Race Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Chris Buescher of Roush-Fenway Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Kevin Harvick started fourth and finished 13th.
● Harvick pushed his No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang into the second spot after the first lap.
● But by lap nine, Harvick radioed that he was “out of control” with “no rear grip” as he ran fourth.
● After the competition caution on lap 27, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment.
● The pit stop was quick, as the Busch Light crew gained Harvick three positions. He restarted in fourth place on lap 31.
● The car’s ill-handling ways continued, however, as Harvick dropped out of the top-10 on lap 57.
● When the caution flag waved on lap 65, Harvick radioed that he was “light on rear grip.”
● Another track bar adjustment, along with four new tires and fuel, was made during a pit stop on lap 68.
● Harvick fell to 13th by the end of the stage and said, “Every time you touch the throttle, it wants to spin out.”
● Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and wedge and tire pressure adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.
● Another fast pit stop allowed Harvick to pick up four spots to restart ninth for the second stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
● Harvick started ninth and finished seventh, collecting four bonus points.
● Handling continued to plague the No. 4 machine as Harvick was 17th by lap 92.
● “Still too tight,” said Harvick while running 18th on lap 100.
● Harvick climbed back to 15th on lap 117 and said, “I’m a little bit too tight.”
● A scheduled, green flag pit stop was made on lap 120 for four tires and fuel.
● By lap 125, Harvick was up to 13th and by lap 137 he was up to 11th, just behind his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Aric Almirola.
● A caution on lap 155 allowed Harvick to pit for four tires and fuel. Only adjustment was to tire pressures.
● Harvick was 10th for the lap-160 restart. He shot the middle going into turn one to pick up three spots and finish the stage in seventh.
● Crew chief Rodney Childers kept Harvick and the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang on the racetrack at the end of the stage to maintain track position.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):
● Harvick started seventh and finished fifth.
● Harvick grabbed sixth place on the lap-168 restart and stayed there until a caution on lap 201.
● “I just need a tweak. Nothing major,” said Harvick about his racecar during the caution period.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel with a track bar adjustment on lap 202.
● Lined up fourth for the lap-208 restart, but settled back into sixth place as the race wore on.
● “It’s getting too loose on me when I touch the throttle,” said Harvick on lap 225 while running sixth.
● Picked up fifth place on lap 228 when the No. 1 car of Kurt Busch, who was in fifth, made an unscheduled pit stop.
● Grabbed fourth place from Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Cole Custer on lap 237.
● Tyler Reddick took fourth from Harvick on lap 254. “It got tight for some reason,” said Harvick.
● Harvick was unchallenged in fifth place through the checkered flag.
● Harvick earned his second top-five and third top-10 of the season. It was also his 12th top-five and 18th top-10 in 21 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead.
● This was Harvick’s third straight top-10. He finished fourth in the season-opening Daytona 500 and sixth in last week’s race on the road course at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. He is one of only two drivers to open the 2021 season with three straight top-10s. The other driver is Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell.
● Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has only finished outside the top-five once at Homestead.
● Of the 5,613 laps available to Harvick in his 21 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead, he has completed all but two of those laps.
● William Byron won the Dixie Vodka 400 to score his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first at Homestead. His margin over second-place Tyler Reddick was 2.777 seconds.
● There were six caution periods for a total of 36 laps.
● Twenty-five of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Homestead with a 20-point advantage over second-place Harvick.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We actually had a good car the second half of the race. We were just way too loose in the first third of the race. The Busch Light Ford team did a great job of getting the car better and a great job on pit road keeping our track position, so I’m just really proud of the way that everybody is battling right now. I would consider these three tracks that we’ve gone to so far kind of hit or miss for me as far as my likeability as far as driving and the things we have going on. To have the finishes that we’ve had in the first three races says a lot about our team.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Las Vegas 400 on Sunday, March 7 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race begins at 3:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.