Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished sixth in his Budweiser Duel on a crisp and cool Thursday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The Budweiser Duel twin qualifying races set the 43-car field for the season-opening Daytona 500. Harvick’s sixth-place finish in his Budweiser Duel earned him the 11th starting spot for the 57th Daytona 500 on Sunday.
Harvick, who qualified 29th in group qualifying last Sunday, improved his starting position in the Daytona 500 by 18 positions as a result of the sixth-place finish in the Budweiser Duel.
The Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet began the 60-lap race around the 2.5-mile superspeedway in the 14th position and raced in the top-15 until the first caution on lap 16. That allowed Harvick to bring the No. 4 to pit road for fuel and a small chassis adjustment. The team gained four positions and restarted 11th on lap 22.
Harvick, who won the 2013 Budweiser Duel, raced his way up to sixth by the second caution of the night on lap 29. The No. 4 team chose to stay out, restarted in the sixth position on lap 32 and was racing solidly in the top-10 when the race’s final caution came out on lap 51.
The subsequent restart set up a five-lap shootout to the checkered flag. Harvick raced as high as fourth in the final laps but got shuffled to sixth by the time he reached the finish line.
“We did what we needed to do tonight, and that was bring home our Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet in one piece and improve our starting position for the Daytona 500,” Harvick explained. “We’re looking forward to Sunday.”