Harvick’s Strong Run Ends in Disappointment

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), suffered a cut right-front tire following a green-flag pit stop on lap 122, forcing him to finish 29th in the rain-shortened Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

The reigning Sprint Cup champion started second and raced his Chevrolet into the lead by lap 43, where he stayed until pitting under green-flag conditions on lap 82. Harvick returned to the lead on lap 97 as the field completed the green-flag pit cycle. The No. 4 team dominated by nearly 4.5 seconds until pitting again under green on lap 120.

Following the green-flag pit stop, the Bakersfield, California, native reported that he cut a right-front tire, and he was forced to return to pit road for service. That stop on lap 122 dropped the No. 4 team to the 35th position, two laps down to the leaders.

Harvick raced his way back up to the 29th position before torrential rain forced the race to end.

Harvick was credited with leading twice for a race-high 63 laps around the 2-mile oval to bring his laps-led total this season to a series-best 1,225. This mark eclipses Harvick’s laps-led total for every one of his Sprint Cup seasons with the exception of last year, when he led 2,137 laps en route to the Sprint Cup championship.

“We had an awesome Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet today,” said Harvick, who won the Sprint Cup race at Michigan in August 2010. “But we had some unfortunate luck. I’m proud of my guys as we smashed them all day.”