autoracing 4 days ago

NASCAR 3 Things to Watch: Kevin Harvick, Chevy's slump and All-Stars

The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla. — Godwin Kelly The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla.

May 16--1. Pedal to metal

Kevin Harvick says it is pedal-to-the-metal time after winning his fifth Cup Series race in 12 starts. Harvick passed Martin Truex Jr. on the penultimate lap for Win No. 5. "We know that we're riding a momentum wave that is hard to come by and you need to capitalize on it as many times as you can because it may never come again," Harvick said. "I've never had it in my career, and I've been doing this for 18 years."

2. Funk continues

After winning the season-opening Daytona 500 (doesn't that seem like a year ago?), Team Chevrolet continues to struggle. Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson has yet to lead a lap in 2018, and Chevy's other top drivers are struggling with the new Camaro body style, the exception being Kyle Larson. Chase Elliott was 12th at Kansas. "Just scratching and clawing to run mediocre," Elliott said.

3. All-Star weekend

The attention turns to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the next two weekends. This is a time where the team airplanes stay in the hangar and everybody sleeps in their own bed because this is more or less the home track for almost every race team (sorry, Denver's Furniture Row Racing). Saturday's Monster Energy Open and All-Star races will have a new wrinkle. The Cup cars will be fitted with restrictor plates.

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