Kevin Harvick stages convincing performance to win race and 2014 NASCAR title

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 16:  Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 16: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Kevin Harvick took a leap of faith at the end of 2013. Harvick left Richard Childress Racing, the only team he had ever race for in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and started over with Stewart-Haas Racing.  That move paid off handsomely Sunday night as Harvick became the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. The 38-year old Bakersfield Calif. Native staged a convincing performance at the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway winning his fifth race of the season and his second in a row.

“Been trying for 13 years,” Harvick said. “I just have to thank Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson for helping me through this week.  Jimmie was in my trailer as much many of my teammates, and calling me and on the phone – doing all the things that it takes to tell me what I needed to do today.”

Harvick led a total of 54 of the 267 laps with the winning move coming when Harvick took four tires on a  pit stop with less than 20 laps to go. He restarted 12th and moved his way forward taking the lead shortly after the final restart and with seven laps to go.  Ryan Newman who had taken two tires on that late race stop came home second, the other two contenders, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano finished 7th and 16th respectively.

“I drove my heart out; there’s no doubt about that,” Newman said. MORE>>>

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