Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 32nd in Sunday’s Cheez-It 355k at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International after a late-race accident eliminated him from contention.
“I started getting checked up, and I think the No. 23 (David Ragan) hit me from behind, and we all just kind of piled in there,” said Harvick, the 2006 winner at Watkins Glen. “Everybody on our Busch team did a great job today. I was battling some brake issues and just trying to maintain the brakes, but they got me great track position and up in the front. Then, coming to the yellow that one time, I got into the Speedy Dry and the front tire locked up, so we had to pit. But we had it where we needed to be. We just got back there, and we got tore up.”
Harvick started 15th and quietly logged laps around the 2.45-mile road course. On lap 21 during a stretch of green-flag racing, crew chief Rodney Childers called the 2014 Sprint Cup Series champion to pit road for fuel. It was a strategic move designed to take the No. 4 Busch Beer racecar to the end of the race on just one additional pit stop and allow Harvick to make up some track position as the frontrunners proceeded to do the same in the following laps.
The strategy worked. Harvick steadily picked off positions, arriving in the top-10 by lap 42 and climbing to sixth place by the time the second caution of the race was displayed on lap 48. Harvick had reached the runner-up spot when the third caution was displayed on lap 53, but while coming to a restart with approximately 35 laps to go, things started to go south for the Bakersfield, California, native.
At some point during one of the cautions Harvick had driven through some oil on the track, but he didn’t realize it until he was slowing down for the fourth caution on lap 56. As he braked, the No. 4 Chevy was sent sliding, which led to Harvick reporting concern that one of the front tires might have been flat spotted. He was in second place when green-flag racing resumed on lap 59, but after driving into turn one he discovered the tire had indeed been damaged. Harvick brought the Busch Beer Chevy to pit road as soon as he made it back to the opening, and after a stop for tires and a splash of fuel he returned to the track deep in the field in 33rd place.
Harvick patiently logged laps and attempted to pick up track position as the laps wound down, but while coming up to speed during one of the final restarts he was caught up in a multicar accident at lap 83 that took the No. 4 Chevy out of the race.