Event: First Data 500 (Round 33 of 36)
Series: Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series
Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
Format: 500 laps, broken into three stages (130 laps/130 laps/240 laps)
Start/Finish: 13th/5th (Running, completed 505 of 505 laps) in overtime
Point Standing: 4th with 4,053 points, three points ahead of fifth-place in the Round of 8
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-130):
- Kevin Harvick started 13th and finished 13th.
- Harvick raced the Busch NA Ford Fusion into the top-10 by the competition caution on lap 35.
- The No. 4 Ford stayed out under caution on lap 64 to maintain the ninth position.
- Harvick came to pit road for tires and fuel on lap 90, but eight cars opted to stay out, forcing the No. 4 to restart in the 17th position.
- The No. 4 team pitted at the end of the stage for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 131-260):
- Started 10th, finished seventh and earned four bonus points.
- Stage 2 went caution free and allowed Harvick to race the Busch NA Ford from the 10th position up to seventh.
- The Busch NA Ford came to pit road at the conclusion of Stage 2 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 261-500):
- Started eighth, finished fifth.
- Harvick brought the Busch NA Ford to pit road from the eighth position under caution on lap 309 for four tires and fuel.
- The Busch NA Ford restarted eighth on lap 320 after staying out under caution on lap 317.
- The No. 4 Ford came to pit road under caution from the sixth position on lap 362 for four tires, fuel and fender repair but came out 15th after a mishap during the pit stop.
- The Busch NA team came to pit road under caution from the 13th position for four tires and fuel on lap 460 and came off pit road in the 11th position.
- Harvick stayed out during a flurry of cautions at the end of the race and advanced from ninth to fifth in the final laps.
- Harvick scored his 11th top-five and 20th top-10 finish of 2017.
- This was Harvick’s fourth top-five and 15th top-10 in 33 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Martinsville.
- Harvick finished seventh in Stage 2 for four points.
- There were 11 caution periods for a total of 74 laps.
- Twenty-three of the 40 drivers in the First Data finished on the lead lap.
- Kyle Busch won the First Data 500 to score his 43rd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fifth of the season and his second at Martinsville. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr. was .141 of a second.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch NA Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It’s just Martinsville. That’s what it’s all about. It’s championship time. It’s time to get physical. I’ve just got to thank everybody on my Busch Non-Alcoholic Ford, Jimmy John’s, Mobil 1, Outback, Hunt Brothers, Morton Buildings, Textron Off Road, everybody who helps this car go around the racetrack. I really want to help all of my guys at Stewart-Haas Racing. They built this car in two weeks, and we were way more competitive than we were in the spring. Bent fenders, hurt feelings. I love it.”
Playoff Standings (with two races remaining in the Round of 8):
- Kyle Busch (4,100 points, -17) 1 win
- Martin Truex Jr. (4,117 points) +67
- Brad Keselowski (4,079 points, -38) +29 points
- Kevin Harvick (4,053 points, -64) +3 points
- Jimmie Johnson (4,050 points, -67) -3 points
- Ryan Blaney (4,047 points, -70) -6 points
- Denny Hamlin (4,045 points, -72) -8 points
- Chase Elliott (4,027 points, -90) -26 points
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday, Nov. 5 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It is the eighth race of the 10-race playoffs and starts at 2 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by NBCSN beginning at 1 p.m. PRN Radio and SiriusXM Channel 90 will be on the radio call.