Harvick: Winning a championship today harder than it was for Earnhardt and Petty

Kevin Harvick shared his thoughts on the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff format and the impact it has had on racing

The DA Show
October 08, 2020 - 10:59 am
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The Bank of America ROVAL 400 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race will take place at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET. 

The event will feature some of the top names in racing, including Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski and, of course, Kevin Harvick, who dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Thursday to discuss the playoff and its impact on the sport.

“It’s not like winning a championship when [Dale] Earnhardt and [Richard] Petty won it, I can tell you that,” Harvick said on The DA Show. “Just because of the fact of the playoff format and in today’s world, let’s face it, we’re in the entertainment business as well. It’s not just a racing business. You have to have people tuning in to watch. The playoff system that was created a few years ago has been very exciting for the fans.”

If you’re unfamiliar with NASCAR’S playoff format, this should help. So should this.

“I think from a competitor standpoint, I got over the frustration of knowing that you’ve had a great year and you can’t compare that to what Earnhardt and Petty did in winning their championships because it’s just not even close to the same,” Harvick said. “You can have the greatest season ever and have trouble in one round and be eliminated from the playoffs, but when you look at other sports, it’s kind of the same way, right? You have those Wild Card rounds, and you have somebody get hot and knock off the best team and that’s the way it goes. The regular season earns you a chance to be in the playoffs and then you have to perform in the playoffs to do what you have to do to win that championship. 

“It’s exciting and intense and fun, but [there’s] no frustration,” Harvick continued. “I’m a guy who [thinks], ‘Tell me what the rules are, and we’ll play the game.’ If that's the rule, that’s the rule. We’re not going to cry over spilled milk if it doesn’t work out because those were the rules before you started. So it’s definitely intense and been very exciting for the fans.”