StatsWatch Kevin Harvick’s fourth NASCAR Cup series win highlights 2018 Dover International Speedway race weekend

Kevin Harvick had another dominant performance this NASCAR Cup season, this time it came at Dover International Speedway. Harvick had more than half of the laps led (201 of 400), and his margin of victory was nearly seven-and-a-half seconds. Oh, and he won both segments and led the final 63 laps.

Sure, I could take the negative side and give you how we’re looking at a non-competitive year in terms of average margin of victory and cars on the lead lap. But you’ve come here to have fun with your NASCAR stats.

So, let’s take this valuable digital space to look at the best of the weekend from the Monster Mile.

Happy spring for Harvick

Sunday marked four wins on the season for Harvick, and if you think it’s been awhile since you remember anybody having this many wins this early in the season, you’d be correct.

Over the past 25 seasons, this is the third-fastest a driver has gotten to four wins on the season through 11 races. And you might notice a theme with the others who got there faster than him.

In 1997, Jeff Gordon won four of the first eight races. He went on to win 10 total races that season and the championship. In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won four of the first 10 races, and he also won 10 total races and the championship that year.

So who was the next-fastest to four wins after Harvick in that time frame? That’s another checkmark for Jeff Gordon, who won four of the first 13 in 1996. That year, Gordon had 10 total wins, but finished in second in points to teammate Terry Labonte.

Total team effort

If we get a repeat of Gordon’s 1996 season, dominant in wins and laps led but a teammate winning the championship, that would be music to the ears of Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch or Aric Almirola.

Bowyer finished second to Harvick at Dover, despite the presumed summoning of additional rain during the red flag. It’s the second time those two drivers have finished 1-2 in a race over the past two seasons. All other teammate combinations have just two 1-2 finishes over the past two seasons, Denny HamlinKyle Busch at Darlington in 2017 and Joey LoganoBrad Keselowski at last year’s spring Richmond race.

Throw in a fifth-place effort from Kurt Busch yesterday, and it’s the first time Stewart-Haas Racing has had three cars finish in the top-5 in a race.

Suarez’s big day

Let’s keep going down the running order for third-place Daniel Suarez, who equaled his best career finish (and best on a non-road course).

Before Suarez, there were only two known Mexican-born drivers to start a Cup series race. There was Pedro Rodriguez, more well-known for his Formula 1 career, who made six starts with a single top-5 finish (fifth in Charlotte in 1965). And there was Jorge Goeters, who made one start in 2005 at Watkins Glen, finishing 35th.

So Suarez now has sole possession of the most top-5 finishes for a Mexican-born driver.

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