I have to say it has been an impressive year for Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 team knowing full well this is Kevin's last year with the team, but keeping their eye on the ultimate prize and that's winning the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
Kevin is fourth in the points with only three races to go in our regular season. He's racked up two wins, six Top 5 finishes and 12 Top 10 finishes in the twenty-three races that have been run so far. They couldn't be farther from a lame-duck team with a lame-duck driver as some pundits were predicting at the beginning of the season.
His wins and consistency has gotten him into the Chase. We all now know that once the Chase starts, consistency isn't going to get the job done. Tony Stewart proved that to everyone back in 2011. You are going to have to lead laps for the bonus points and win races.
I don't think someone is going to have to win five out of the ten Chase races like Tony did. I do think you are going to have to win at least a couple races in this ten race Chase. You also are going to have to be pretty darn close to having ten Top 10 finishes to win the Championship as well. If you really want to be certain, add in seven or eight top-five finishes for good measure.
Kevin and his gang have the ability to get those top-ten finishes. Their Achilles' Heel however is they just don't get up there and lead those laps. For instance, they finished second at Michigan on Sunday, but they didn't lead a single lap. That has to change.
For them to win this year's championship and for Kevin to leave the No. 29 camp as their champion, they are going to have to lead laps, get the bonus points and win some races. If they just continue to run the Chase the way they are now, I honestly would see them only finishing third or fourth overall.