Kevin Harvick is already trying to play mind games with his opponents entering Sunday’s championship race at Homestead.
Harvick said after the race that he considers himself the underdog, and he said Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch are the favorites to win the race. Harvick even went so far as to say that the pressure is on those two to win.
“The pressure is really on the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) and the 18 (Kyle Busch),” Harvick said via USA Today. “Those guys have dominated the year, and I feel like if they don’t win at this point, they would probably feel like they’ve had a letdown. It’s a lot of fun coming from behind and playing catch‑up, and kind of playing that underdog role is much easier than being expected to go down there and win.”
When Truex was told what Harvick said, he didn’t shy away from being called the favorite. In fact, he sounded confident — and borderline cocky — about his chances at Homestead.
“If I’m the favorite, perfect, I like that,” Truex said. “I think it’s a better position to be in. … So, yeah, bring it on.”
Truex has seven wins this season, which is the most of any driver, while Harvick has two, which is the fewest of the four championship drivers. Truex has had the faster car this season, and Busch has been up there with him. It’s certainly fair to call them the favorites, and Truex — who is the only driver of the four without a championship — has every right to feel confident heading into the race at Homestead.
It doesn’t sound like Harvick’s mind games will bother Truex, but time will tell as they compete for the championship on Sunday afternoon.