KEVIN HARVICK – 2017 Charlotte I Race Report

May 29th, 2017

Event:               Coca-Cola 600 (Round 12 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format:             400 laps, broken into four stages (100 laps/100 laps/100 laps/100 laps)
Start/Finish:      1st/8th (Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
Point Standing: 4th (388 points, 103 points out of first)
Race Winner:    Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 3 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Ended on Lap 100):

  • Kevin Harvick started first, finished third and earned eight bonus points.
  • Fell back to second at the start but gained a position on pit road during the competition caution to regain the lead.
  • Gave up the lead to come to pit road under green-flag conditions on lap 66 for four tires, fuel and several adjustments.
  • Led twice for 41 laps in Stage 1.
  • Pitted for four tires, fuel and multiple adjustments following Stage 1 and won the race off pit road to retake the lead. 

Stage 2 Recap (Ended on Lap 200):

  • Started first, finished 13th.
  • Gave up the third position to come to pit road under green-flag conditions after reporting a loose wheel on lap 124.
  • Lost a lap to the leaders and dropped to the 23rd position due to the unscheduled pit stop for the loose wheel.
  • Severe weather led to a red flag on lap 144 lasting one hour and 48 minutes.
  • Returned to the lead lap under caution on lap 150 by way of a free pass immediately following the weather delay.
  • Restarted 22nd on lap 154 and raced up to 13th by the end of Stage 2.
  • Pitted for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments following Stage 2 and gained five positions on pit road. 

Stage 3 Recap (Ended on Lap 300):

  • Started eighth, finished seventh and earned four bonus points.
  • Slid through oil on lap 147 and nearly spun while racing in the 10th position, but saved it without making contact with the wall.
  • Pitted under caution on lap 249 for four tires, fuel and air pressure and wedge adjustments.
  • Restarted 14th on lap 253 and raced his way to the 11th position by the caution on lap 294.
  • Raced his way up to seventh in the final three laps of the stage and stayed out following the stage. 

Final Stage Recap (Ended on Lap 400):

  • Started seventh, finished eighth.
  • Pitted from the seventh position for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments under caution on lap 330.
  • Restarted sixth on lap 333 and raced into the top-five by lap 334.
  • Surrendered the second position for a four-tire pit stop under green on lap 369.
  • Several cars gambled on fuel strategy that paid off, and Harvick raced to an eighth-place finish in the closing laps. 

Notes:

  • Harvick won the pole position for the Coca-Cola 600 on Thursday night with a lap of 27.918 seconds at 193.424 mph.
  • Harvick scored his 15th top-10 finish in 33 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Charlotte and his seventh top-10 finish of 2017.
  • Harvick scored 12 stage points and led three times for 45 laps.
  • Austin Dillon scored his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory.

Next Up:                        

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the AAA 400 Drive for Autism on Sunday, June 4 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.