|Date: Oct. 1, 2017
Event: Apache Warrior 400 (Round 29 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (120 laps/120 laps/160 laps)
Start/Finish: 9th/17th (Running, completed 399 of 400 laps)
Point Standing: 6th with 3,015 points, advances to Round of 12
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120):
● Kevin Harvick started ninth, finished eighth and earned three bonus points.
● The Busch Beer Ford entered the top-five on lap 30 while reporting a tight-off handling condition.
● Harvick gave up the second position to come to pit road under the green flag on lap 83 for four tires, fuel and small adjustments.
● The No. 4 Ford lost a lap due to the pit cycle while racing in the seventh position when the caution flag was displayed on lap 88.
● Harvick opted to take the wave-around to return to the lead lap on lap 90.
● The No. 4 team pitted at the end of the stage for four tires, fuel and a small adjustment.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 121-240):
● Started sixth, finished 23rd.
● The Busch Beer Ford came to pit road under caution in the third position on lap 168 for four tires and fuel.
● Harvick reported a loose rear wheel on lap 204 and dropped from fourth to sixth before pitting under the green flag on lap 217.
● He returned to the track two laps down to the leaders in the 27th position and regained one lap by lap 228.
● The No. 4 team pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment at the conclusion of Stage 2.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 241-400):
● Started 23rd, finished 17th.
● Harvick reported he was tight in traffic with 100 laps remaining as he raced in 22nd a lap down to the leaders.
● The Busch Beer Ford had raced into sixth by lap 336 during a green-flag pit cycle as he tried to regain his lap.
● The No. 4 Ford came to pit road on lap 336 for four tires, fuel and small adjustments and rejoined the field in 20th one lap down.
● Harvick raced hard to gain three positions in the closing laps.
● Apache Warrior 400 at Dover is the third of the 10 playoff races to determine the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 24 laps.
● Only 12 of the 40 drivers in the Apache Warrior 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Harvick finished eighth in Stage 1 to earn three bonus points.
Playoff Standings (at the conclusion of the Round of 16):
1. Martin Truex Jr. (3,059 points)
2. Kyle Busch (3,041 points, -18)
3. Kyle Larson (3,034 points, -25)
4. Brad Keselowski (3,020 points, -39)
5. Jimmie Johnson (3,017 points, -42)
6. Kevin Harvick (3,015 points, -44)
7. Denny Hamlin (3,013 points, -46)
8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (3,010 points, -49)
9. Ryan Blaney (3,008 points, -51)
10. Chase Elliott (3,006 points, -53)
11. Matt Kenseth (3,005 points, -54)
12. Jamie McMurray (3,003 points, -56)
Failed to Advance to Round of 12:
13. Ryan Newman (2,067 points)
14. Austin Dillon (2,065 points)
15. Kasey Kahne (2,046 points)
16. Kurt Busch (2,044 points)
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!