Nascar

Stewart expects Harvick will be hard to beat in pursuit of 2nd title

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JULY 26: Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet, walk along The Yard of Bricks prior to being introduced for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JULY 26: Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet, walk along The Yard of Bricks prior to being introduced for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

For virtually all of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career, Kevin Harvick has performed at an elite level, culminating in his first series championship in 2014.

Tony Stewart, one of Harvick's closest friends as well as his boss at Stewart-Haas Racing, said he thinks Harvick can add a second Cup championship to his resume this year.

In an exclusive interview with FOXSports.com, Stewart said he's bullish about Harvick's prospects, despite the fierce competition from the four-car Joe Gibbs Racing squad, winners of nine races so far this year.

More from FoxSports

"That's the thing. It's taken four of them to do what he (Harvick) is doing," Stewart said. "He's just consistent every week."

Indeed, Harvick has performed at a remarkably high level so far this season. Through the first 23 races of the season, Harvick has two victories and nine second-place finishes, as well as 16 top fives and 20 top 10s.

Joey Logano, who is second in points to Harvick, has 13 top fives and 17 top 10s. The only other drivers with double-digit top-five finishes so far are Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 11 and Jimmie Johnson with 10.

Also, Harvick has led 23.16 percent of the laps run this season, nearly double the total of second-place Kurt Busch (11.87 percent), Harvick's teammate at SHR.

The No. 4 SHR Chevrolet has been fast at virtually every track this year, with crew chief Rodney Childers and the team providing Harvick with great cars week in and week out.

Stewart believes Harvick's consistency -- and raw speed -- will pay off at championship time.

"I think when it comes down to the Chase, you're going to have to be consistent," said Stewart. "When I say consistent, I mean, you look at how many second-place finishes Kevin's had. That can be as valuable as the wins are, so I think he's got a great shot."