KEVIN HARVICK – 2017 Pocono I Race Report

June 11th, 2017

Event:               Axalta presents the Pocono 400 (Round 14 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
Format:             160 laps, broken into three stages (50 laps/50 laps/60 laps)
Start/Finish:      12th/2nd (Running, completed 160 of 160 laps)
Point Standing: 3rd (480 points, 104 out of first) 

Race Winner:    Ryan Blaney of Wood Brothers Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner:             Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-50):

  • Kevin Harvick started 12th, finished second and scored nine bonus points.
  • Made a green-flag pit stop while racing in the fourth position on lap 16 for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
  • Raced his way up to the second position by lap 36.
  • Came to pit road for four tires and fuel at the conclusion of Stage 1.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 51-100):

  • Started fourth, finished fourth and scored seven bonus points.
  • Made a green-flag pit stop while racing in the fifth position on lap 68 for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
  • Restarted second for a one-lap shootout following a 23-minute red-flag period on lap 98.
  • Came to pit road for four tires and fuel at the conclusion of Stage 2. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 101-160):

  • Started 17th, finished second.
  • Made a green-flag pit stop while racing in the sixth position on lap 125 for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
  • Pitted from the fourth position under caution on lap 143 for four tires and fuel.
  • Restarted sixth on lap 146 and battled for the race win in the closing laps. 

Notes:

  • Harvick scored his fifth top-five finish of 2017.
  • Harvick scored his ninth top-five finish in 33 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Pocono.
  • There were four caution periods for a total of 18 laps.
  • Twenty-four drivers finished on the lead lap.
  • Ryan Blaney’s win in the Pocono 400 is his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory.

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

“The guys did a great job. I’m really proud of the engine shop. I don’t know how the engine didn’t blow up with the third to second shift. Obviously the durability is good enough in the engines to do that. But we had a really fast car. Seemed like the caution came out there at the end of that second stage, and then we got back behind. I think we were 23rd when we restarted, and got back up towards the front and had another caution, and got almost all the way back towards the front. But I had a tough time driving in the corner all day. We never could stop like we needed to all weekend, so you just had to be really careful with the brakes. If I’d over drive it for a lap or two the pedal would start going down, and then I was really at a deficit. So I had to be very aware of where I let off every lap.”

Next Up:                                                                        

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Firekeepers Casino 400 on Sunday, June 18 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.