Event: Ford EcoBoost 400 (Round 36 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 2nd/4th (Running, completed 267 of 267 laps)
Point Standing: 3rd with 5,033 points
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
- Kevin Harvick started second and finished fourth, earning seven bonus points.
- The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang took the lead at the start and led the first 20 laps, but Harvick faded to fourth as he reported his car was “a little tight.”
- By lap 30 he said that his car was way too tight.
- Harvick pitted on lap 36 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.
- On lap 52, Harvick reported that his biggest problem was he could not turn well when entering turn one.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
- Harvick started fifth and finished second to earn eight bonus points.
- The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang pitted on lap 83 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.
- While third, Harvick pitted on lap 119 for four tires and fuel.
- Harvick again pitted on lap 139 for four tires, fuel and tire pressure and chassis adjustments.
- The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang was in first place late in the second stage but was passed by Kyle Busch with two laps to go.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):
- Harvick started second and finished fourth.
- The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang was too loose up top and too tight on the bottom as Harvick ran 5.2 seconds behind leader Busch.
- Harvick took the lead on lap 216 when he stayed out as the leaders pitted. He led until lap 224, then pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.
- The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang led 41 laps total but finished the race fourth.
- Harvick earned his 15th top-five and 26th top-10 of the season, and his 11th top-five and 17th top-10 in 19 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead.
- Harvick’s 11 top-fives and 17 top-10s at Homestead are the most among all active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Jimmie Johnson is the next-best driver with five top-fives and 11 top-10s.
- Harvick led three times for 41 laps to increase his laps-led total at Homestead to 414, placing him at second-most among all active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers behind Busch’s 463 laps led at Homestead.
- Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has never finished outside the top-five at Homestead. He scored his first win at the track in 2014 to earn his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.
- This is Harvick’s sixth straight top-five and 12th straight top-10 at Homestead. He finished third in last year’s season finale.
- Harvick has never finished outside the top-20 in his career at Homestead. He hasn’t finished outside the top-10 since the 2007 season finale, when he finished 19th.
- This is Harvick’s fifth straight top-10 and his 15th top-10 in the last 17 races.
- Busch won the Ford EcoBoost 400 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. It was the 56th race win of his career, his fifth of the season and his second at Homestead. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr. was 4.578 seconds.
- There were three caution periods for a total of 15 laps.
- Only 10 of the 40 drivers in the Ford EcoBoost 400 finished on the lead lap.
Championship 4 Final Points:
- Kyle Busch (5,040 points)
- Martin Truex Jr. (5,035 points)
- Kevin Harvick (5,033 points)
- Denny Hamlin (5,027 points)
Note: Harvick competed in the Championship 4 for the fifth time in the last six years. He won the championship in 2014.
Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Yeah, we just needed to do something different. They were so much better than us on the long run. That was our best chance, to have a caution there at the end, and we never got one. We did something different, hoping for a caution. We had to do the opposite, and it just didn’t work out. On the restarts I could do what I wanted to do and hold them off for 15 or 20 laps. This race has come down to that every year. You kind of play toward that, and they were quite a bit better than us on the long run. We had a really good car for those first 15-20 laps on the restarts and had a lot of speed, we just never got to try to race for it there with the caution.”
The 2020 season kicks off with the traditional Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The 62nd Daytona 500, the first points-paying race of the year, will go green on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, with live coverage from Fox and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.