evin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), battled from a 26th-place starting position to score a runner-up finish in Saturday night’s Go Bowling 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. His runner-up finish marked his third top-two, fifth top-five and ninth top-10 in 11 races this season.
The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion recorded a sub-par qualifying session on Friday afternoon, but the Rodney Childers-led crew changed the setup of his No. 4 machine prior to the race. After the green flag waved, the team looked on as Harvick quickly charged into the top-five by lap 47.
The Bakersfield, California, native ran as high as fourth by the halfway point of the race, and he was racing in the third position when the caution flag waved on lap 235. He brought the Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS to pit road and came back on track in the fifth position as the first car on four new tires.
Following the lap-240 restart, Harvick was able to avoid a four-car accident immediately in front of him as he entered turn four. When the four cars moved up the racetrack, he drove low and moved into the fourth position before the caution flag waved.
Harvick stayed out under caution, holding the fourth spot on the outside with 19 laps remaining. He quickly raced his way to second on the restart and battled race-leader Kyle Busch hard in the closing laps. But Busch got the upper hand, crossing the finish line 1.112 seconds ahead of Harvick to secure the win.
“For whatever reason, I got tight,” said Harvick, who won the Sprint Cup race at Kansas in October 2013. “I hit a big piece of debris down there about six or seven laps into the run. From that point on I just got really tight. I’ve just got to thank everybody from this Stewart-Haas team, Jimmy John’s, Outback, Busch, Mobil 1, ditech, everybody from Chevrolet for everything that they do. We overhauled this thing this morning to try to get it close. They did a great job. It’s going to be a long week; we are going to go do some testing this week and have fun with it.”