Harvick for the West Coast Sweep? Let Your Bets Ride

Harvick for the West Coast Sweep? Let Your Bets Ride

by March 19, 2015 0 comments

Photo credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

FONTANA, Calif. — Kevin Harvick’s historic run in the Sprint Cup Series remains intact after picking up the win in the 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday.

The defending Cup champion’s win at Phoenix, his fourth in a row at the track, came off the heels of his first win of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the first race of NASCAR’s spring West Coast swing.

Entering this weekend’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, Harvick currently sits in a tie with Richard Petty for the most consecutive top-two finishes in NASCAR history with seven apiece. If the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet is to place in the top-two at Auto Club on Sunday, he will claim the record for itself.

Of course, that’s an accomplishment that’s easier said than done, but can the white-hot Harvick continue his success through the early stages of this season on Sunday and go a West Coast sweep?

If you bet on Harvick to win at Las Vegas and to win at Phoenix, the logical choice would be to let it ride on No. 4 entering the fifth race of the still young Sprint Cup season.

The lethal Harvick-Rodney Childers-SHR combo heads into a race that Harvick previously won with Richard Childress Racing in 2011.

Although he’s not in the top-10 of active drivers with more than five starts at the track in terms of his average finish at Auto Club, Harvick’s performance at Las Vegas is a strong indicator as to how the No. 4 team should perform in this Sunday’s 400-miler.

Entering this year’s Kobalt 400, Harvick had only scored five top-10 finishes at 14 career starts at the mile-and-a-half oval in ‘Sin City’ and had an average finish at the track of 14.7. While he may have been looked at as having a shot at the victory, his past history at the track didn’t suggest that the current points leader was looking forward to a dominating weekend at the track.

Well, statistics be damned.

Harvick’s No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet spent 142 of the 267 completed laps in the lead as last year’s champion collected his first Cup checkered flag in Las Vegas ahead of second-place finisher Martin Truex Jr. by 1.64 seconds in what was nothing short of a dominant performance.

In Phoenix, the No. 4 team was in a class of their own, leading 224 of 312 laps on the way to a win that has all but clinched the team their second Chase berth together.

They’ve been the class of the field for the past two weeks and were able to run well at Daytona and at Atlanta as well – leading 116 of 325 laps in the latter – there is seemingly no end in sight for this incredible run for the No. 4 team.

A West Coast sweep is looking more than likely for Harvick and the No. 4 crew. The team has been on fire since the drop of the green flag for the 2015 season and it appears that their flame will not be extinguished anytime soon.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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