Tweets to the winner: Kevin Harvick at Kansas
When the checkered flag flew Sunday at Kansas, Kevin Harvick rebounded from a disastrous race last week at Charlotte to lock himself in the Round of 8 and further advance himself in the Chase. Fans of Harvick are excited to see their driver race for title number two, inching a step closer to the the Championship 4 race at Homestead (or Phoenix, the second-to-last race, depending on who you ask). @KevinHarvick great job driver can't wait to see you drive for the championship in Phoenix — Larry Roberts (@BakoEMT47) October 16, 2016 Harvick's been on fire this season, but not enough to wrap up the title in the Round of 8, no matter how much fans show up to pull for their driver. @KevinHarvick here to toot you on #4thewin pic.twitter.com/LSJpf2WkXe — Shawn Belt (@ShawnBelt) October 16, 2016 Prior to the Chase’s start, Harvick tweeted a GIF of a raging bull to illustrate his attitude toward the 2016 championship battle, earning himself the nickname "The Bull." As I was reminded after the race, "The Bull" is just one of many, many nicknames Harvick's earned in his career. @KevinHarvick Happy Harvick's new name is "The Bull"! Congratulations Kevin !! — Jeff Morris (@Jeffmorrissings) October 16, 2016 @KevinHarvick @DeLanaHarvick Go Happy!!! #TheChase — Donna K. (@DonnaK93) October 16, 2016 @KevinHarvick = closer. — Tim S. (@spottertim) October 16, 2016 Mr where did he come from! Sweet!!! @Milfy_B @KevinHarvick @DeLanaHarvick — Jeanette Giffey (@Netters08) October 16, 2016 @KevinHarvick great win!!! El Toro!!! — TraciDenise (@tracidenise29) October 16, 2016 @KevinHarvick great job mr pressure man.. — Jay Cremeans (@jaysflrv) October 16, 2016 @KevinHarvick nickname is not happy anymore. It's 'Mr. Clutch' hell of a job today! @DeLanaHarvick @RodneyChilders4 @StewartHaasRcng — 'Mr Clutch' Frame (@Scottframe28) October 17, 2016 @KevinHarvick The Eliminator — TheILF (@_Terry_Bull_) October 16, 2016 @DeLanaHarvick congratulations Pops . Go win it all #4 — Lorri Jackson (@Laj2J) October 16, 2016 Never count out Cactus King. RT if you agree.! I say! #4TheWin — KH4 (@kh4) October 17, 2016 @KevinHarvick Congrats, WildMan... — G Cornelius (@gcorn_4theWin) October 16, 2016 @KevinHarvick @RodneyChilders4 @StewartHaasRcng WAY TO ROLL "HARV" That's what we know #4team can do!! #congrats to all #4 team❗️ — Chrissie Leeson (@ChrissieLeeson) October 16, 2016 That’s Kevin "The Bull" "Happy" "The Closer" "Mr. Where Did He Come From" "El Toro" "Mr. Pressure Man" "Mr. Clutch" "The Eliminator" "Pops" "Cactus King" "WildMan" "Harv" Harvick, if you're planning on a No. 4 tattoo to celebrate the big win at Kansas. Maybe leave some space for more nicknames, just in case. @KevinHarvick 's truly a great driver. Ta hell w goofy nicknames he's talented/competitive driver. Congrats @StewartHaasRcng #HC400 #TheChase — GraydonBunn (@GraydonJessica) October 16, 2016
The Rundown: Talladega driver grades
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid Breaking down the full field for the Hellmann's 500 at Talladega Superspeedway : 1. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . Not even dragging his jack around for one lap could keep Logano out of Victory Lane. Logano grabbed the lead five laps after the engine of teammate Brad Keselowski 's dominant No. 2 car expired and he didn't let it go, leading the final 45 laps. Grade: A 2. Brian Scott , No. 44 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . In his 49th start, Scott snagged the best finish of his career -- and first top 10 -- with a brilliant run. It also was the best finish for RPM since Marcos Ambrose placed second at Watkins Glen more than two years ago . Grade: A+ 3. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Hamlin was penalized for speeding on pit road (again) and advanced to the next round of the Chase by the slimmest of margins (about two feet). Hamlin didn't make it easy on himself, but he's moving on -- and his No. 1 track, Martinsville, is up next. Grade: A 4. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Steady Busch flew under the radar into the Round of 8. Well, until his postrace dust-up with teammate Kevin Harvick . Grade: A 5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse's fourth top 10 in seven starts at Talladega is also his sixth this season, a personal best. In addition, it was his fourth top five this season, one more than in his previous three full-time seasons combined. Grade: A 6. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . Larson posted his best finish at Talladega since finishing ninth in his first race there in May 2014. Grade: A 7. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick was running behind Joey Logano on Logano's "jack lap" and caught a huge break when the jack remained attached to Logano's car and didn't fly into him. Grade: A 8. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Finally! Almirola's streak of starts without a top-10 finish ends at a career-high 32. Grade: A 9. