CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -There was a time when Kevin Harvick didn't want anything to do with Dale Earnhardt's legacy.
Harvick abruptly took the wheel at Richard Childress Racing in 2001, just days after Earnhardt died in a crash at Daytona. In hindsight, Harvick says the pressure of replacing a racing legend under the most awkward of circumstances was too much to take.
But now that he's racing for a NASCAR championship of his own, Harvick has come to embrace Earnhardt's legacy - and has received a slew of supportive messages from Earnhardt's fans this week.
Harvick is third in the standings going into Sunday's Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, 46 points behind leader Denny Hamlin and 31 points behind Jimmie Johnson.

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Austin Dillon +375
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Chase Elliott +525
Erik Jones +600
Field +850

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