Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), scored a top-15 finish in the CampingWorld.com 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway to advance to the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Harvick started seventh, raced his way to the lead on lap 97 and remained the leader until lap 100. He stayed in the top-10 through three rounds of green-flag pit stops before the race’s first caution on lap 133 for fluid on the racetrack. After the first caution flag waved, Harvick brought the No. 4 Chevrolet to pit road for fuel only and returned to the racetrack in the sixth position.
The Bakersfield, California, native continued to race in the top-five following the caution and remained there until reporting a mechanical issue on lap 157. By lap 160, Harvick had dropped back to the 18th position. With only 28 laps remaining in the scheduled 188-lap event, he did his best to maintain his position as the field raced under green.
The reigning Sprint Cup champion continued in the top-20 until, with less than five laps remaining, the caution flag waved for fluid on the racetrack. After the field was positioned to attempt a green-white-checkered finish, Harvick was set to restart in 12th. But before the leaders could take the green flag, a multicar incident nullified the first attempt at the only green-white-checkered restart.
As the leaders raced past the start-finish line for the green-white-checkered restart, Harvick moved his car to the top line. The No. 4 made contact with the No. 6 car driven by Trevor Bayne, forcing Bayne across the track and triggering a multicar wreck that caused the race to end under caution.“I was hoping that it would kind of get going a little bit better and those guys would push me so I could kind of halfway get going, and it didn’t go,” Harvick said. “As I pulled up, I didn't even see the 6 (of Bayne) up there and clipped him and shot him across the inside.”