Harvick Earns Best Finish of Season at Bristol

Stage 1 Recap (Ended on Lap 125):

Kevin Harvick started 10th, finished 12th.

● Enjoyed a good start, picking up three spots to rise to seventh.

Saying he needed more rear grip, Harvick dropped back to ninth prior to a caution on lap 54.

Harvick took four tires and fuel with a left-rear wedge adjustment on lap 60.

On a lap-72 restart, Harvick got stuck on inside lane behind slower cars and fell to 14th.

● Rallied to 12th before end of stage despite his Jimmy John’s Ford being tight off the corners.

Pitted at end of stage for another four-tire stop with another left-rear wedge adjustment.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Ended on Lap 250):

Started 12th, finished fourth, earning seven bonus points.

● Rose to sixth by lap 200.

● Caution on lap 210 allowed Harvick to pit on lap 211 for four tires and fuel with another left-rear wedge adjustment.

● Restarted in sixth on lap 217 and made most of restart to climb to third.

● At end of stage, Harvick said, “Front (of car) is ok, back just needs more rear grip all the way through (the corners).”

● Pitted for four tires and fuel at end of stage with only change being a slight tire pressure adjustment.

 

Final Stage Recap (Ended on Lap 500):

● Started sixth, finished third.

● Jumped to second place when race went green for final stage, battling with Kyle Larson for position.

● Dropped to sixth by lap 330 and was eighth with 100 laps to go.

● Caution period on lap 420 provided opportunity to get four new tires and fuel. Harvick came out of pits in fifth place for lap-428 restart.

● Harvick said his Jimmy John’s Ford was good and that he just needed track position.

● When final caution of race came out on lap 463, Harvick stayed out and inherited the lead.

● Harvick led the next 14 laps but was passed for the top spot by Jimmie Johnson on lap 480.

● Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer passed Harvick for second with 15 laps to go.

● Harvick held off Larson and then Matt Kenseth to finish third.

 

Notes:                                   

● Harvick’s third-place finish in the Food City 500 was his best result so far this season and his second-straight top-four finish. Harvick finished fourth in the last Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race two weeks at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

● This is Harvick’s 12th top-five in 33 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol and his 156th top-five in 581 career Cup Series starts.

● This is Harvick’s fourth top-10 this season.

● Harvick led once for 14 laps to bring his laps-led total at Bristol to 876 and season laps-led total to 433.

●  There were nine caution periods for a total of 76 laps.

●  Fifteen drivers finished on the lead lap.

● Jimmie Johnson’s Food City 500 victory was his 82nd career NASCAR Cup Series win, his second of the season and his second at Bristol. His margin of victory over second-place Clint Bowyer was 1.199 seconds.   

 

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Speedway Digest Staff

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