For most of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season, Kevin Harvick was rightfully considered the odds-on favorite to walk away with the championship. But, thanks to a rotten string of races in the Round of 8, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver narrowly failed to advance to the Championship 4 and finished a disappointing fifth in the standings.
This happened despite Harvick ending the year with the most wins (nine), the most top-five finishes (20), the most top-10 results (27) and the most laps led (1,531) among all drivers. Harvick’s average finish of 7.3 in 2020 was also best among full-time drivers.
Rest assured that Harvick, the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion, will do everything in his power this year to atone for his heartbreaking 2020 finish and live up to his old moniker of “The Closer.”
The 2020-2021 NASCAR Cup Series Silly Season was full of big movers. Of the four most elite multicar teams – Stewart-Haas Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing – only Team Penske will campaign the same lineup of Cup Series drivers in 2021 that it did in 2020.
Rookie Chase Briscoe has replaced Clint Bowyer at SHR, while Kyle Larson has filled the vacancy created by Jimmie Johnson’s retirement from Hendrick, and JGR has tabbed Christopher Bell to replace Erik Jones. Matt Kenseth’s latest retirement opened up a seat at Chip Ganassi Racing, which has been filled by Ross Chastain.
Bubba Wallace has moved on from Richard Petty Motorsports to the new 23XI Racing team co-owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin, which allowed Jones to take over his old seat – the iconic No. 43 – at Richard Petty Motorsports.