Event: Atlanta 250 (Round 2 of 33)
Series: NASCAR XFINITY Series
Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile oval)
Format: 163 laps, broken into three stages (40 laps/40 laps/83 laps)
Start/Finish: 12th/4th (Running, completed 163 of 163 laps)
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-40):
- Started 12th, finished third.
- Brad Keselowski of Team Penske won Stage 1; Harvick trailed by 2.614 seconds.
- The No. 41 Ford Mustang suffered a tight-handling condition at the start of a run.
- He pitted for four tires and fuel following Stage 1.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 41-80):
- Started third, finished first.
- Harvick passed Brad Keselowski for the lead on lap 62 and went on to win Stage 2.
- He led laps 62-80.
- The No. 41 team pitted for four tires and fuel following Stage 2.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 81-163):
- Started first, finished fourth.
- Harvick led laps 80-124.
- He pitted for four tires and fuel under caution on lap 121.
- The No. 41 team pitted for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment on lap 143 to correct a tight-handling condition.
- Harvick restarted fourth on lap 147.
- Harvick scored his 10th top-five finish and 12th top-10 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 16 starts.
- It is his 179th top-five and 251 top-10 finish in 336 XFINITY Series starts.
- This is Harvick’s first career NASCAR XFINITY Series start for Stewart-Haas Racing.
- Harvick is running five NASCAR XFINITY Series races in the No. 41 Ford Mustang for SHR in 2017.
- Harvick led twice for a race-high 64 laps.
- He now has led 832 laps at Atlanta in the XFINITY Series – the most all-time.
- No. 41 crew chief Richard Boswell made his SHR debut.
- Boswell’s only other series race as a crew chief was with JR Motorsports for SHR teammate Cole Custer at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway in 2016.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 41 Textron Off Road Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I want to thank everybody from Stewart-Haas Racing for our first race out, leading laps and racing for the lead there all day was quite a credit to the team. We got really tight the next to last set of tires. It was like the race track went away from us and kind of came to everybody else. We made it better the last run. I want to thank everyone from Textron Off Road, Ford Performance and Hunt Brothers, everyone that is putting this Mustang on track this year. It was a great opening week for us. I wish we could have won, but all in all I think it was a great week for us.”
The next event on the NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule is the Boyd Gaming 300 on Saturday, March 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race starts at 4 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FS1. Harvick’s next race behind the wheel of the No. 41 Ford Mustang will be Saturday, April 8 at Texas Motor Speedway.