Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished third in the New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Sunday afternoon. It was Harvick’s 13th top-five finish and 17th top-10 in 19 Sprint Cup starts in 2015.
The defending Sprint Cup champion started Sunday’s race from the 12th position and raced his way up to second just past the halfway point. Harvick was racing in the sixth position when debris brought out the caution flag on lap 189. The top four cars came to pit road for routine service, while Harvick stayed out and restarted in second alongside Brad Keselowski. Harvick quickly raced to the lead, where he stayed for 59 laps until a caution for fluid on the racetrack came out on lap 252.
Harvick brought the Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet to pit road under caution on lap 254 for a four-tire stop. Several others opted for two-tire stops, and Harvick returned to the racetrack in the seventh position as the second car with four fresh tires. He raced the No. 4 Chevrolet up to third by the white-flag lap, which was run to the finish under caution after a last-lap accident.
“I think we had the right strategy, just a little miscue on the last pit stop,” said Harvick, who scored his seventh top-five and 15th top-10 finish in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at Loudon. “Our guys have done great all year. They did great today. It just took me a little longer to get around a couple of those cars, and I lost the track position. I just have to thank everybody on our Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet for everything they do. We were off on Friday and we were able to really rebound and have a good Saturday and good racecar today. It’s encouraging for two months.”Harvick’s third-place finish led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He led 59 laps to bring his season total to 1,284 laps led. Harvick has only led more laps than that in a single season once – in 2014 when he led 2,137 laps en route to the Sprint Cup championship. Harvick has led a lap in 15 of the 19 Sprint Cup races contested in 2015.