KEVIN HARVICK – 2017 Texas II Race Report

Event:               AAA Texas 500 (Round 34 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
Format:             334 laps, broken into three stages (85 laps/85 laps/164 laps)
Start/Finish:      3rd/1st (Running, completed 334 of 334 laps)
Point Standing:             3rd with 4,112 points, 56 points out of first (Qualified for the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the race win) 

Race Winner:    Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):

  • Kevin Harvick started third, finished first and earned 10 bonus points.
  • Harvick raced the Mobil 1 Ford Fusion in the fourth position and made his way to second by lap 51.
  • The No. 4 Ford pitted under green-flag conditions for four tires, fuel and wedge adjustments.
  • Harvick powered into the lead on lap 70 and held the top spot for the remainder of the stage.
  • The No. 4 team pitted at the end of the stage for four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments. 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):

  • Started second, finished second and earned nine bonus points.
  • Harvick regained the lead on the initial restart, where he ran until a lap-95 caution.
  • The Mobil 1 Ford pitted under green on lap 145 for four more tires and fuel.
  • Harvick was scored in second place after green-flag pit stops cycled through.
  • The No. 4 team came to pit road at the conclusion of Stage 2 for four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 171-334):

  • Started third, finished first.
  • Harvick opted not to pit during a lap-179 caution and restarted in the fourth position.
  • The Mobil 1 Ford battled to the second position on lap 201, trailing the leader by less than a second.
  • The No. 4 Ford pitted under green on lap 227 for four tires and fuel.
  • As the laps wound down, the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion stalked race leader Martin Truex Jr. from second place. He started reeling him in, making the pass for the lead with just 10 laps to go and then cruising to the victory.

Notes:

  • This was Harvick’s second NASCAR Cup Series win of 2017, his first at Texas and the 37th of his career. It was his 14th Cup Series victory since joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.
  • This was Harvick’s first win, ninth top-five and 18th top-10 finish in 30 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas.
  • Harvick’s margin of victory over second-place Truex was 1.58 seconds.
  • Harvick’s victory clinched his spot in the Championship 4 race on Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It will be the third time in the last four years Harvick will compete for the title in the season finale at Homestead. Harvick won the championship in 2014.
  • Harvick finished first in Stage 1 to earn 10 bonus points and second in Stage 2 to earn an additional nine bonus points.
  • Harvick led five times for 38 laps to bring his laps-led total at Texas to 231.
  • There were eight caution periods for a total of 40 laps.
  • A total of 16 of the 40 drivers in the AAA Texas 500 finished on the lead lap.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“This feels so good. We have been qualifying well here (Texas) and racing well ever since I have been at Stewart-Haas Racing and just never got it to work out to go to victory lane. Today we had to earn it. To be able to pass the 78 car for the win is something that is huge for our confidence and team knowing we need to go to another 1.5-mile (track) at Homestead to race for the championship. I am really proud of everyone on our Mobil 1 Ford. This thing was a hot rod today.”

Playoff Standings (with one race remaining in the Round of 8):

  1. Kyle Busch (4,118 points, -50) 1 win (clinched spot in Championship 4)
  2. Kevin Harvick (4,112 points, -56) 1 win (clinched spot in Championship 4)
  3. Martin Truex Jr. (4,168 points) +76 (clinched spot in Championship 4)
  4. Brad Keselowski (4,111 points, -57) +19 points
  5. Denny Hamlin (4,092 points, -76) -19 points
  6. Ryan Blaney (4,089 points, -79) -22 points
  7. Chase Elliott (4,062 points, -106) -49 points
  8. Jimmie Johnson (4,060 points, -108) -51 points                                              

Next Up: 

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Can-Am 500 on Sunday, Nov. 12 at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway. It is the ninth race of the 10-race playoffs and starts at 2:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by NBC beginning at 2 p.m. MRN Radio and SiriusXM Channel 90 will be on the radio call.