|Date: May 7, 2017
Event: Geico 500 (Round 10 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format: 188 laps, broken into three stages (55 laps/55 laps/78 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th/23rd (Running, completed 191 of 191 laps)
Point Standing: 7th (309 points, 119 out of first)
Race Winner: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Ended on Lap 55):
● Kevin Harvick started sixth, finished 28th.
● Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion led lap 24 and raced in the top-five for the first 30 laps.
● Reported a vibration on lap 40 and fell back to midpack.
● Pitted at the conclusion of the stage for multiple extended stops to diagnose and attempt to correct the vibration.
Stage 2 Recap (Ended on Lap 110):
● Started 25th, finished second, earning nine bonus points.
● Pitted under caution from the 19th position on lap 84 for four tires and fuel. He restarted 26th on lap 86.
● Joined the top-five on lap 95 and raced up to the second position on lap 97.
● Pitted at the conclusion of Stage 2 for four tires and fuel. He returned to the track as the first car on four new tires.
Final Stage Recap (Ended on Lap 188):
● Started fourth, finished 23rd.
● Pitted from the fourth position on lap 150 for four tires and fuel.
● Returned to the track on lap 151 at the tail end of the lead pack in the 20th position.
● Narrowly avoided a wreck directly in front of him on lap 160 and stayed out under the caution to gain track position.
● Collected in an 18-car accident on lap 170 and suffered damage to the right front of the car, causing the team to pit twice for repairs.
● Suffered a cut right-front tire on the following restart and was forced to pit under green, causing him to lose a lap.
● Was awarded the free pass on lap 187 and finished as the last car on the lead lap in overtime.
● Harvick led three times for 15 laps to bring his laps-led total at Talladega to 202 and season laps-led total to 459.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 33 laps.
● Twenty-three drivers finished on the lead lap.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
DID YOU EVER FIGURE OUT WHAT THE VIBRATION ENDED UP BEING? “I really don’t know what it was, but it stayed with us all day. I didn’t know what to do. To have a car that can lead laps and run up front, this time we just happened to wreck up front. Solid performance from the Jimmy John’s team, just bad luck.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!