Date: Sept. 30, 2018
Event: Bank of America Roval 400 (Round 29 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Charlotte Motor Speedway (2.28-mile, 17-turn road course)
Format: 109 laps, broken into three stages (25 laps/25 laps/59 laps)
Start/Finish: 19th/9th (Running, completed 109 of 109 laps)
Point Standing: 2nd with 3,050 points, 42 points ahead of ninth
Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):
● Kevin Harvick started 19th and finished 12th.
● The Jimmy John’s 9-Grain Wheat Sub driver raced into the top-15 by lap four.
● The No. 4 Ford came to pit road under caution on lap 14 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Many of the leaders stayed out, causing the No. 4 Ford to drop back to 20th.
● Harvick raced from 20th up to 12th by the end of the stage, and the team chose to stay out in favor of track position.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 26-50):
● Started fifth and finished 14th.
● Harvick advanced from the sixth position up to third on lap 36 as three of the leaders came to pit road under green-flag conditions.
● The Jimmy John’s Ford moved up to the second position on lap 39 as another of the leaders came to pit road under green.
● Harvick surrendered the second position on lap 45 to pit under green-flag conditions for four tires and fuel.
● The No. 4 Ford advanced from 20th following the green-flag stop up to 14th by the end of the stage.
● Crew chief Rodney Childers chose to keep the No. 4 Ford off pit road at the end of the stage.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 51-109):
● Started fourth and finished ninth.
● Harvick stayed out under caution on lap 60 and again on lap 65 to maintain the fourth position.
● The Jimmy John’s Ford came to pit road under caution from the fourth position on lap 70 for four tires and fuel.
● Harvick restarted 13th on lap 71 and raced back into the top-10 by lap 72 and up to seventh by lap 78.
● He began saving fuel and dropped from the seventh position back to 11th by lap 100.
● The team called Harvick to pit road under caution on lap 102 for four tires and fuel, causing him to restart 17th on lap 103.
● Harvick avoided calamity on the restart and advanced from 17th to ninth.
● The No. 4 Ford restarted ninth with three laps to go and held his position until the checkered flag.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Today actually went way better than I hoped it would. I think as you look at the way that we ran all day and where we ran all day, we were in the top-10 and up in the top-five and back and forth, and just way better than we were yesterday. It’s tough starting behind your teammate who is trying to make it in there at the end. You’ve got to be careful with what you do and not drive in there too far and do something dumb. I lost a couple spots, but in the end it was a good day for us.”
● This was Harvick’s series leading 24rh top-10 finish of 2018.
● Harvick earned his 18th top-10 in 37 career road-course starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series across Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval.
● Harvick earned his 17th top-10 in 36 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Charlotte (oval and road course).
● Ryan Blaney won the inaugural Bank of America Roval 400 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory and his first of 2018. His margin of victory over second-place Jamie McMurray was .792 of a second.
● Blaney’s triumph delivered the 104th points-paying victory for Ford’s Fusion in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It was also Ford’s 673rd all-time win in the NASCAR Cup Series.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 16 laps.
● Twenty-six of the 40 drivers in the Bank of America Roval 400 finished on the lead lap.
Playoff Standing (at the conclusion of the Round of 16):
1. Kyle Busch (3,055 points)
2. Kevin Harvick (3,050 points, -5)
3. Martin Truex Jr. (3,038 points, -17)
4. Brad Keselowski (3,025 points, -30)
5. Clint Bowyer (3,015 points, -40)
6. Joey Logano (3,014 points, -41)
7. Kurt Busch (3,014 points, -41)
8. Ryan Blaney (3,013 points, -42)
9. Chase Elliott (3,008 points, -47)
10. Kyle Larson (3,006 points, -49)
11. Aric Almirola (3,001 points, -54)
12. Alex Bowman (3,000 points, -55)
Failed to Advance to Round of 12:
13. Jimmie Johnson (2,097 points)
14. Austin Dillon (2,066 points)
15. Denny Hamlin (2,053 points)
16. Erik Jones (2,041 points)