Event: Folds of Honor 500 (Round 2 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile oval)
Format: 325 laps, broken into three stages (85 laps/85 laps/155 laps)
Start/Finish: 18th/4th (Running, completed 325 of 325 laps)
Point Standing: 2nd (79 points, eight out of first)
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):
● Started 18th, finished second and collected nine bonus points.
● After starting 18th, Harvick was eighth by lap seven. Said his Busch Beer Ford Mustang was a bit tight.
● At the competition caution, Harvick pitted on lap 37 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment. Went from eighth to third.
● Harvick finished 3.1 seconds behind stage winner Kyle Larson.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):
● Started first, finished first and collected 10 bonus points.
● Harvick pitted on lap 88 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
● On lap 111, Larson passed Harvick for the lead.
● On lap 127, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.
● Harvick got by Larson with less than 10 laps to go to win Stage 2.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 171-325):
● Started first, finished fourth.
● Harvick pitted under caution on lap 224 for four tires, fuel and a tire and track bar adjustment. Was in third place.
● On lap 233, Harvick was fourth and said the car was really tight.
● Harvick said on lap 251 that he was “chattering the front tires.” Was in fifth.
● On lap 270, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, and the team put tape on the grill. He finished the race fifth.
● Harvick earned his eighth top-five and 14th top-10 in 29 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta.
● Harvick finished second in Stage 1 to earn nine bonus points and won Stage 2 to earn an additional 10 bonus points and one playoff point.
● Harvick led seven times for 45 laps to increase his laps-led total at Atlanta to 1,197.
● Brad Keselowski won the Folds of Honor 500 to score his 28th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his second at Atlanta. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr. was .218 of a second.
● There were five caution periods for a total of 30 laps.
● Only 17 of the 37 drivers in the Folds of Honor 500 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin leaves Atlanta as the championship leader with an eight-point advantage over second-place Harvick.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had a good race. It just felt like we were one step behind all the way from Friday. We made it the best it had been there at the end of the run. When we got the shadows in one and two and it cooled off, our car got way too tight and started chattering the right tire. We made it a lot better at the end. Our Busch Beer Ford had a solid day, though, and we were able to adjust on the car and make it better throughout the day. We just got really tight in the middle of the race, and we just ran out of time.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Las Vegas 400 on Sunday, March 3 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 3 p.m.