Race Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-20):
● Kevin Harvick started 15th and finished 30th.
● The No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang driver quietly logged laps during the early part of Stage 1. He was in 16th place on lap 15 when he reported that the car was handling on the tight side for right-hand turns.
● As part of their race strategy, the team called Harvick to pit road for a scheduled stop on lap 17. They changed four tires, added fuel and made a wedge adjustment.
● Harvick was in 30th place when Stage 1 concluded, but his pit stop near the end of the stage allowed Harvick to stay out on the track during the caution, placing the Busch Beer Ford Mustang in second for the start of Stage 2.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 21-40):
● Harvick started second and finished third, earning eight bonus points.
● The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion was in second place for the start of Stage 2. He maintained the runner-up position until pole sitter Chase Elliott passed him on lap 25.
● It was back to second place for Harvick on lap 30 when race leader Kyle Larson made a scheduled trip to pit road.
● The race was slowed by a caution for oil on the track on lap 32. Green-flag racing resumed on lap 36 with the Busch Beer Ford Mustang in second place, but Harvick lost a spot on the restart.
● A caution slowed the race again just two circuits later on lap 38 for an accident. This resulted in Stage 2 finishing under caution, with Harvick in third.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 41-90):
● Harvick started third and finished seventh.
● He once again stayed on the track during the stage break, which allowed him to restart in third place. The No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang driver maintained the position despite some aggressive attempts by other drivers during the restart.
● The team’s strategy required one more trip to pit road for fuel. Harvick reported the car was out of gas on lap 56, but he was able to make it to pit road for four tires and fuel without losing time. A number of teams also had to make stops for fuel, and when green-flag stops cycled through, Harvick was in seventh place.
● A caution was displayed for an incident on lap 61. More cars had to make their final stops of the race, which placed the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang in fourth for the restart on lap 65.
● Harvick reported that he had run over “something” on lap 56. The team and spotters checked the car while on track and could see no damage, but they monitored the car as the race continued.
● Harvick dropped a couple spots and ran in sixth place on lap 75.
● After losing another position, Harvick noted that the car had lost both rear and front grip. He was able to hang on to finish the day in seventh place.
● Harvick earned his 14th top-10 of the season and his 10th top-10 in 19 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen.
● This is Harvick’s third straight top-10. He won July 21 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and finished sixth in the series’ previous race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
● This is Harvick’s second straight top-10 at Watkins Glen. He finished 10th in the series’ previous visit to the track last August.
● Chase Elliott won the Go Bowling at The Glento score his fifth career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his second straight at Watkins Glen. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr. was .454 of a second.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 13 laps.
● Twenty-nine of the 37 drivers in the Go Bowling at The Glenfinished on the lead lap.
● Kyle Busch leaves Watkins Glen as the new championship leader with a 13-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We probably overachieved today. We knew we were off and we thought we could, at best, finish fifth, and we finished seventh, so we were fine. We didn’t have any drama, and we just haven’t been very good here.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Consumers Energy 400 on Sunday, Aug. 11 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.