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . How close was Dillon to advancing in the Chase? The difference was the one point Denny Hamlin earned by finishing .006 seconds ahead of Kurt Busch . Grade: A 10. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger posts back-to-back top-10 finishes for the third time this season despite having an average running position Sunday of 25.8. Grade: A- 11. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing . Blaney ran with the leaders all afternoon, and his 7.6 average running position was third best. He also led laps for the second time this season. Grade: A 12. Chase Elliott , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Elliott needed a win to advance in the Chase and did everything he could -- his average running position of 7.3 was second to Kurt Busch 's 6.9 -- but he was hemmed in at the end and couldn't challenge the front-runners. Grade: A 13. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard posted his best finish since his last top 10, in July at Indianapolis. Grade: B 14. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman, whose average running position of 27.3 was highest among drivers finishing in the top 20, ran one lap in the top 15 -- his last. Grade: B- 15. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle was strong early and led 13 laps, but his day took a negative turn when he brought out the second caution on Lap 114. A coming-together with Jeffrey Earnhardt and Casey Mears sent all three cars into the inside wall. Grade: C 16. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Chevrolet, Circle Sport- Leavine Family Racing . Three of McDowell's five best finishes this season have been on restrictor-plate tracks (10th and 15th at Daytona). Grade: A 17. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne was two cars behind Kasey Kahne when Kahne spun on Lap 182. Bayne was able to check up and avoid running into the back of Jamie McMurray . Grade: B- 18. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . In a season of small victories, Bowyer posted his 10th top-20 finish of the season. Grade: B- 19. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . McMurray's day was saved when he didn't plow into Kasey Kahne 's spinning car immediately in front of him on Lap 182. Grade: B- 20. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick now has finished 20th to 24th in half of this year's races (16 of 32). Grade: C 21. Landon Cassill , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Cassill made a great save with 20 laps to go when his car went veering down the track after he tried to fill a gap in front of David Ragan and received a nudge from behind. Grade: B 22. Chris Buescher , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . That Buescher finished the race is the story here. He had DNFs for crashes in the season's first three restrictor-plate races. Grade: B 23. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson did his best to help teammate Chase Elliott , but in the end, wherever the No. 48 finished was never an issue. Johnson's ticket into the next round of the Chase was punched two weeks ago. Grade: S (for Smart, Safe and Satisfactory) 24. David Ragan , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Ragan posted his best finish at Talladega since finishing sixth in the fall race three years ago. Grade: C 25. Regan Smith , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Smith posted his second-best finish in restrictor-plate races this season. He finished eighth in the Daytona 500 . Grade: C 26. Ryan Reed , No. 99 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Nice Sprint Cup debut for the 23-year-old. Grade: B- 27. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 93 Toyota, BK Racing . Great effort by DiBenedetto, who raced even though he was in the throes of food poisoning. Grade: C+ 28. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . If you are going to be critical of what Gibbs drivers Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch did Sunday -- playing it safe by driving together in the back of the field -- would you have been critical of any of the three if they had mixed it up in the peloton, crashed and failed to advance in the Chase? You can't have it both ways. Grade: S (as in See Jimmie Johnson ) 29. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Ibid. Grade: S 30. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Op cit. Grade: S 31. Bobby Labonte , No. 32 Ford, GO FAS Racing. Our TBJT (Throw Back to Junior Theme) Latin bibliography references end with Labonte, who completed his four-race, restrictor-plate run for the second consecutive year the same way he began the season – with a 31st-place finish. Grade: C- 32. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Driver Tony's 70th superspeedway restrictor-plate race finished quietly. Can't say the same for Owner Tony. Grade: D 33. