KEVIN HARVICK – 2017 Martinsville I Race Report

Event:               Martinsville 500 (Round 6 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
Format:             500 laps, broken into three stages (130 laps/130 laps/240 laps)
Start/Finish:      9th/20th (Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
Point Standing: 10th (154 points, 114 out of first)

Race Winner:    Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Ends on Lap 130):

  • Kevin Harvick started ninth, finished 11th.
  • The No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford pitted under caution on lap 72 for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
  • Harvick gained several positions on pit road and restarted third following the lap-72 pit stop.
  • He pitted under caution on lap 109 to reverse his previous changes after noting he was tight in the center and loose off.
  • The team stayed out during the lap-123 caution and gained two positions in the closing laps of the stage.

Stage 2 Recap (Ends on Lap 260):          

  • Started 21st, finished 24th.
  • The No. 4 Ford battled a tight-handling condition in the center of the corner and loose off.
  • Harvick went a lap down to leader Kyle Busch on lap 205 while racing in the 23rd position.

Final Stage Recap (Ends on Lap 500):

  • Started 25th, finished 20th.
  • The No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford came to pit road for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments following Stage 2.
  • Harvick pitted under caution on lap 282 for right-side tires and repairs. He restarted 27th.
  • He raced the No. 13 car for the free pass for more than 100 laps before finally returning to the lead lap on lap 406.
  • The Bakersfield, California, native restarted 21st on lap 414 and stayed out under caution on lap 421 to move into the top-12.
  • The No. 4 car sustained damage trying to avoid an incident on lap 434. The team pitted for repairs and restarted 19th.
  • Harvick battled until the end and took the checkered flag in 20th. 

Notes:                          

  • Harvick scored his fourth top-20 finish of 2017.
  • He scored his 24th top-20 finish in 32 career Cup Series starts at Martinsville.
  • Keselowski’s win in the Martinsville 500 is his 23rd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Martinsville.
  • Kyle Larson leads the point standings by four points over Chase Elliott.
  • A total of 20 drivers finished on the lead lap.
  • The race was slowed by 14 cautions for 95 laps.

 Next Up:                                                                                  

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, April 9 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race starts at 1:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX.