|Date: July 8, 2017
Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 18 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 274 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/114 laps)
Note: Race ended in overtime, going seven laps past its scheduled 267-lap distance
Start/Finish: 7th/9th (Running, completed 274 of 274 laps)
Point Standing: 4th (599 points, 111 out of first)
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing in overtime (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Kevin Harvick started seventh, finished fourth and scored seven bonus points.
● The Busch Light Ford came to pit road under the competition caution for two tires, an air pressure adjustment and fuel on lap 32.
● Reported the car was too tight on both ends throughout the run while racing in the top-five.
● Came to pit road for four tires, fuel and air pressure and chassis adjustments at the conclusion of Stage 1.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
● Started third, finished fourth and scored seven bonus points.
● Stayed out under caution in the third position on lap 89 and lap 95.
● Stayed out under caution in the fourth position on lap 113 and advanced to the second position on the lap-115 restart.
● Stayed out under caution in the third position on lap 138 and reported the car was tight in turn three.
● Came to pit road for four tires, fuel and air pressure and chassis adjustment at the conclusion of Stage 2. Several cars opted for a two-tire strategy.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-274):
● Started 11th, finished ninth.
● Made a green-flag pit stop while racing in the third position on lap 224 for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
● Raced from 13th following the lap-224 pit stop back into the top-five by lap 240.
● Came to pit road under caution on lap 267 while racing in fifth for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
● Penalized for too fast entering on pit road in section seven and forced to restart at the tail end of the longest line.
● Harvick scored his 11th top-10 finish of 2017 and fifth top-10 in seven career Cup Series starts at Kentucky.
● Harvick finished fourth in Stage 1 to earn seven bonus points and fourth in Stage 2 to earn an additional seven bonus points.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 39 laps.
● The race featured 10 lead changes among four drivers.
● Only nine of the 40 drivers in the Kentucky 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Martin Truex Jr. won the Kentucky 400 to score his 10th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his first at Kentucky. Kyle Larson finished second as the race ended under caution.
● Larson leads the championship point standings with 710 points and has a one-point margin over his nearest pursuer, Truex.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I guess I just tried to push it a little too hard on pit road and wound up getting a speeding ticket at the wrong time, but luckily there was only nine cars on the lead lap and we were able to salvage something out of the night.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!