KEVIN HARVICK (STEWART-HAAS RACING) FORD
2018 DRIVER FANTASY RANKING: 5TH
2017 FANTASY NASCAR RANK: 2ND
2017 RECAP: Kevin Harvick had another great season in the No. 4 car for Stewart-Haas Racing. Harvick ranked 2nd in fantasy value and finished 3rd in the NASCAR point standings. He has finished in the top three in fantasy value for five consecutive seasons. Harvick had two wins (Sonoma and Texas), 23 finishes in the top 10 and 14 finishes in the top five. He has been good at every type of track ever since he joined Stewart-Haas Racing. The only negative is that his laps led dropped from 2,294 in 2015 to 1,384 in 2016 to 850 last year. Hopefully this trend does not continue in 2018.
2018 Preview: Kevin Harvick is an elite driver and one of the best choices for your fantasy team regardless of the type of track the series is competing at. Everything will stay the same for the No. 4 team in 2018. That is good because crew chief Rodney Childers and Harvick work together as well as any combination in the garage. The bad news is that Ford will continue to race the Fusion in 2018. Many of the Ford drivers said they were behind on aerodynamics in the Fusion. It did not seem to be an issue for the No. 4 team. Harvick has the talent to be the No. 1 driver in Fantasy NASCAR. We will have to see if he has the car to match his talent.
INTERMEDIATE TRACK VALUE
Kevin Harvick has been one of the best drivers for your fantasy team at the Intermediate tracks (1.5-mile and 2-mile ovals) since he joined Stewart-Haas Racing. Harvick ranked 2nd in fantasy value at these tracks in 2017. He finished 11 of the 14 races on the Intermediate tracks in the top 10. Harvick must be on every fantasy team at Atlanta. Since the track decided to hold off resurfacing the track for another year, Harvick should dominate the race again. He is also one of the best values at Texas, Kansas and Homestead.
SUPERSPEEDWAY TRACK VALUE
Kevin Harvick is one of the best drivers on the Superspeedway (Daytona and Talladega) tracks, but he seems to be in a slump since NASCAR introduced Stage racing. What made Harvick so good at these tracks was his ability to ride in the back to stay out of trouble and then make his way to the front at the end of the races. That is how he got his nickname “The Closer.” Stage racing forced Harvick to run up front the entire race and this often got him into trouble. Harvick finished all four Superspeedway races 17th or worse last year. It would not surprise me if he won the Daytona 500, but the track is so unpredictable that it is hard to justify paying a high price for him in salary cap games.
FLAT TRACK VALUE
Kevin Harvick is a good pick at the Flat tracks (Phoenix, Richmond, Martinsville and Loudon). Harvick ranked 7th in fantasy value at these tracks in 2017. He used to be the most dominant driver at Phoenix but the field has caught up to him. Harvick has nine consecutive top six finished at Phoenix, including five wins. He should still be on your team in the desert. Harvick is also one of the best picks at Richmond and Loudon. I would recommend fading him at Martinsville. He has had a hard time finding Victory Lane at the paperclip-shaped track.
STEEP TRACK VALUE
Kevin Harvick has been very good at two of the three Steep tracks (Bristol, Dover and Darlington). Harvick ranked 7th in fantasy value at these tracks last year. He is one of the most consistent drivers at Bristol. Harvick has finished five consecutive races in Thunder Valley in the top 10, including a trip to Victory Lane in 2016. No driver qualifies up front at Darlington as well as Harvick. He has won the pole in three of the last four races at the track. Harvick also has five consecutive top-10 finishes at the Track Too Tough To Tame. I would recommend fading Harvick at Dover. His average finishing position at the track in the last four races is 19.5.
ROAD COURSE TRACK VALUE
Kevin Harvick is not the first driver that comes to mind when people think of the top drivers on the Road Courses (Sonoma and Watkins Glen) but he should be. Harvick won the race at Sonoma last year. It was his third consecutive finish in the top six at the track. He has not had as much luck at Watkins Glen though. He finished his last two races at the track outside the top 15. Harvick can be considered for your fantasy team at his home track in Sonoma, but there are best choices for your team at Watkins Glen.
Best Tracks to for Kevin Harvick: 1) Phoenix, 2) Atlanta, 3) Homestead, 4) Texas, 5) Kansas
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