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett stayed out during green-flag pit stops and led six laps, one fewer than he led in his first 101 Sprint Cup starts. Grade: C+ 34. Jeffrey Earnhardt , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . Earnhardt's Lap 114 tangle with Greg Biffle also collected Casey Mears . Despite significant damage, Earnhardt posted the first lead-lap finish of his career (20 starts). Grade: C 35. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne went for a spin on Lap 182, and his run of good finishes -- six top 10s in his previous seven races -- spun out, too. Grade: D 36. Alex Bowman , No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Bowman's tweet said it all: "3rd with 5 to go and we finish 36th ... damn speedway racing." Grade: D 37. Reed Sorenson , No. 55 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Sorenson finished 13 laps off the pace in his first start at Talladega in two years. Grade: F 38. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . Keselowski had the dominant car and led a race-high 90 laps, but he held the point for too long after debris blocked part of his grill. A slick, orchestrated move with Ryan Blaney removed the debris, but it was too late. Moments later, his engine started smoking and his day, and championship hopes, came to an end on Lap 145. Grade: F 39. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Racing can be so cruel. For the second time in three weeks, something bad happened to Mears for no other reason than he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This time, he was two lanes below Greg Biffle and having a beautiful day when Biffle turned into Jeffrey Earnhardt and also collected Mears. The three slammed into the inside wall, but only Mears could not continue and was gone after 113 laps. Two weeks ago, Mears received a "U" grade for Unfortunate. This week? Based on his grade at Charlotte -- and if you caught all four clues -- you know the answer. Grade: U2 40. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Toyota, Furniture Row Racing . When Truex's engine blew on Lap 42, his championship hopes ended as well. It's a shame Truex won't be able to contend for the championship, but we haven't heard the last of Truex this season. Finishing with the most victories would be huge. Grade: F
H2H: Chase's Round of 12 set to stir at Charlotte
RELATED: See the Chase Grid Story lines abound, and NASCAR.com's Holly Cain and Zack Albert tackle three pressing topics as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup enters the Round of 12 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . 1. What surprised you most from Dover weekend in terms of who advanced in the Chase elimination race and who did not? Cain: I was surprised by the results in several areas, but more so by drivers who did not advance as expected. Like many, I believed Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kyle Larson would advance well beyond the Round of 16. In fact, I had him in my Championship 4. I do believe he will win another race before the season is over. And perhaps I was being sentimental in expecting Tony Stewart to advance, but I still remember the amazing Chase charge in 2011 and saw the motivation in the three-time champion's eyes after he won at Sonoma this summer. Albert: Austin Dillon 's advancement on the basis of pure consistency didn't send shock waves through the ol' surprise meter, but fate's cruel hand for Chip Ganassi Racing did. To see both Larson and teammate Jamie McMurray ejected from the Chase field at least qualified as a mild stunner. It's a solid dozen that remain, but Dover showed again how exacting this postseason format can be. RELATED: Larson, McMurray ousted from Chase after Dover woes 2. With the points standings reset for the Chase Round of 12, all drivers resume with a clean slate. Are there any incentives you would add to enhance the current format? Cain: A case could be made to give drivers who have won in the Chase a small points bonus in the ensuing round. But the equal reset given to all 12 drivers in the current format certainly increases the drama in a very different way from the Chase start, when regular-season wins are factored in. It's the first time since the Daytona 500 green flag that the top-tier drivers are ranked evenly, and it should make the next three races even more dramatic. Albert: It may not rate highly on the drama scale, but I've always maintained that the top points-earner during the regular season should be rewarded -- nominally if not handsomely. A first-round bye might be a stretch, but a bigger bounty of points would offer a larger incentive for consistent performance over the opening 26 events. Offering bonus points through each elimination round would be an inviting enhancement, but keeping them out of the championship race -- leaving the calculators at home -- has valuable merits. RELATED: Are added incentives for regular-season winners on horizon? 