Harvick, not Stewart, appears to be Championship favorite

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Tony Stewart surprisingly won the first two races of the Chase and has taken a commanding championship lead for the first time since Sept., 2009 but it may be Kevin Harvick who’s sitting in the best spot to win the 2011 championship.

Stewart isn’t the first championship contender to win the first two Chase races.

Greg Biffle accomplished that feat in 2008 before fizzling out of the championship battle, ultimately finishing third behind Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards.

Winning fuel mileage races just won’t be enough to convince most that Stewart is now a Championship contender after going winless and sitting in ninth prior to the Chase reset.

That’s not meant to take anything away from the rejuvenated Stewart, who’s still running well enough to put himself in position to take wins away from the dominant teams of each race weekend. But it’s Harvick who may be in the most consistent spot heading into Dover.  Harvick opened the Chase with finishes of second and 12thand is sitting only seven points out of first place.

Harvick’s four wins (with Kyle Busch) leads the Cup Series and he’s managed to avoid the controversy and fuel-problems that’s befallen his peers and is still in a promising spot to win his first Cup Series championship.

“For us it is kind of us against ourselves, you don’t want to beat yourselves in the first weeks,” Harvick said. “You don’t want to do anything to take yourself out of the hunt.”

Thus far, Harvick hasn’t.

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