Kevin Harvick has secured a spot in the 2021 NASCAR Playoffs.
The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford clinched a berth by virtue of Ryan Blaney, a two-time winning driver in 2021, taking the checkered flag Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. Harvick finished 14th in Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400, race No. 25 of the season. Fifteen drivers have now clinched a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
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Harvick entered the race with the ninth-most points in the NASCAR Cup Series, but he was 15th in the provisional field with 13 winners having already locked their positions up and fellow non-winner Denny Hamlin outpacing Harvick in points. When it came to the playoff picture, Harvick was 95 points above the final spot, and with that kind of cushion, he was the only driver capable of clinching solely on points.
He needed to be 56 points ahead of the third winless driver in the standings. A win would have done the trick, too. No first-time winners at Michigan made his points gap insurmountable, and he ended the day 104 points up on 17th-place Austin Dillon.
Harvick has qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs 15 times now — and every season since 2009. The current four-round format was introduced in 2014, the year of Harvick’s only Cup title. He followed that up with a runner-up finish to Kyle Busch in 2015.
Last season, Harvick missed the Championship 4 for the first time since 2016, ultimately placing fifth in the final standings.
One regular-season race remains, Saturday at Daytona International Speedway (7 p.m. ET on NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) with the Coke Zero Sugar 400. Harvick has won twice at Daytona, with his most recent victory there coming in 2010.