by Amanda Brahler
Texas Motor Speedway always has been a refuge for Kevin Harvick. This week in the O'Reilly Challenge, he's depending on his successful past on the 1.5-mile track to notch his first win behind the wheel of his Kevin Harvick Inc. #33 Chevrolet.
Harvick has won the past three fall races at Texas, all while driving for Richard Childress. Since abandoning the RCR ship in the Nationwide Series for his own company's entry, Harvick has yet to produce a win, though he's been close. Splitting the ride primarily with rookie Cale Gale this season, Harvick has knocked off ten top-ten finishes and a pole in 20 starts, with a best finish of second coming at Atlanta in March and at Phoenix in April.
"Any time you win a race it is always exciting, but going for a fourth straight win at the same track means a lot. I have a lot of confidence when we come to Texas Motor Speedway. I've had some really good runs there in my career. For whatever reason, I like this racetrack," Harvick said.
To win while behind the wheel of his own team car would be extra special. The team has banked two wins with Tony Stewart but has not visited victory lane for two seasons.
This season has been a year of change for Harvick and his wife, co-owner DeLana. The team cut their Nationwide organisation from two full-time entries to one and they recently parted ways with driver Jack Sprague in the Craftsman Truck Series.
As of late, the #33 Nationwide team has been working as a joint effort without a full-time crew chief. Pulling resources, they've had some help from their Craftsman Truck Series shot-callers, with Rick Ren and Ernie Cope sharing the duties along with #33 car chief Jason Meeks. The trio has guided the 33 to a seventh-place showing in the hotly contested owner point standings. Joe Gibbs currently holds the top position by just 39 points over Childress.
The year hasn't been an uphill battle all around for KHI. Ron Hornaday, Jr. is second in the Truck Series point standings and has notched five wins thus far. Last weekend, Ryan Newman guided the #2 team truck to victory, showcasing both teams' strength.
But knowing Harvick's desire, it's safe to assume that his season wouldn't be complete without breaking through with a win in his Nationwide car, something that is very plausible this weekend.
"The entire #33 team has given me a car capable of winning each and every week and I hope that will carry over giving me a shot to win my fourth consecutive race here at Texas Motor Speedway and my first in the Nationwide car for Kevin Harvick Inc," Harvick added.