KEVIN HARVICK – 2019 Martinsville II Race Report

Event:  First Data 500 (Round 33 of 36)
Series:  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:  Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
Format:  500 laps, broken into three stages (130 laps/130 laps/240 laps)
Start/Finish:  22nd/7th (Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
Point Standing:  5th with 4,058 points, 14 below top-four cutoff

Race Winner:  Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner:  Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner:  Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-130):

Kevin Harvick started 22nd and finished 12th.
● Harvick said on lap 28 that his No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang was a little loose everywhere.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel while under caution on lap 30. No other changes were made.
● Was 12th for lap-34 restart.
At end of stage, Harvick commented: “Loose in if I drive in too hard. Not enough drive on exit.”
Crew chief Rodney Childers called for four tires, fuel and a right-rear wedge adjustment during the pit stop at the end of the stage.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 131-260):

Harvick started 11th and finished 16th.
● The driver of the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang keyed his mic on lap 178 and yelled, “Sideways.” Dropped to 15th.
● Pitted on lap 180 while under caution for four tires and fuel. Reversed right-rear wedge adjustment from previous stop and lowered track bar.
● Was 14th for lap-184 restart.
Harvick said on lap 238 while running 17th: “Loose when I let off the brake. No grip on throttle.”
Caution on lap 253 allowed Harvick to pit on the following lap, where wholesale changes were made to the Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang, including pulling a spring rubber out of the right rear, raising the track bar and adding two rounds of left-rear wedge, along with four fresh tires and fuel.
Was 17th for lap-257 restart, but picked up a position to finish the stage in 16th.
Stayed out at the conclusion of the stage.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 261-500):

Harvick started 15th and finished seventh.
● Keyed mic on lap 325 and said: “OK on entry now. Just too tight in the middle.” Climbed to 12th.
● Pitted on lap 349 while under cation for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment.
Was 10th for lap-352 restart, his first time among the top-10.
Escaped multicar accident off turn four on lap 363 that allowed Harvick to rise to seventh.
● Was seventh for lap-372 restart, a position Harvick held through the remainder of the race, despite four more restarts.

Notes:

● Harvick earned his 23rd top-10 of the season and his 19th top-10 in 37 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Martinsville.
● This is Harvick’s fifth consecutive top-10 at Martinsville. He finished sixth in the series’ last visit to the track in March.
● This is Harvick’s second straight top-10 and his eighth top-10 in the last nine races. He finished ninth in the series’ previous race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
● Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has only one finish outside the top-20 at Martinsville. He has scored eight top-10s in 12 Martinsville races with the No. 4 team.
● Martin Truex Jr., won the First Data 500 to score his 26th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his series-leading seventh of the season and his first at Martinsville. His margin of victory over second-place William Byron was .373 of a second.
● There were 11 caution periods for a total of 69 laps.
● Only 19 of the 38 drivers in the First Data 500 finished on the lead lap.
● Ford took five of the top-10 finishing positions in the First Data 500.

Playoff Standing (with two races to go before Championship 4):

1.  Martin Truex Jr. (4,102 points) 1 win
2.  Denny Hamlin (4,082 points, +24)
3.  Kyle Busch (4,075 points, +17)
4.  Joey Logano (4,072 points, +14)
5.  Kevin Harvick (4,058 points, -14)
6.  Ryan Blaney (4,057 points, -15)
7.  Kyle Larson (4,048 points, -24)
8.  Chase Elliott (4,028 points, -44)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“We got our car a lot better in the second half. We made some major adjustments when we got to the end of the second stage and made our car a lot better. We got a decent finish to minimize the damage.”

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday, Nov. 3 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It is the eighth race of the 10-race playoffs and the second race in the Round of 8. It starts at 3 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.