KEVIN HARVICK – 2017 Talladega I Race Report

May 7th, 2017

Event:               Geico 500 (Round 10 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format:             188 laps, broken into three stages (55 laps/55 laps/78 laps)
Start/Finish:      6th/23rd (Running, completed 191 of 191 laps)
Point Standing: 7th (309 points, 119 out of first)

Race Winner:    Ricky Stenhouse Jr. of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Ended on Lap 55):

  • Kevin Harvick started sixth, finished 28th.
  • Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion led lap 24 and raced in the top-five for the first 30 laps.
  • Reported a vibration on lap 40 and fell back to midpack.
  • Pitted at the conclusion of the stage for multiple extended stops to diagnose and attempt to correct the vibration.

 Stage 2 Recap (Ended on Lap 110):

  • Started 25th, finished second, earning nine bonus points.
  • Pitted under caution from the 19th position on lap 84 for four tires and fuel. He restarted 26th on lap 86.
  • Joined the top-five on lap 95 and raced up to the second position on lap 97.
  • Pitted at the conclusion of Stage 2 for four tires and fuel. He returned to the track as the first car on four new tires.

Final Stage Recap (Ended on Lap 188):

  • Started fourth, finished 23rd.
  • Pitted from the fourth position on lap 150 for four tires and fuel.
  • Returned to the track on lap 151 at the tail end of the lead pack in the 20th position.
  • Narrowly avoided a wreck directly in front of him on lap 160 and stayed out under the caution to gain track position.
  • Collected in an 18-car accident on lap 170 and suffered damage to the right front of the car, causing the team to pit twice for repairs.
  • Suffered a cut right-front tire on the following restart and was forced to pit under green, causing him to lose a lap.
  • Was awarded the free pass on lap 187 and finished as the last car on the lead lap in overtime.

Notes:                          

  • Harvick led three times for 15 laps to bring his laps-led total at Talladega to 202 and season laps-led total to 459.
  • There were eight caution periods for a total of 33 laps.
  • Twenty-three drivers finished on the lead lap. 

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

DID YOU EVER FIGURE OUT WHAT THE VIBRATION ENDED UP BEING?  “I really don’t know what it was, but it stayed with us all day. I didn’t know what to do. To have a car that can lead laps and run up front, this time we just happened to wreck up front. Solid performance from the Jimmy John’s team, just bad luck.”

Next Up:                                                                        

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Go Bowling 400 on Saturday, May 13 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.