Monday, Jan 30

Harvick Finishes 28th at Talladega

Race Winner: Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner: Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)


Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-55):

Harvick started third and finished third, earning eight bonus points.

Started third but lined up fourth behind his Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammates after taking the green flag.

Took advantage of caution and pitted his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for fuel only on lap 12.

● Was third for the lap-15 restart, but he grabbed third place from teammate Aric Almirola after one lap.

● Pitted for four tires and fuel at the conclusion of the stage.


Stage 2 Recap (Laps 56-110):

Harvick started fifth and finished first, earning 10 bonus points and one playoff point.

Took advantage of caution to pit for fuel only on lap 64. Came off pit road in first place.

● Led laps 65-68 and then laps 70-110. Kyle Busch made a bid for the lead on lap 69 before falling back.

● Pitted for four tires and fuel at the conclusion of the stage.


Final Stage Recap (Laps 111-193):

Harvick started 12th and finished 28th.

● Caution period beginning on lap 136 allowed Harvick to pit for right-sides tires and fuel on lap 138. Came onto pit road in third place and left in third for lap-142 restart.

● All four SHR drivers were able to line up on the inside for the restart, with Harvick rising to second behind leader and teammate Kurt Busch.

● Harvick kept his Jimmy John’s Ford out on the track and in second place when the caution flag waved on lap 159. Crew chief Rodney Childers said, “Keep saving fuel.”

● On the lap-165 restart, Harvick dropped one spot back to third as teammate Clint Bowyer fell in line ahead of him to take second.

● The field remained single file until a caution on lap 187 forced overtime.

● As the field came to the green flag for the restart, Harvick peeled off the track and pitted for fuel.

● The stop dropped him to the middle of the field, and the race finished under green with Harvick in 28th.


Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“I’m just really proud of everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing. Mine sputtered there on the fuel pressure and it dropped down in the red, and they did the right thing of coming in and pitting and not taking a chance. You just need to put yourself in a position to where you’re good for next week, and I’m just glad that one of our cars won and happy for Aric (Almirola). I want to thank everybody from the engine department at Roush Yates for all the work and effort that they put in to everything that goes on the racetrack. This is all about cars and people and engines and everything that goes, and when you can have a group of guys that work together like we did today, you can control the situation in the race a lot more than just battling it out amongst each other.”



● Harvick led twice for 46 laps to increase his laps-led total at Talladega to 259.

● Almirola won the 500 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Talladega. His margin of victory over second-place Clint Bowyer was .105 of a second.

● There were eight caution periods for a total of 32 laps.

● Twenty-nine of the 40 drivers in the 500 finished on the lead lap.


Playoff Standings: (with one race to go before Round of 8):

1.       Kevin Harvick (3,128 points) +63 points

2.       Kyle Busch (3,111 points) +46 points

3.       Joey Logano (3,104 points) +39 points

4.       Kurt Busch (3,095 points) +30 points

5.       Aric Almirola (3,087 points) 1 win

6.       Clint Bowyer (3,086 points) +21 points

7.       Martin Truex Jr. (3,083 points) +18 points

8.       Chase Elliott (3,066 points) 1 win

9.       Brad Keselowski (3,065 points) -18

10.    Ryan Blaney (3,061 points) -22 points

11.    Kyle Larson (3,057 points) -26 points

12.    Alex Bowman (3,015 points) -68 points


Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, Oct. 21 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. It is the sixth race of the 10-race playoffs and the final race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage on NBC beginning at 1:30 p.m.




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