KEVIN HARVICK – 2018 Talladega I Race Report

April 29th, 2018

Event:               GEICO 500(Round 10 of 36)
Series:               Monster EnergyNASCAR 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:      1st/ 4th(Running, completed 188 of 188 laps)
Point Standing:  3rd(366 points, 81 out of first) 

Race Winner:    Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner:Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner:Paul Menard of Wood Brothers Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-55): 

  • Kevin Harvick started first and finished ninth, scoring two bonus points.
  • The No. 4 Busch Flannel Ford surrendered the lead on lap 13 for a fuel-only stop and returned to the track in 29th.
  • Harvick advanced back up into the top-10 after the second group of cars came to pit road on lap 43.
  • The No. 4 Ford came to pit road at the conclusion of the stage for multiple adjustments to correct a tight-off handling condition.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 56-110): 

  • Started 24thand finished fourth, earning seven bonus points.
  • Harvick brought the Busch Flannel Ford to pit road for fuel only on lap 67.
  • Harvick raced into the top-10 by lap 70 after the fuel-only stop and narrowly avoided a multicar incident on lap 72.
  • The Busch Flannel Ford restarted eighth on lap 78 and dropped as far back as 20thbefore rallying late in the stage.
  • Harvick brought the Busch Flannel Ford in at the end of the stage for tires, fuel and adjustments. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 111-188): 

  • Started fourthand finished fourth.
  • Harvick got shuffled back to the 20thposition early in the final stage but returned to the top-three by the caution on lap 129.
  • The team brought the No. 4 Ford to pit road under caution on lap 130 for four tires and fuel.
  • Harvick restarted ninth on lap 133 as the first car on four fresh tires after the stop.
  • Crew chief Rodney Childers called the No. 4 to pit road under green on lap 145 for fuel only, and Harvick returned to the track in 18th.
  • By the caution on lap 154, Harvick had raced the Busch Flannel Ford back up to the third position and chose to stay out on track.
  • Harvick was racing in the second position when a 14-car accident occurred behind him on lap 166.
  • The No. 4 Ford restarted second on lap 171 and raced single file until the white-flag lap, when he was shuffled to fourth. 

Notes:

  • Harvick scored his seventh top-five and eighth top-10 finish of 2018.
  • It was his seventh top-five and 15thtop-10 finish in 35 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega.
  • Harvick finished ninth in Stage 1 to earn two bonus points and fourth in Stage 2 to earn an additional seven bonus points.
  • Harvick started from the pole and led the first 12 laps to increase his laps-led total at Talladega to 214.
  • Joey Logano won the GEICO 500 to score his 19th career Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his third at Talladega. His margin of victory over second-place Kurt Busch was .127 of a second.
  • Ford took six of the top-10 finishing positions.
  • There were six caution periods for a total of 29 laps.
  • Twenty-two of the 40 drivers in the GEICO 500 finished on the lead lap. 

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

“We had a really good Busch Ford. We got the handling a lot better there after the first run of the race when it was pushing really bad and loose in the corners and through the tri-oval. They did a good job adjusting the car. The 41 pulled out sooner than I thought he would there, and we wound up getting hung out. All in all, it was a really good day. I am happy to finish the race. It is a good day for the guys. We can tweak on one finally rather than having to rebuild one.” 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the AAA 400 Drive for Autism on Sunday, May 6 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 beginning with a prerace show at 1:30 p.m.