Earnhardt: Harvick’s contribution goes far beyond dominant driving

 Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., owner of Jr. Motorsports, pose with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., owner of Jr. Motorsports, pose with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

HAMPTON, Ga.—Yes, Kevin Harvick made mincemeat of the rest of the field in Saturday night’s Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

And, yes, Harvick has crafted a remarkable record in 11 NASCAR Nationwide Series appearances for JR Motorsports this season.

But according to team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., Harvick’s contribution to the organization goes far beyond his performance on the track.

“He’s brought a lot to our team,” Earnhardt said Saturday night, while Harvick celebrated in Victory Lane. “We’ve said it every time we’ve had the opportunity to talk about it, how much he’s brought to the team in terms of performance and speed. He continues to help us improve our equipment and our cars, and that raises the competitiveness of the whole company.

“He’s not only a great driver—he gets in there and drives the heck out of it—but he raises the whole company, and that’s pretty unique. You don’t really get that in a lot of race car drivers. Some guys are really, really good, and they can get the job done behind the wheel, but it’s rare where you find a driver that makes a huge impact on the entire company and the business model, and Kevin definitely does that with us.”

A a former NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series owner himself, Harvick has shared insights that have made a difference in the way JR Motorsports operates and competes.

Perhaps that’s why the company’s two full-time drivers, Chase Elliott and Regan Smith, are 1-2 in the series standings right now.

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