Date: May 2, 2021
Event: Buschy McBusch Race 400 (Round 11 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 4th / 2nd (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
Point Standing: 8th (348 points, 133 out of first)
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Kevin Harvick started fourth and finished seventh, earning four bonus points.
● Grabbed third right at the start.
● “Car won’t turn and loose in,” said Harvick while running third on lap 14.
● Harvick fell to fifth on lap 17 as both Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch got by.
● “I’m going to have to have some rear grip,” said Harvick shortly after the competition caution came out on lap 25.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel with a right-rear chassis adjustment on lap 28.
● Harvick and the No. 4 Busch Light #ForTheFarmers Ford Mustang lined up fourth for the lap-31 restart.
● Kyle Larson grabbed fourth on lap 40 and Busch took fifth on lap 43, sending Harvick to sixth.
● “Super tight on exit and loose in,” said Harvick as Chase Elliott grabbed sixth on the final lap of the stage.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel with a track bar adjustment at the end of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
● Harvick started eighth and finished 10th, earning one bonus point.
● Passed Ryan Blaney for seventh on lap 96 and then got by Tyler Reddick on lap 99 to take sixth.
● Denny Hamlin caught Harvick on lap 109, sending the No. 4 Busch Light #ForTheFarmers Ford Mustang to seventh.
● Made scheduled, green flag pit stop for four tires and fuel on lap 121.
● “As I’m running, the back (of the car) just becomes less and less secure,” said Harvick while in 12th place on lap 144.
● As pit stops cycled through, Harvick was back in the top-10 by lap 146.
● “Just lost the back (of the car) on that run,” said Harvick as he finished the stage in 10th. “I thought we were better the run before.”
● Pitted for four tires and fuel at the conclusion of the stage. The crew delivered a fast stop, gaining Harvick four positions.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):
● Harvick started sixth and finished second.
● The No. 4 Busch Light #ForTheFarmers Ford Mustang cracked the top-five on lap 169.
● Passed Brad Keselowski for fourth on lap 173.
● At lap 200, Harvick remained comfortably in fourth.
● “It’s a lot better, but I’ve started to lose the back (of the car) the last couple of laps,” said Harvick on lap 206 while in fourth place.
● Harvick on lap 209: “From the back to the front, the whole car has just lost grip.” Nonetheless, he maintained fourth.
● Made scheduled, green flag pit stop for four tires and fuel with a right-rear chassis adjustment on lap 214.
● Harvick returned to fourth place on lap 227 once pit stops cycled through.
● Caution on lap 230 allowed Harvick to pit for four tires and fuel with a right-rear chassis adjustment.
● An uncontrolled tire during the pit stop sent Harvick to the tail end of the longest line for the lap-236 restart. He lined up 20th.
● Was 15th by the time the caution came out for a single-car accident on lap 245.
● Harvick took advantage of the caution and pitted for four tires and fuel on lap 246. He was 12th for lap-250 restart.
● Was 12th when the caution flag waved for another single-car accident on lap 253.
● Harvick made one final trip to pit road on lap 254 for four new tires. He was 14th for lap-258 restart.
● Harvick had clawed his way back to seventh by the time a multicar crash bought out the caution on lap 259.
● Harvick crossed the stripe second in a green-white-checkered finish. The driver of the No. 4 Busch Light #ForTheFarmers Ford Mustang used his fresher tires to his advantage while many of the front-runners slid into one another and the wall in the final dash to the checkered flag.
● Harvick earned his fourth top-five and eighth top-10 of the season, and his 11th top-five and 18th top-10 in 31 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Kansas.
● This was Harvick’s second straight top-five. He finished fourth in the series’ last race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
● This was Harvick’s third straight top-five at Kansas.
● This was Harvick’s best finish so far this season. His previous best result was fourth, earned twice (season-opening Daytona 500 and last Sunday at Talladega.)
● Kyle Busch won the Buschy McBusch Race 400 to score his 58th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his second at Kansas. His margin over Harvick was .336 of a second.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 36 laps.
● Twenty-two of the 39 drivers in the Buschy McBusch Race 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Kansas with an 87-point advantage over second-place Martin Truex Jr.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light #ForTheFarmers Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had the right pit strategy once the cautions came out there. We had the pit road penalty and came in for tires and Rodney (Childers, crew chief) made a great call of coming back in to put tires on and that kind of put us on the offense. We were able to be really aggressive on the two restarts we had at the end and were able to make up some ground. Everybody on our Busch Light #ForTheFarmers Ford Mustang did a great job today of just hanging in there. We made a few mistakes, but we made our car better throughout the whole day and were more competitive than we had been in the last couple mile-and-a-half races.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Goodyear 400 on Sunday, May 9 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The race begins at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!