No more room for error
Harvick, Logano teeter on the edge following missteps
NASCAR’s traveling road show collects and throws out Chase postseason contestants weekly and indiscriminately.
Tag, Kevin Harvick. You’re it.
The 2014 Cup champion is in a precarious pickle — along with another Cup stalwart, Joey Logano — after having technical difficulties at Charlotte on Sunday in the weatherdelayed Bank of America 500.
Harvick lost power in his No. 4 Chevy and fin- ished just 155 laps. Logano bumped the wall along Turn 2, resulting in extensive damage to his Ford. Logano finished 80 laps behind race winner Jimmie Johnson. The incident also damaged the hopes of Logano’s championship aspirations.
Logano is six points behind the cutoff slot with two races to go in the second round, and Harvick is eight points out. They obviously have some catching up to do before the field of 12 gets whittled down to eight after Talladega in two weeks.
“I hate it for everybody on our Busch team. 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,” Harvick said after the failure on Sunday. “Lots of things can go wrong, and today they did.”
It was a double whammy because Harvick had a solid car and had grabbed the pole.
But such is the deal everyone makes with the Chase devil. One bad twist or turn, and can be over in a heartbeat. The good news for Harvick and Logano is that they have Kansas and Talladega coming up. A victory in either place locks them into the elite eight.
Harvick has a victory at both tracks, most recently winning in Kansas in the fall of 2013.
He also knows how to get it done under dire circumstances, scoring a must-win at Dover last year to advance in the Chase. He did the same this year by winning at New Hampshire.
But Talladega and its restrictor-plate mayhem is always a more dicey beast than most other tracks. You’re cruising along at top speed on one lap, flying through the air on the other. Kansas offers the most viable option when it comes to predictability.
Logano, one of the most dominant drivers in 2015 with six victories and a winner at Michigan International Speedway this season, is also in a bind.
But he’s been a cool cat when things are tough. He won three straight races in last year’s Chase, starting with the race at Charlotte, before Matt Kenseth intentionally wrecked him at Martinsville in their infamous tit-for-tat payback deal.
As for now … cue optimism.
“We’re not out by any means,” Logano said. “Things happen. It’s part of racing, but we’re not out. We’re not gonna die. This team is resilient. We just have to have two flawless races. It’s something we can make up.”
Tick, tick. No time to waste. On to Kansas we go.
Kevin Harvick finished only 155 laps Sunday in Charlotte, quickly putting his Chase for the Sprint Cup hopes in jeopardy.