Heading into the last race of the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, reigning series champion Kevin Harvick remains in the thick of the fight for the 2015 season title.
If Harvick is able to escape elimination in Sunday's CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, there's a very good chance he'll be a championship threat all the way until the final lap of the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
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Here are five reasons Harvick will run the table and claim NASCAR's top prize for a second consecutive season:
5. He's bad fast: Although the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas and Joey Logano have all taken turns with Harvick at being the toast of the Sprint Cup Series this year, no one has had more speed in his car more often than ol' "Happy."
4. His crew chief: It's hard to find a better head wrench in the garage area right now than Rodney Childers, who guided Harvick to the 2014 Sprint Cup title in their first season together. Put in a down-to-the-wire championship environment, there's not a more poised or talented pit boss for Harvick to have in his corner than this guy.
3. Consistency: No one -- literally no one -- has been more consistent this year than the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. His 24 top-10 finishes are second only to Joey Logano, while his 20 top fives are best in the series. And how many times has Harvick finished second this year? We've officially lost count.
2. He's won it before: Actually, he won it last year, in fact. Being a reigning Sprint Cup Series champion is akin to being an incumbent president. By having been among the Championship 4 last year and come out on top, Harvick has an almost built-in advantage over everyone else. He has no reason whatsoever to be nervous or lacking in confidence because, after all, if he did it last year, he can do it this year.
1. He's Mr. Clutch: There's a reason they call him "The Closer," after all. Throughout his career, and especially in the past couple years, Harvick has been a paragon of excellence in pressure-packed, high-intensity situations. To say the one-race, winner-take-all championship format merely suits him would be an understatement. More accurately, it plays right to his strengths.