KEVIN HARVICK – 2018 Indianapolis Race Report

September 10th, 2018

Date: Sept. 10, 2018
Event: Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis (Round 26 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
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 (2,050 points, tied for most Playoff points – In the Playoffs)

Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Clint Bowyer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Matt Kenseth of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-50):

Kevin Harvick started second and finished 11th.
● The Jimmy John’s 9-Grain Wheat Sub driver came to pit road under green-flag conditions on lap 10 for four tires and fuel, but the team received a penalty for an uncontrolled tire.
● The No. 4 Ford returned to pit road under caution on lap 12 for fuel and restarted 34th as a result of the penalty.
● Harvick raced back up to the 20th position before returning to pit road for four tires and fuel on lap 33, but a pit-gun malfunction resulted in a loose wheel. The team returned to pit road under caution to tighten the wheel.
● The No. 4 team restarted 24th on lap 34 and raced up to the top-15 by the following caution on lap 40.
● Harvick came to pit road for four tires and fuel and gave the team a chance to clean debris off the grill on lap 42.
● The Jimmy John’s Ford restarted 20th on lap 45 and raced up to 11th by the end of the stage.
● The team chose to stay out to gain track position at the conclusion of the stage.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 51-100):

Started third and finished 21st.
● Harvick raced up to the second position on the restart to start the stage.
● The Jimmy John’s Ford driver stayed out under caution on lap 58 and kept the second position.
● The team stayed out during the following caution on lap 66 to take the lead.
● Harvick remained in the lead until pitting under green-flag conditions on lap 91.
● He raced up to 21st by the end of the second stage.
● The team chose to stay out to gain track position at the conclusion of the stage.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 101-160):

Started fourth and finished fourth.
● The No. 4 Ford dropped to sixth at the start of the stage and was racing in that position on lap 129 when Harvick came to pit road under green-flag conditions for four tires and fuel. He rejoined the field in 14th.
● Harvick stayed out under caution on lap 145 to advance from sixth to the fourth position as several cars opted to pit.
● The Jimmy John’s driver restarted fourth on lap 147, but he reported a potential issue with his front-right tire and dropped to seventh.
● Harvick stayed out during the final caution in the seventh position and raced up to fourth before the checkered-flag.

Notes:

Harvick qualified for the playoffs by virtue of his seven victories in 2018.  He won at Atlanta Motor Speedway, ISM Raceway near Phoenix, Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Kansas Motor Speedway in Kansas City, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The No. 4 team’s race win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March does not count toward its playoff qualification due to a post-race penalty.
Harvick takes 50 points into the playoffs thanks to his six points-paying victories, 10 stage wins and a second-place finish in the regular-season standings. His stage wins came at Atlanta; Texas Motor Speedway; two at Dover in May; Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in June; Michigan in June; Chicagoland Speedway; Pocono in August; and two at Michigan in August.
This is Harvick’s ninth consecutive playoff appearance and his 12th overall. He won the championship in 2014.
● This was Harvick’s series-best 19th top-five and 22nd top-10 finish of 2018.
● Harvick earned his sixth top-five and 12th top-10 finish in 18 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Indianapolis.
● Harvick led once for 22 laps to increase his laps-led total at Indianapolis to 203.
● Brad Keselowski won the Brickyard 400 to score his 26th career Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Indianapolis. His margin of victory over second-place Erik Jones was .908 of a second.
● Keselowski’s triumph delivered the 102nd points-paying victory for Ford’s Fusion in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It was Ford’s 671st all-time win in the NASCAR Cup Series.
● There were 10 caution periods for a total of 39 laps.
● Only 22 of the 40 drivers in the Brickyard 400 finished on the lead lap.

 

Playoff Standings:

1.       Kevin Harvick (2,050 points)
2.       Kyle Busch (2,050 points)
3.       Martin Truex Jr. (2,035 points, -15)
4.       Brad Keselowski (2,019 points, -31)
5.       Clint Bowyer (2,015 points, -35)
6.       Kurt Busch (2,014 points, -36)
7.       Joey Logano (2,014 points, -36)
8.       Chase Elliott (2,008 points, -42)
9.       Ryan Blaney (2007 points, -43)
10.    Erik Jones (2,005 points, -45)
11.    Austin Dillon (2,005 points, -45)
12.    Kyle Larson (2,005 points, -45)
13.    Denny Hamlin (2,003 points, -47)
14.    Aric Almirola (2,001 points, -49)
15.    Jimmie Johnson (2,000 points, -50)
16.    Alex Bowman (2,000 points, -50)

 

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

The day almost started disastrous, but you recovered and led some laps.

“Disaster is a good word.  It was not a smooth day by any means from start to finish, but our Jimmy John’s Ford was fast and that was the highlight of the day.”

You and Kyle Busch are at the top. What is the strategy for the final 10 races?

“Win.”

You have a big points cushion to start the playoffs, but will you set a tone of winning races and not concentrate on that advantage with your guys?

“They know that.  We just take it one week at a time.  That’s really the only way that you can approach this is to try and get the most that you can next week, regroup, and then see what you have and go for it the next week.”

Do you like where you’re sitting right now and how you’re setup for the playoffs?

“I don’t think it’s a bad spot.  I think we did a good job in the first 26 and now you’ve just got to do it again in 10 more.”