The opposite of emotions for the 2 drivers locked into NASCAR’s Playoffs on points

WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK - AUGUST 20: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Light Ford, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 20, 2023 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

With finishes of 15th and 21st respectively Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick locked themselves into the Playoffs Sunday at Watkins Glen. For the two drivers however, the feelings they had after it was over were completely opposite.

For Keselowski, the team he co-owns will have both its cars in the Playoffs. Chris Buescher scored back-to-back wins for the teams, at Richmond and Michigan. And while he doesn’t have a win Keselowski has scored 5 top-5 and 10 top10 finishes this season.

After the team struggled the last few years, they’ve definitely shown improvement in 2023.

“We’re really excited,” Keselowski said. “A good weekend for us here at Watkins Glen – to get both RFK cars into the NASCAR Playoffs starting here in two weeks. There is a lot of momentum building.”

“We’re in a great spot with the best yet to come. We have really strong momentum, and we can’t take that for granted. But we’re showing a lot of speed and clicking when it counts.”

For Harvick the mood couldn’t be more different. He’s in his last fulltime season and will retire when it’s over. His Stewart-Haas Racing team hasn’t exactly set the NASCAR world on fire this year.

While he does lead the four-driver team with 6 top-5 and 11 top -10s, none of the drivers, including him have a win.

“I wish we could have won a race before now,” Harvick said “We’ve had our opportunities to win a few. We struggled on the road courses but other than that, it’s been okay. We just need to get our cars running better to really do anything.”

As for his attitude towards next week’s final regular season race at Daytona.

“I think we’ll just look toward Darlington,” Harvick said. “Daytona kind of just is what it is. You either come out rolling and have a chance or you don’t, so we’ll go down there and push as hard as we can and be ready for Darlington. We’ve been terrible on the road courses the last two weeks. The month before that, we did good. We had cars that were capable to run in the top-five. As long as it’s an oval, we’ll be fine.”


Greg Engle