While it is still extremely early in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the three-car stable at Richard Childress Racing seems to definitely be on the right track.
Take for instance, Sunday’s stellar outing at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. RCR teammates Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton finished second and third, respectively, and Clint Bowyer came home in eighth. Harvick is now leading the series standings and Bowyer is second heading into next Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
This is a far cry better compared to where RCR was a year ago at this time after the second race of the season considering Bowyer was the only driver in the top 12 at this point.
All three RCR drivers failed to make the Chase in 2009. Harvick’s second-place finish at Fontana is his first top-five of the season. He also finished seventh in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14.
Harvick still hasn’t won a points-paying Cup race since winning the 2007 Daytona 500 – 109 races ago. Burton also has a substantial winless skid as his last victory came at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the fall race in 2008. Bowyer, meanwhile, hasn’t won in his last 64 starts.
All three drivers have demonstrated in the first two races this season that RCR has improved and expects to return to prominence in 2010.
There’s no way of getting around how lucky they are. You don’t win four championships and do all the things they’ve done,” – Kevin Harvick
On the closing laps of Sunday’s Auto Club 500, Harvick, running in second, was gaining on eventual race winner Jimmie Johnson but brushed the wall and fell back. Harvick doesn’t for one minute second guess his decision to drive his No. 29 car as hard as he could to win.
“We get paid to go out and drive the car as hard as we can, and we’re supposed to run up front,” Harvick said. “It leaves that sour taste in your mouth when you don’t win and you want to go back and win again. Right now it’s just everybody’s very motivated, letting our cars talk for us.”
Harvick also didn’t mince words when discussing how dominate Johnson has been the past four years.
“There’s no way of getting around how lucky they are. You don’t win four championships and do all the things they’ve done,” Harvick said. “They did a good job in winning the race, but they have a golden horseshoe stuck up their ass. I mean, there’s no way to get around that.”