|Date: March 4, 2018
Event: Las Vegas 400 (Round 3 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 3rd/35th (Accident, completed 183 of 267 laps)
Point Standing: 13th (77 points, 58 out of first)
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Kurt Busch started third and finished seventh, collecting four bonus points.
● The No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Fusion battled a loose condition early on but was in the top-five.
● Busch pitted on lap 37 for four tires and fuel.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
● Started eighth, finished eighth and collected three bonus points.
● The No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Fusion pitted on lap 82 for four tires, fuel and a chassis and tire pressure adjustment.
● Busch pitted on lap 121 for four tires and fuel while running in seventh.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):
● Started seventh, finished 35th.
● Busch pitted on lap 163 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
● On lap 177, Busch pitted for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
● On lap 183, the cars driven by Busch and Chase Elliott got together exiting turn four. Both cars made contact with the SAFER Barrier on the outside retaining wall and were too damaged to continue.
● Busch finished seventh in Stage 1 to earn four bonus points. He finished eighth in Stage 2 to earn an additional three bonus points.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 29 laps.
● Nine of the 37 drivers in the Las Vegas 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Harvick’s victory in the Las Vegas 400 marked the 45th overall win for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). It was the organization’s 41st points-paying Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win and its third at Las Vegas.
● This was SHR’s fifth Cup Series victory with Ford.
● This was Harvick’s 16th Cup Series victory since joining SHR in 2014. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was 2.906 seconds. It marks his second series win of 2018, his second at Las Vegas and the 39th of his Cup career.
● Harvick’s win in the Las Vegas 400 was the 100th of his career in NASCAR’s top-three series. He has 39 Cup Series wins, 47 Xfinity wins and 14 Truck Series wins. He is only the fourth driver in NASCAR history to accomplish the feat, joining Richard Petty (200 wins), Kyle Busch (184) and David Pearson (106 wins).
● This was Harvick’s second win, fifth top-five and eighth top-10 finish in 18 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I was running the low groove, and it just stepped out on me. I wasn’t even trying to fill the hole or go 100 percent. I had it at 90 percent, and I knew Chase was going to be on my outside, and it was just that quick. We were back there in the dirty air, but turn four, I always know it is slick and I wasn’t even pushing through there, and it stepped out on me. Ruined his day, ruined my day. I hate it for all the Chase Elliott fans and the Kurt Busch fans and my hometown fans. I wasn’t even pushing hard. I knew we had one more stop and then we were going to go. It just stepped out on me.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the TicketGuardian 500k onSunday, March 11 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!