Regular Season Update: Stewart-Haas Racing

The regular season for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is a quarter of the way done with seven of the 26 races completed. Let’s take a look at how Stewart-Haas Racing has done so far this season.

Best performance: Kurt Busch, Daytona 500

Busch scored the first win of the season in the biggest race of the year, earning him his first ever Daytona 500 victory.

In a race that saw many leaders run out of gas towards the end, Busch maneuvered his way around the slowing cars and found himself with the race lead with half a lap left in the Great American Race.

Worst performance:  Kevin Harvick, Las Vegas

Harvick didn’t have the best of luck when visiting Las Vegas. Harvick cut a tire down and crashed out after just 68 laps. It’s hard to place the blame of a bad performance on the driver in this situation when it was clearly the tire’s fault.

So, why does Harvick end up here? Well, his responses after the crash were directed straight towards NASCAR’s safety response team, who in his eyes had the worst performance.

“The worst part was the medical response,” Harvick said. “It took them forever to get to the car. I thought we made that better, but obviously, we haven’t.”

Overachieving driver: Clint Bowyer

This time last year, the driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet was  Brian Vickers in a substitute role. Clint Bowyer was riding towards the end of the pack, looking like a driver who lost the spark to compete in equipment that was subpar at best.

Fast forward to present day, Bowyer has rejuvenated the No. 14 Ford and sits at ninth in the standings, the best of all SHR drivers.

Underachieving driver: Danica Patrick

This is Patrick’s fifth full-time season and after seven races she finds herself 29th in points, just one spot above the playoff cutoff line.

Patrick hasn’t scored a top ten finish in almost two years, the last one coming during the spring Bristol race in 2015.

Best team: Kevin Harvick

Although Bowyer sits one position higher than Harvick in the standings, this is the team from SHR that has the most established, and dangerous, driver/crew chief combination.