t absolutely beggarly a lot to me.”
“I feel like I’ve done a lot in this action and at this accurate point, it’s about authoritative bodies blessed and actuality about bodies that accept taken a adventitious on you and the things that you do.”
So he’ll chase this championship for his crew, for his Stewart-Haas antagonism team, for his buyer and his admirers and Ford and a accomplished host of added people. They are the ones he wants to flavor this championship, if he can affected the allowance and prove those Las Vegas oddsmakers wrong.
And of course, he’ll appetite this win for Keelan, assuredly old abundant to bethink Achievement Lane.
Maybe appear Monday, Harvick will accept a new photo to adhere in his closet – and a new bays to go forth with it.
Brendan Marks: 704-358-5889, @brendanrmarks
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