3. Among the remaining 12 Chase drivers, who's your pick to win this weekend at Charlotte and lock in early in the Round of 8? Cain: There's a certain six-time champion who I believe will collect his eighth win at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend. Jimmie Johnson has been close to wins already in the Chase only to fall victim to pit-road miscues -- something uncharacteristic of his Hendrick Motorsports organization. You've got to think that will be cleaned up, and I believe there's no one more motivated to remind naysayers why he is the modern era's very best. Albert: Is there any stopping the Truexpress? Wins in two of the first three Chase races have established the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota as a strong title favorite, and the team returns to the site of Truex's crushing victory in the Coca-Cola 600 in May. Placing former Charlotte winners Kevin Harvick , Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson under the heading of "sleepers" ranks as a testament to Truex's formidable stature this season. Upcoming wild-card races at Talladega and Martinsville have the potential to derail the No. 78's march; don't count on that happening this weekend at Charlotte.
H2H: Chase tension hits a rapid clip at Martinsville
RELATED: Meet the Chase's final 8 " Martinsville entry list The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs grinds on, with four races to go and one more elimination before the Championship 4 is determined for next month's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway . With Talladega Superspeedway behind us and the final three-race series staged and ready for the Sprint Cup Series' return this weekend to Martinsville Speedway , our Holly Cain and Zack Albert tackle three pressing topics for the season's homestretch: 1. After a hectic day at Talladega, the Chase's Round of 8 is finally set. Any surprises at who's in, who's out? Cain: I think obviously not having this season's winningest drivers in the final eight is a major upset. I would have expected Martin Truex Jr . and Brad Keselowski to easily advance and frankly felt either might have visited Talladega's Victory Lane, not end their day in the track's garage. The four-car Joe Gibbs Racing sweep into the next round also defies odds, but more power to the team. They will have their hands full, however, with Chevy's Kevin Harvick and a certain six-time series champion, Jimmie Johnson . Albert: Agreed, the omissions of Truex and Keselowski counted as at least mild jolts, but at this phase of the process, there's only so much water that can go into the funnel. All of the final eight drivers have visited Victory Lane at some point this season, with all but one -- Kurt Busch -- making multiple trips. The only thing we're missing is a true underdog (see: winless Ryan Newman in 2014, a much more lightly regarded Truex in 2015), and that also qualifies as a subtle surprise. 2. NASCAR announced rules Wednesday designed to limit Sprint Cup drivers' participation in other national series starting in 2017. What's the net effect? Cain: The obvious upside to this is improved opportunity for up-and-coming drivers to truly show their wares against similar talent as they ascend the NASCAR ladder. More trophies, more winner's checks, more attention. They also will have to showcase their personalities more, however, to keep the story lines interesting in absence of the popular Cup drivers that more naturally fill newsfeeds. This is great opportunity, but it will require great work, too. Albert: Besides the increased opportunity overall, I believe the greatest impact will be felt once the playoffs roll around. With both XFINITY and the Camping World Truck Series just now dabbling in their first ventures into Chase waters, those series now have a greater chance to establish their regular drivers' stardom when it counts -- in the postseason. 3. Four races remain in the championship battle, with Martinsville Speedway next up on the schedule. Whether it's a Chaser aiming for a free pass to the Homestead finale or a non-Chaser hoping to play spoiler, who's your winning pick for the weekend? Cain: This is truly shaping up to be one of the most compelling Martinsville races in a long line of fantastic Martinsville races. Denny Hamlin is buoyed by the dramatic entry into this round of the Chase and has an enviable and proven track record here. But my pick is Jimmie Johnson , who will remind everyone of his massive talent and determination in pursuit of a record-tying seventh Cup in 2016. Albert: Record-tying seventh championship? Sounds like a storybook tale. But how about the chances of a Jeff Gordon sunset-riding repeat of his Martinsville victory in 2015? How about Denny Hamlin finally getting another shot at making good on his childhood promise to Coach Joe Gibbs that he'd drive to a title for him someday? The heart's pick at Martinsville goes with Gordon; the brain's vote takes Hamlin on the tricky sliver of a race track that still packs 'em in.
