OPINION: It’s hard to bet against Harvick at Loudon

By Sarah Handy, Staff Writer

As the NASCAR Cup Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301, it’s hard to bet against Kevin Harvick.

Okay, it’s hard to bet against Harvick in any aspect in 2020. More so, it’s especially hard with the kind of  season the 2014 Champion is having in his 20th year at NASCAR’s elite level.

Don’t count Harvick  as a contender for the win this weekend, if you have to ask me why, let’s just take a look at his Loudon stats.

He’s really good at The Magic Mile. In 36 NCS starts at Loudon, he has four wins, including two in a row in 2018 and 2019, 12 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes.

If you were to say my pick to win on Sunday is Kevin Harvick, you’d be correct. I just can’t bet against the guy. With that said, will he have any competition from the rest of the field? Oh, sure. I honestly think his closest competition will be Kyle Busch or Denny Hamlin considering their stats at Loudon. Busch, Harvick and Hamlin have a combined 10 wins at the New England track.

Crazy right? But remember, out of the three of them, ‘The Closer’ has two in a row and the last two events here have proven the nickname fits. In 2018, he had competition and pressure until the very end from Kyle [Busch] and last season it was Denny [Hamlin], but Harvick closed both those races out with a trip to victory lane.

Beyond his stats here, another reason you can’t count Harvick out is the season he’s having. Clearly, he has 2020 figured out — as far as racing is concerned.

In 19 starts, he has four wins, 12 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes on the season heading into NHMS. Oh, and he has led 700 laps, and completed 100% of the laps he’s attempted. Average finish — 6.5.

Harvick will look to make NHMS history as the first driver to win three consecutive NASCAR Cup Series races at the track. The only other drivers to win two in a row at the one-mile oval are Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch. Due to the random qualifying draw, Harvick will roll off the starting grid from the fourth row in the seventh position.

Overall, I’d say he’s a solid pick for this weekend. He’s definitely my pick! Who’s your pick to win? Comment below and be sure to tune into the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at 3:00 PM ET live on NBCSN.

Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP Photo

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