KEVIN HARVICK – 2017 Michigan II Race Report

Event:               Pure Michigan 400 (Round 23 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
Format:             200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)
Start/Finish:      3rd/13th (Running, completed 202 of 202 laps)
Point Standing: 4th (787 points, 146 out of first) 

Race Winner:    Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner:             Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):

  • Kevin Harvick started third, finished second and earned nine bonus points.
  • The Busch Light Ford Fusion raced up to the second position immediately following the drop of the green flag.
  • Harvick came to pit road on lap 43 for four tires and fuel.
  • The No. 4 team came to pit road for two tires and fuel at the conclusion of Stage 1 and came off pit road in the third position. 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):

  • Started third, finished third and earned eight bonus points.
  • Harvick reported the two-tire stop caused the car to handle too tight at the beginning of Stage 2.
  • The Busch Light Ford gave up the third position on lap 110 to come to pit road for four tires and fuel.
  • Stayed out at the conclusion of Stage 2 to maintain the third position. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):

  • Started third, finished 13th.
  • The Busch Light Ford came to pit road while racing in the sixth position for four tires, fuel and air pressure and wedge adjustments to correct a loose-handling condition. The stop caused him to fall a lap down to several cars that didn’t pit on the same strategy.
  • Harvick remained a lap down to the leaders until taking the wave-around under caution on lap 189.
  • The No. 4 Ford restarted 17th on the lead lap on lap 190 but continued to battle a loose-handling condition.
  • The team came to pit road a final time on lap 197 for four tires and an air pressure adjustment.
  • Harvick raced from the 19th position to 13th in the final, three-lap dash to the checkered flag. 

Notes:

  • Harvick finished second in Stage 1 to earn nine bonus points and third in Stage 2 to earn an additional eight bonus points.
  • The race featured 14 lead changes among seven drivers.
  • There were five caution periods for a total of 28 laps.
  • Twenty-four of the 39 drivers in the Pure Michigan 400 finished on the lead lap.
  • Kyle Larson won the Pure Michigan 400 to score his fourth career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his third at Michigan. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr. was .310 of a second.
  • Truex leads the championship standings with 933 points and has a 129-point margin over his nearest pursuer, Larson.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“We were just terrible loose when the sun came out, and then the strategy just went the wrong way, and we wound up a lap down.”

Next Up:                                                                        

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday, Aug. 19 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC, PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.