HomeNASCAR NewsNASCAR Drivers NewsKevin Harvick Concerned for Ross Chastain, Who Might Not Make It to...

Kevin Harvick Concerned for Ross Chastain, Who Might Not Make It to the Playoffs

Kevin Harvick Concerned for Ross Chastain: As the NASCAR playoffs loom, Kevin Harvick has spotlighted Ross Chastain and Chris Buescher as drivers facing crucial challenges, given their precarious positions at 15th and 16th in the standings. Harvick’s apprehensions are not unfounded, especially considering the unpredictable nature of the Daytona race, which could dramatically alter the playoff landscape. With recent inconsistent performances and formidable threats from drivers like Bubba Wallace and Kyle Busch, Chastain and Buescher must recalibrate their strategies. The upcoming Michigan race could serve as a decisive moment for these drivers to either fortify their playoff hopes or face potential elimination.

Key Highlights

  • Harvick is concerned about Ross Chastain and Chris Buescher’s playoff prospects due to their current positions in the standings.
  • Chastain and Buescher’s inconsistent performances, especially on larger tracks, threaten their playoff chances.
  • Daytona’s unpredictable nature poses a significant risk to their standings.
  • Bubba Wallace and Kyle Busch are potential threats outside the top 16, adding uncertainty to the playoff race.
  • The upcoming Michigan race is critical for Chastain and Buescher to demonstrate their playoff readiness.

Kevin Harvick’s Concerns About Ross Chastain and Chris Buescher

Kevin Harvick has voiced his concerns about the playoff prospects of Ross Chastain and Chris Buescher, who currently occupy the precarious positions of 15th and 16th in the points standings. On his podcast, ‘Kevin Harvick’s Happy Hour,’ Harvick pointed out the volatility of their standings and the looming threat posed by the unpredictable nature of the upcoming race at Daytona.

“The guys I’m concerned with now: Ross Chastain and Chris Buescher.”

“And they’re 15th and 16th in the points. And I just have this feeling that somebody outside of that top 16 is going to win Daytona. I think that’s the wild card in this thing. I think when you look at Pocono and you look at Indy, you look at Michigan, I think you’re going to have your guys that have been good on the bigger racetracks be the guys that can win.”- Harvick

Harvick’s worry stems from the inherent unpredictability that characterizes Daytona, a track known for its frequent upsets and wild-card victories. This environment could easily disrupt the current playoff picture, especially for drivers teetering on the edge of qualification. Harvick highlighted that while Chastain and Buescher have managed to cling to playoff positions, their foothold is tenuous at best.

With a strong likelihood of an outsider clinching a win at Daytona, the stress is on for these drivers to not only perform but outperform their closest competitors to secure their spots.

Analyzing the dynamics at play, Harvick’s concerns are not unfounded. The Daytona race is notorious for its nature, often upending the status quo. For Chastain and Buescher, their current buffer in the standings offers little comfort against the potential upheaval that a surprise victor outside the top 16 could bring. This scenario would directly jeopardize their playoff aspirations, necessitating exceptional performances in the concluding races.

Kevin Harvick Concerned for Ross Chastain 1

Recent Performance of Chastain and Buescher

Recent performances by Ross Chastain and Chris Buescher have been marked by sporadic successes but lack the reliability needed to secure their playoff positions with confidence. Buescher’s two top-five finishes in the last three weeks demonstrate potential, yet this has not been a recurring theme throughout the season. Likewise, Chastain’s top-10 finish three weeks ago highlights his capability, but the absence of regular high placements remains concerning.

Driver Top-5 Finishes Top-10 Finishes
Ross Chastain 0 1
Chris Buescher 2 0


Analyzing these results, Harvick’s concerns become evident. Buescher’s ability to achieve two top-five finishes suggests a high ceiling, but the lack of consistency in maintaining such performance levels is a notable drawback. Chastain, on the other hand, managed a single top-10 finish, indicating potential but failing to show the necessary reliability to be a formidable playoff contender.

Potential Threats Outside the Top 16

As the NASCAR playoffs approach, drivers outside the top 16, such as Bubba Wallace and Kyle Busch, pose substantial threats due to their strong track records at upcoming venues like Michigan. Both drivers have exemplified a capacity to outperform their peers on these tracks, making them formidable competitors even from outside the primary playoff positions.

Bubba Wallace has shown notable skill at Michigan International Speedway, a track known for its high-speed racing and tactical demands. His recent performances have indicated a potential breakthrough, and a victory here could disrupt the playoff standings. Wallace’s ability to navigate the intricacies of Michigan’s two-mile oval, coupled with his team’s growing cohesion, makes him a driver to watch closely.

“Look at Michigan, Bubba Wallace has been great there.”

“Kyle Busch has been good there. And even at that particular track I think you could go there and see someone outside of the top 16 winning races.” – Harvick

Kyle Busch, a seasoned veteran with a history of success across diverse tracks, also looms large. His aptitude for adapting to the dynamic conditions at Michigan is well-documented. Despite being outside the top 16, Busch’s experience and skill set position him as a perennial threat. His strategic expertise and racecraft could easily translate into a victory that reshapes the playoff landscape.