Harvick's in-car reaction to Busch scrape
Take a listen to Kevin Harvick's in-car audio after Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch scrapes the side of the No. 4 car at Talladega Superspeedway.
Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano have issues at the same time
RELATED: Harvick on his day " Logano on his troubles " Results " Chase Grid CONCORD, N.C. -- Joey Logano picked up a single point, and only time will tell if that seemingly insignificant amount will make any difference as drivers in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup regroup and prepare to head to Kansas Speedway (Oct. 16, 2:15 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) next weekend. The Team Penske driver spent approximately 80 laps in the garage after bouncing off the wall a second time during Sunday's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . His team, led by crew chief Todd Gordon, made repairs as best they could, then sent Logano back out onto the track in the scarred yellow No. 22 Ford. That helped him gain one more point, for a total of six in the race. Kevin Harvick got no such second chance. Electrical issues had surfaced on the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet just before Logano crashed into the wall a second time. There was no repairing the internal breakage for Harvick, and the 2014 series champion bowed out after 155 laps of the 334-lap event, 38th in the 40-car field. "We're not out by any means," said Logano, who swept all three races in the Round of 12 a year ago. "We had a very fast car. … It was capable of winning. "Things happen. It's part of racing, but we're not out." Logano finished 36th, one spot ahead of AJ Allmendinger whose No. 47 Chevrolet was silenced a bit later. One position and one point may not make a difference in the next two races of this round. Then again, as strange as Sunday's race -- which was postponed one day due to Hurricane Matthew -- turned out to be, why take a chance? A year ago, Logano won all three Chase races in the second round. Now, the No. 22 team will regroup and focus on Kansas and, beyond that, Talladega. "We're still fighting," Logano said. "We've got a really good race team and we can go to Kansas and win. These two race tracks, Charlotte and Kansas, are our best ones and we proved last year that we can do it and we'll just have to do it again." Harvick led once for 12 laps at CMS after starting on the pole. While he fell off the lead lap once when a round of green-flag pit stops were interrupted by a caution, he was able to get his lap back when Logano tagged the wall for the first time on Lap 117. Barely 30 laps later, the No. 4 Chevrolet slowed and Harvick headed to the garage, done for the day. It was the third DNF for the team this season. "I thought it was a power issue," he said, "so I cycled through everything. By the time I figured out what happened it just shut off. It looks like low oil pressure. "I hate it for everybody … they made some great adjustments today and got our car back where we needed to be to run up front and everything was going fine." Logano (3,006) and Harvick (3,004) departed CMS 11th and 12th in the Chase standings, respectively. Only the top eight will advance to the next round. Because other Chase drivers had problems of their own, the two find themselves just six (Logano) and eight (Harvick) behind eighth-place Denny Hamlin (3,012). Austin Dillon and Chase Elliott also had trouble -- both were involved in a late-race crash on a restart -- and are ninth and 10th in points. READ: Elliott, Dillon involved in big wreck "Lots of things can go wrong," Harvick said, "and today they did." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Chase adversity makes Kevin Harvick, 4 team stronger
RELATED: Chase Grid " Round of 12 outlook for every driver NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick and his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team have become accustomed to overcoming long odds. It is not a situation the group particularly enjoys. Timely victories have kept Harvick in title contention ever since NASCAR officials re-vamped the series' Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format three years ago, adding an elimination element to the process. In 2014, he faced a must-win situation at Phoenix International Raceway . He won, then went to Homestead the following week and beat Ryan Newman , Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano to capture his first Sprint Cup championship. In 2015, he and his team needed a victory at Dover International Speedway , to advance out of the Round of 16. He won again. And once again made it all the way to the Championship 4, eventually finishing second to Kyle Busch . Harvick didn’t need a win this past weekend at Dover – a victory the previous weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway had already guaranteed he and his team a berth in the Round of 12 – but when a broken track bar mount sidelined the black & white Chevrolet, the "what-ifs" came to mind. RELATED: Early trouble sends Harvick to the garage at Dover What if Harvick hadn’t won at New Hampshire? What if he had finished second? Had that been the case, based on the Dover results, it would have been Tony Stewart , the three-time series champion and co-owner of Harvick's team, advancing and not Harvick. "Good timing, that's for sure," Harvick said Tuesday during a round of media availabilities at NASCAR's Charlotte headquarters. "But I think that's really how this whole deal has to go; no matter how fast your car is you still have to have things go your way as well." The ability to come through in the clutch says a lot about Harvick, 40, and the team led by crew chief Rodney Childers. It speaks to their ability to overcome adversity under pressure. It speaks to their individual talent, as well as the product they put on the race track. "You're only as good as the people you have around you," Harvick said. "In my particular situation, you have a group of people that just take it to another level when we get into the Chase." RELATED: Harvick has been clutch in the Chase quite often The preference, of course, would be for a team not to find itself in a must-win situation in the first place. But things happen. Parts break. Wrecks occur. That his team has managed to successfully navigate its way through the setbacks on so many occasions, Harvick said, has made the group stronger. "We've definitely had our back against the wall more times than we probably should have," he said, "but I think it's also been great character builders for us … the past couple of years. It gives us a lot of experience in dealing with the pressures and things that come with the Chase. It's a high pressure situation and you need to win races in order to keep moving on." And in today's NASCAR, winning is everything. Win a race before the Chase, and you're practically guaranteed a berth in the 16-team Chase field. Win a race in the Chase, and you move on to the next round. Points play a pivotal role as well, but Harvick said he would rather control his own destiny than leave it up to the "points gods." Winning provides him that opportunity. "There are just so many things on these cars that can go wrong," he said. "You can get in an accident. You just never know. "Everybody talks about Talladega but we could have a huge pileup on a restart like we did at Dover in the (spring) race. At Charlotte, Kansas, Martinsville, you could go anywhere and have that happen. "You just have to look at it like any moment could be a bad moment and any moment could be a good moment. You need to capitalize on the good moments in order to control as many as you can." • The No. 4 team has seen no pit-road issues since making a change in its over-the-wall crew prior to this year's Chase, and Harvick said Tuesday he has no regrets about voicing his concerns. "This is a championship team," he said. "We've won the championship. And it needs to be a championship team from the performance on the track, in the shop, on pit road and from the driver’s seat. That's just the expectation that is out there. Those are the expectations that I have and those are the expectations I put on my guys and they put on each other. "I believe there is some pretty thick skin on my team and they all know that we are there to be successful. It's easier to talk about things when they aren't going well than to let them progress. I have no problem being the bad guy; some people love me; some people hate me. It doesn't bother me." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Chase trivia with Kevin Harvick
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman quizzes 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, on his Chase knowledge.
Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 NXS car chief passes away
Ryan Shea, car chief for the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, died Wednesday night at his home in Troutman, North Carolina, according to the team. He was 34. "It is a sad day for our team as we mourn the untimely loss of Ryan," team owner Chip Ganassi said in a team release. "Ryan was a dedicated worker and a great friend to those on our team, as well as others in the garage. Our hearts go out to Ryan’s family and friends during this difficult time." Shea had previously worked at Michael Waltrip Racing before joining CGR in 2015. Kyle Larson and Justin Marks have been behind the wheel of the No. 42 this season. My thoughts on the passing of Ryan Shea: pic.twitter.com/XzKUBibck1 — Justin Marks (@JMarksDE) March 31, 2016 "Ryan was a tremendous asset to Chip Ganassi Racing and the No. 42 team and will be sorely missed," said crew chief Mike Shiplett. "My thoughts go out to his wife, children, family and friends in this time of mourning." Chip Ganassi Racing will communicate further details regarding funeral arrangements and memorials as they become available. A GoFundMe page has been established to take donations for Ryan's family -- go here to see it. Also, CGR cars will have a special decal on their Chevrolets this weekend. The NASCAR community collectively offered its condolences to the team and the Shea family on Twitter: Just heard the news of Ryan Shea passing away in his sleep. A great person and great worker in the industry.. Prayers with his wife & kids — Rodney Childers (@RodneyChilders4) March 31, 2016 Ryan Shea will be greatly missed by this community. He is a model to follow in this sport. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. — JR Motorsports (@JRMotorsports) March 31, 2016 Wow shocked to hear about the passing of Ryan Shea. He was my car chief in 2006. Thoughts and prayers to Cory and the Shea family. — Kevin Conway (@TheKevinConway) March 31, 2016 Very sad day @CGRnascar as we lost one of our teammates far too soon. Keep Ryan's family in prayers #RIPRyanShea https://t.co/lwHv4UwIUl — Steve Lauletta (@slauletta) March 31, 2016 Thoughts and prayers to Ryan Shea and his family — Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton) March 31, 2016 It takes days like today to remember just how fragile life is. Shea was a great teammate and he is already deeply missed. — Ashley Parlett (@Just_AP) March 31, 2016 Thoughts and Prayers for Ryan Shea, his wife and kids! Such sad news. — Chris Osborne (@crazy_spotter) March 31, 2016
Several drivers on tap for Fan Fest appearances
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Former Daytona 500 champions Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are among the drivers that will appear at Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 20-21. Preseason Thunder returns in 2011 as Sprint Cup Series drivers will take to the new asphalt at Daytona in a three-day test session Jan. 20-22. Test and Fest set at Daytona Expectations and excitement Order all your Daytona tickets Tickets for Preseason Thunder Fan Fest are $20 and available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Ticket-holders for the 2011 Daytona 500 and children 12 and under will receive free admission. Advanced reservations are available (limited to 250 people) for special autograph sessions to be held with participating 2010 Chase drivers and Daytona 500 champions. Additional driver autograph sessions will be held on both days with wristbands available the day of the event. To request access to the special autograph sessions, race fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit the Daytona International Speedway ticket office beginning at 9 a.m. ET Saturday. In addition to viewing the on-track activity from the Sprint FanZone, fans can watch each day's testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands near Turn 4. Drivers currently scheduled to make appearances on Jan. 20, beginning at 6 p.m. ET, are Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, David Ragan, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, Martin Truex Jr. and Regan Smith. Scheduled to appear on Jan. 21, during the 5-7 p.m. ET session are Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, David Reutimann, Casey Mears, Jeff Burton, Joey Logano, Kevin Conway , Kyle Busch, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman. In the 7-9 p.m. ET session, drivers scheduled to appear are McMurray, Gordon, A.J. Allmendinger , Brian Vickers, Greg Biffle, Juan Montoya, Marcos Ambrose and Matt Kenseth. Lastly, race fans will be able to camp in the infield at Daytona for free with their admission ticket during the three-day test inside Turns 3 and 4. Sites will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Gates to the infield will open at 8 a.m. ET on Jan. 20. Among the activities planned for both days include: interactive driver question-and-answer sessions on the main stage; show cars, displays, music; photo opportunity with the Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy; and blood drive outside the Turn 4 tunnel. The Roar Before the Rolex 24, the tune-up session for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series teams in advance of the 49th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, is set for Jan. 7-9. Tickets are $15 daily for the Roar Before the Rolex 24, with driver fan forums, tech talks and pit stop demonstrations slated for Saturday. ticket-holders for the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona and children 12 and under will receive free admission. Tickets for both the Preseason Thunder Fan Fests and the Roar Before the Rolex 24 are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.