Harvick and his win streak roll into California
With his win in Phoenix, Kevin Harvick became the 4th driver to win 3 straight races since the playoffs were introduced in 2004.
Harvick is looking for 4 straight on Sunday, where he'd be the first driver since Jimmie Johnson in 2007 to do so. However, he would join Bill Elliott (1992) as the only drivers to win 4 of the first 5 races of the season.
FLASHBACK: Harvick has 1 career win at California, back in 2011. He challenged Jimmie Johnson & Kyle Busch in the final stages, and got around Johnson on the final lap. He's 1 of 2 drivers to win at California who finished the race with 1 lap led (Brad Keselowski in 2015)
Harvick does have 3 runner-up finishes at California, including one back in 2016 where he led 142 laps.
Larson Looks to Keep Up 2-Mile Win Streak
There's only 2 2-mile tracks on the schedule, Michigan and California, but Kyle Larson probably wishes there were more. He's won the last 4 races on such tracks. He's only one 1 race on any other type of track (at Richmond).
Could Johnson be California Dreamin'?
With a 14th-place finish last week at Phoenix, Jimmie Johnson's winless streak extended to a career-long 27 races. But the streak isn't just a winless streak, he hasn't had a top-5 finish in 11 races, the 2nd-longest streak of his career. He has just 1 top-5 finish in 27 races since his last victory at Dover in June, a race in which he led just 7 laps.
But Johnson, a California native, is heading to a track where he's the all-time leader in most categories. He's won 6 times at the track, but just once in the last 8 races, winning in 2016.
Johnson will try to snap out of his rut the same week where it was announced that his longtime sponsor Lowe's will be leaving the sport at the end of the season. Johnson, who's been with Lowe's since 2001, will have to look for a new primary sponsor next season.
Who's Hot and Who's Not - California
• Kyle Larson: won last 4 NASCAR Cup Series races on 2-mile tracks (4 of 5 career MENCS wins)
• Jimmie Johnson: leads all drivers with 6 career Cup Series wins at California
• Kyle Busch: 2 wins, 4 top-3 finishes in last 6 California races
• Chase Elliott: 6 top 10s in 6 career Cup Series races on 2-mile tracks
• Brad Keselowski: 3 straight top 10s at California (18th or worse in 1st 6 races at track)
• Kurt Busch: finished 30th and 24th in last 2 California races (4 top 10s in previous 4 races)
• Kasey Kahne: 26.5 avg finish in his last 4 California races
• Martin Truex Jr.: winless in 17 career races at California (1 career top 5; 7 finishes outside top 20)
• Austin Dillon: 1 top-10 finish (his Daytona 500 win) in his last 14 races
--- ESPN Stats & Info ---