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NASCAR

Mr. 600 Kevin Harvick needs to become Mr. Fall at Charlotte

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Harvick won the Coca-Cola 600 this past Memorial Day weekend and in 2011. He also won last week end at Kansas putting himself back into contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Harvick needs to continue wining in order to really put on a charge. This week NASCAR returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500.

The Charlotte Motor Speedway is one of the 1.5 mile staple tracks of NASCAR. It is sometimes referred to as one of the cookie cutter tracks but in reality each and every one of them is different. Last week Kansas was 1.5 miles but its banking is much less than Charlotte and therefore races slower. Charlotte has 24 degrees of banking in the corners and five degrees on the straights. The race is actually short compared to the other races at 1.5 mile speedways.  It is 334 laps or 501 miles.

Driver ratings have been used to show who is good at any one particular track. Make no mistake about it Kevin Harvick’s rating is not good at all. His rating of 77.8 is second to last of the drivers in the Chase. Jimmie Johnson leads all of them with a rating of 110. Understandably this track used to be called Jimmie’s house, he hasn’t won in over three years and had an over three year drought before that.

Kevin Harvick used the long length of the race and pit strategy last spring to win; hopefully the shorter race won’t change that.

Good pit strategy, that’s what we hit on last time we were at Charlotte Motor Speedway.” Harvick added, “We had a decent car in May, but Gil (Martin, crew chief) made the right call at the end to put us in position to have a good restart. Once we were in the right spot, we were able to hold the lead once we got there and were able to pick up the win.

Kevin Harvick and his team need to repeat that success otherwise Jimmie Johnson will just put them and everyone else in the dust.

If you can’t get to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500 it will be broadcast on national TV, ABC 7 PM ET Saturday October 12th.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for RantSports.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary, or on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google.

Top 13 Driver Rating at Charlotte
Jimmie Johnson…………….. 110.0
Kyle Busch……………………. 107.2
Kasey Kahne…………………. 100.5
Matt Kenseth…………………… 95.3
Denny Hamlin………………….. 93.3
Greg Biffle……………………… 92.1
Carl Edwards………………….. 89.5
Joey Logano…………………… 88.9
Jeff Gordon…………………….. 87.1
Mark Martin…………………….. 87.1
Kurt Busch……………………… 84.1
Tony Stewart…………………… 83.6
Brian Vickers………………….. 83.3
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (17 total) among active drivers at Charlotte Motor Speedway.