Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), led the way for SHR on Sunday by delivering a seventh-place performance at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Harvick earned his third consecutive top-10 finish to open the 2016 season.
The 2014 Sprint Cup Series champion battled flu-like symptoms throughout the weekend and strong gusting winds on race day, but he delivered a gutsy performance by scoring his seventh top-10 in 16 career Sprint Cup Series starts at Las Vegas.
Harvick started sixth and raced to the lead by lap 83 before coming to pit road for service under green-flag conditions. He continued in the top-five until coming to pit road under caution on lap 217. The No. 4 team performed a two-tire stop, while three other cars stayed out, forcing Harvick to restart seventh on lap 224.
The Bakersfield, California, native narrowly avoided a multicar wreck laps later as the No. 20 car got loose in front of him and triggered a chain-reaction that collected four other cars.
Harvick restarted ninth on lap 233 and gained two positions over the final 34 laps to cross the finish line in the seventh position.
“We had a good Jimmy John’s Chevrolet overall,” said crew chief Rodney Childers, who led the No. 4 to victory lane in the Kobalt 400 in March 2015. “Everybody did a good job most of the day. We had a bad pit stop and got us behind and then kind of turned our whole day around from there. Everybody did a good job. We couldn’t come close to making it on fuel there at the end like the No. 2 and No. 22, so we didn’t have any option but to come down and top it off again and put tires on it. We’ve just got to get better. We have given them away the past two weeks and just have to do a better job.”
Harvick led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday at Las Vegas.