Date: July 13, 2019
Event: Kentucky 400 (Round 19 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 5th/22nd (Running, completed 268 of 269 laps)
Point Standing: 3rd (645 points, 101 out of first)
Note: Race extended two laps past its scheduled 267-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Kevin Harvick started fifth and finished sixth, earning five stage points.
● The No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang quickly moved to third by just the second lap.
● The first caution flag flew on lap 47 and Harvick, running third, reported the car was “tighter in (turns) three and four, better than the cars in front, but hard to pass them.”
● On the ensuing pit stop, the No. 4 crew put on right side tires, filled it with fuel and made a tire pressure adjustment.
● After three cautions in 16 laps, the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang was running fifth, and instead of pitting on lap 64 like many other teams, crew chief Rodney Childers opted to stay out and maintain track position.
● Harvick finished sixth but reported his car was “plowing”. The No. 4 crew fitted the Hunt Brothers Pizza machine with four tires, fuel and made wedge and tire pressure adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
● Harvick started 16th and finished 16th.
● Harvick drove his No. 4 Hunt Brother Pizza Ford Mustang into the top-10 by lap 119.
● Harvick had climbed to sixth on lap 139 before coming in for a green-flag pit stop on lap 149.
● The No. 4 crew put on four fresh tires, added fuel and made a tire pressure adjustment before returning to the track in 16th.
● On lap 158 while running 16th, Harvick reported the car was “vibrating like crazy, worse in the corners.”
● Pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment at the conclusion of the stage.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-269):
● Harvick started 13th and finished 22nd.
● Running 12th when the caution came out on lap 180, Harvick made a scheduled, four-tire pit stop. But an uncontrolled tire penalty dropped him back to 23rd for the lap-184 restart.
● On lap 207, the No. 4 machine began experiencing a power issue which prevented Harvick from regaining any more positions.
● Kurt Busch won the Kentucky 400 to score his 31st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Kentucky. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .076 of a second.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 35 laps.
● Only 16 of the 36 drivers in the Kentucky 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Joey Logano remains the championship leader after Kentucky with an 11-point advantage over second-place Kyle Busch.
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Foxwoods Casino 301 on Sunday, July 21 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!