Event: Pocono 400 (Round 14 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
Format: 160 laps, broken into three stages (50 laps/50 laps/60 laps)
Start/Finish: 2nd / 4th (Running, completed 160 of 160 laps)
Point Standing: 2nd (537 points, 87 out of first)
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-50):
● Kevin Harvick started second and finished second, scoring nine bonus points.
● The No. 4 Busch Beer Ford raced to the lead on lap 12.
● Harvick surrendered the lead on lap 25 to pit under green-flag conditions for four tires, fuel, and chassis adjustments.
● He reclaimed the lead on lap 35 but fell to the second position, reporting the car was loose off the corner.
● The Busch Beer team brought the car to pit road at the completion of Stage 1 for four tires, fuel, and chassis adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 51-100):
● Started second and finished first to earn 10 bonus points and a playoff point.
● Harvick raced to the lead on the initial restart.
● The No. 4 Ford surrendered the lead on lap 78 when Harvick came to pit road for four tires and fuel under green-flag conditions.
● Harvick reclaimed the lead on lap 82 and held it for the remainder of the stage.
● The Busch Beer team brought the No. 4 Ford to pit road for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments at the end of Stage 2.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 101-160):
● Started first and finished fourth.
● Harvick raced back out to the lead to start the final stage.
● The team came to pit road under caution on lap 126 for four tires, fuel, and chassis adjustments, but an issue on pit road caused the team to restart second on lap 129.
● Following the lap-129 restart, Harvick fell back to the third position until the next caution on lap 139.
● The team elected to stay out under caution on lap 139 to restart in the second position, but Harvick lost a position on the restart.
● Harvick and the team elected to stay out for the final flurry of cautions on laps 146 and 150.
● The team restarted in the fourth position on lap 153 and remained there until the checkered flag on lap 160.
● This was Harvick’s 10th top-five and 11th top-10 finish of 2018.
● Harvick earned his 11th top-five and 16th top-10 in 35 career Cup Series starts at Pocono.
● Harvick finished second in Stage 1 to earn nine points and won in Stage 2 to earn an additional 10 bonus points and a playoff point.
● Harvick led four times for a race-high 89 laps to increase his laps-led total at Pocono to 157.
● Harvick has now led exactly 12,000 laps in his NASCAR career. He is the 15th driver to accomplish this feat.
● Martin Truex Jr. won the Pocono 400 to score his 17th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his second at Pocono. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Larson was 2.496 seconds.
● There were six caution periods for a total of 23 laps.
● Twenty-seven of the 38 drivers in the Pocono 400 finished on the lead lap.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We just lost our track position of being in the lead and lost control of the race. That is what did us in there. We restarted second and then third and lost a spot on each restart as you start on the inside. Our Busch Ford was really fast, and the guys did a really great job. When you are racing the 18 and 78, you are splitting hairs, and they were just better than us on pit road today.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday, June 10 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!