Harvick Focused Going Into Playoffs

Nigel Kinrade/NKPPhoto

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

With Stewart-Haas Racing being in the news for the past couple days, it is all about focus for Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) team heading into the NASCAR Playoffs.

With the news of Smithfield going to SHR and the announcement that Danica Patrick would not return in 2018, there is no distraction about what is at hand over the net 10 weeks.

“There’s going to be changes and it’s not just our organization that has changes.  Things change and you have to be a part of those and work through those things because that’s really a part of business and it’s a part of sports,” said Harvick. “I think there’s obviously been a lot going on behind the scenes and you can just see the end result of it yesterday.”

Harvick believes that things have settled more in the last two months at SHR than unsettled about the plans for 2018. He believes that the changes the organization is making as a whole is strengthening and making the organization better as a whole.

For Ford Performance, winning a Cup championship has yet to occur since 2004 when Kurt Busch won the championship. Harvick believes that SHR can and will put them back on the championship stage. Harvick is looking forward to what Ford will be bringing to the track.

“I think as you go into the Playoffs here I think you know that we still have stuff that’s going to come and going to be built and it’s just a matter of if you can get it done fast enough and how much it actually is, so you don’t really know until you get it on the race track, and most of the things that are in the pipeline haven’t been on the race track yet, so you have to just go out and scrimp and scrap and scrape every week to get every point that you can,” said Harvick.

With NASCAR adding playoff points that will continue to accumulate throughout the playoffs, Harvick believes that the advantage will be more noticeable in the later rounds. The biggest concern for Harvick is not the playoff points, but how people perceive the playoffs.

“My only concern in the whole thing is what people think about it.  Are the Playoff the Playoffs when everything is not the same for everybody?  Don’t get me wrong, I like how it looked on paper and we just haven’t seen it play out yet and that’s the biggest thing,” Harvick stated.

Harvick will be approaching the playoffs one week at a time instead of three rounds consisting of three races. The biggest issue will be controlling the mindset and being prepared each week.

“It’s a one week at a time battle and the most important thing to do at this particular time of the season is control yourself from a mental capacity and trying to keep yourself prepared going into each week because you don’t know what you’re going to have to approach next week until you get done with this week,” said Harvick. “Even if you’re running good or you’re running bad, it’s a one week at a time and survive mentality until you go as far as you can.”

With one race win and three stage wins throughout the regular season, Harvick is seeded in the sixth position going into Chicagoland.

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