Kevin Harvick Concerned for Ross Chastain 2

Concerns with Team Performance

Concerns regarding team performance have become increasingly prominent, with laps led and general speed emerging as significant deficiencies for Chastain and Buescher on larger racetracks. Kevin Harvick has articulated these issues as particularly concerning, especially as the NASCAR playoffs loom closer. The ability to lead laps and maintain competitive speeds is not just about individual races but is indicative of the overall team strength and tactical insight.

“I’m just concerned with the 17 not having that speed that they had, and I’m concerned with the 1 that they have the speed that they need to do what they need to do on a weekly basis,” 

“We haven’t seen the laps led and things that you would expect from them.” – Harvick

Both Chastain and Buescher have shown moments of brilliance, yet their performance metrics on larger tracks reveal notable gaps. Harvick’s analysis highlights several key areas where these drivers need to improve to guarantee their playoff viability:

  • Laps Led: Consistently leading laps is a reflection of a driver’s control and dominance on the track. Chastain and Buescher have struggled in this aspect, raising concerns about their ability to maintain leading positions.
  • General Speed: Overall speed is essential for competitive performance, particularly on larger tracks where maintaining high velocity is a necessity. The recent inability of these teams to keep pace with competitors underscores a critical area for improvement.
  • Tactical Execution: Effective race strategy involves not just speed but also pit stops, tire management, and in-race adjustments. The inconsistencies in these areas suggest a need for more cohesive and adaptive strategies.

As the NASCAR playoffs approach, addressing these performance issues becomes vital. Failure to do so could jeopardize their chances of advancing, as the competition intensifies and margins for error diminish. Harvick’s pointed observations serve as a reminder that in the world of NASCAR, sustained excellence and adaptability are essential for success.

Michigan Race as a Turning Point

The upcoming Michigan race stands as a critical test for Chastain and Buescher, potentially determining their readiness and adaptability for the NASCAR playoffs. Kevin Harvick has highlighted the importance of this race in evaluating whether their teams have addressed the performance issues that have troubled them on larger tracks. The outcome at Michigan could greatly influence their playoff prospects, making it a crucial moment in their season.

“I haven’t seen the speed out of the 17 car that; we saw a little glimpse of it. I just haven’t seen it lately over the past few weeks. We saw a little glimpse of it this year, like we did last year. But I just am a little bit concerned with where they’re at, especially when you look at the schedule and you look at those bigger racetracks for the Fords. I haven’t seen anything out of the Fords that makes me think they have totally fixed their big-track problems that they’ve had. Michigan will be the tell-tale. That’s when you’re going to see the big power and everything come out of the 8’s engine shop. That’ll be all they have, when they get to Michigan, because that’s how it is every year. They push hard for that race.” – harvick

Analyzing Chastain’s and Buescher’s performances to date, it’s evident that both drivers have shown flashes of brilliance but have struggled with consistency. Harvick’s insight suggests that the Michigan race will be an accurate gauge of their ability to compete under playoff conditions. The unique challenges presented by Michigan’s two-mile track, including its high speeds and demanding setup requirements, will test the teams’ technical expertise and strategic execution.

Ultimately, the Michigan race offers a definitive opportunity for both Chastain and Buescher to address these concerns head-on. Success here would not only enhance their confidence but also solidify their standing as legitimate playoff contenders, thereby confirming Harvick’s assertion of this race being a turning point for their respective seasons.

Kevin Harvick Concerned for Ross Chastain 3

News in Brief: Kevin Harvick Concerned for Ross Chastain

Kevin Harvick’s concerns about Ross Chastain and Chris Buescher’s playoff chances highlight the crucial nature of their upcoming performances at Daytona. Their recent inconsistency, coupled with increasing threats from drivers like Bubba Wallace and Kyle Busch, emphasizes the need for immediate and notable enhancement.

The Michigan race may serve as a crucial moment, determining their playoff fate. Addressing team performance issues and delivering standout results is essential for Chastain and Buescher to secure their positions in the playoff standings.

ALSO READ: Kevin Harvick Slams NASCAR’s EV Prototype: ‘Electric Racing Has No Future’

Simran Kaur
Simran Kaur
Simran Kaur is a seasoned sports journalist specializing in NASCAR coverage. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for motorsports, she has extensively covered the NASCAR circuit, delving into the careers of iconic drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, and Kyle Busch. Simran's expertise extends beyond writing; she has also provided live race reporting, offering fans an immersive experience into the heart-pounding action on the track. In addition to her journalistic pursuits, Simran is a trained graphic designer, bringing a creative edge to her work in both print and digital media. With a commitment to delivering accurate, insightful, and engaging content, Simran Kaur continues to be a trusted voice in the world of NASCAR journalism


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Follow Us

Most Popular