Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), battled through changing track conditions to finish sixth in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It was his 25th top-10 finish of 2016 and his 16th top-10 finish at Texas.
Harvick started the rain-delayed and rain-shortened event from the third position and raced as high as second by lap 31, but the track conditions following the weather delays led to a substantially different race than the team practiced for throughout the weekend. The No. 4 Chevrolet suffered from a tight-center, loose-off handling condition yet remained in the top-10 through the majority of the event.
The 2014 Sprint Cup champion raced in the fourth position halfway through the scheduled 334-lap distance as the team continued to work on the handling of the racecar.
Harvick was racing in sixth when Austin Dillon’s No. 3 car drifted up the racetrack coming off the corner, causing the No. 4 to make unintentional contact with the rear of the No. 3 and bring out the seventh caution of the day. Harvick brought his racecar to pit road following the incident for four tires and fuel and returned to the track in the ninth spot.
With more rain approaching the area, Harvick raced from ninth up to sixth by lap 291, when the skies opened up again. The race ended under a caution for weather on lap 293 shortly after the cars were brought to pit road, with Harvick scored in sixth place.
“Our Busch Beer Chevy was off,” said Harvick, who scored runner-up finishes at Texas in November 2014 and April 2015. “We were tight, we were loose, and we were kind of all over the place. We could take off okay, but we would fall way off at the end of a run. I just want to apologize to the 3 (Dillon). He kind of came up there and he slid in front of me and got loose, and when he checked up I hit him again. That was not anything I wanted to see. All in all, everybody battled and did all they could, and we just didn’t have a fast-enough car.”