(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)
Date: March 19, 2017
Event: Camping World 500k (Round 4 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Phoenix International Raceway (1-mile oval)
Format: 314 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/164 laps)
Start/Finish: 23rd/6th (Running, completed 314 of 314 laps)
Point Standing: 7th (123 points, 61 behind new series leader Kyle Larson)
Race Winner: Ryan Newman of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):
● Kevin Harvick started 23rd, finished 13th.
● The No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford was tight in the center of the corner and loose off on throttle.
● Harvick came to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments on lap 29 and gained two positions on pit road.
● He struggled on the first few laps following a restart, but the car came to life after a handful of laps.
● Harvick came to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments on lap 79 following Stage 1 and gained three positions on pit road.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):
● Started 10th, finished 10th.
● Harvick noted that the No. 4 car started off loose and got tighter throughout the run.
● The No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford came in for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments under caution on lap 120.
● The Jimmy John’s pit crew gained three positions on the lap 120 start, allowing Harvick to restart seventh.
● Harvick came to pit road for four tires, fuel and multiple adjustments on lap 153 following Stage 2.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 151-314):
● Started 10th, finished 6th.
● Harvick reported that the No. 4 car took off better at the start of the final stage and raced his way up to seventh by lap 163.
● The No. 4 car came to pit road for four tires and adjustments under caution on lap 194. The team gained two positions on pit road.
● Harvick restarted fifth on lap 212 and gained a position up to fourth on lap 213.
● He brought the Jimmy John’s Ford to pit road under caution for two right-side tires on lap 309.
● He restarted sixth on lap 312 after three cars elected to stay out during the caution and crossed the finish line sixth on lap 314.
● Kevin Harvick scored his second top-10 finish of 2017.
● Harvick scored his 18th top-10 finish in 29 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Phoenix.
● It was his eighth-straight top-10 finish at Phoenix in NASCAR Cup Series starts at the track.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 45 laps.
● Newman’s win in the Camping World 500k was the 18th of his NASCAR Cup Series career, his second at Phoenix and his first since winning the 2013 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a span of 127 races.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We just didn’t ever get it exactly how we wanted all weekend. Luckily it is a good race track for us and we were able to battle and use all the tricks of the trade we know to get ourselves up in contention. We definitely need to do some work on this style race track with our Jimmy John’s Ford but it was a heck of a battle all day.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 26 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!