Event: TicketGuardian 500k (Round 4 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: ISM Raceway near Phoenix (1-mile oval)
Format: 312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/162 laps)
Start/Finish: 8th/9th (Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
Point Standing: 3rd (168 points, 9 out of first)
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):
● Started eighth, finished 10th and collected one bonus point.
● Harvick said the car was a bit tight early in the run as he ran in eighth.
● Harvick was sixth on lap 38, but was 9.3 seconds behind leader Kyle Busch. He said the Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang needed rear grip.
● The No. 4 pitted for four tires, fuel and a chassis and tire pressure adjustment. Harvick came out 10th, since some teams only put on two tires.
● Harvick pitted on lap 66 for four tires and fuel.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):
● Started second, finished third and collected eight bonus points.
● Said car was a bit tight, but he remained in the top-five.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 151-312):
● Started sixth, finished ninth.
● Pitted on lap 153 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
● While sixth on lap 196, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustment. He noted the car was still tight.
● On lap 202, Harvick pitted for two tires and fuel. He came out of the pits in third place.
● Harvick made slight contact with Jimmie Johnson on the lap-232 restart. He pitted on lap 235 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, then restarted 21st.
● Harvick worked his way up to ninth to score his third consecutive top-10 finish.
● The TicketGuardian 500k marked Harvick’s 650th career start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
● Harvick earned his third top-10 of the season and his 22nd top-10 in 33 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at ISM Raceway.
● Harvick finished 10th in Stage 1 to earn one bonus point and third in Stage 2 to earn an additional eight bonus points.
● Kyle Busch won the TicketGuardian 500k to score his 52nd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his third at ISM Raceway. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr. was 1.259 seconds.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 67 laps.
● Only 16 of the 36 drivers in the TicketGuardian 500k finished on the lead lap.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We just needed track position. We got shuffled on a couple of those restarts and lost a couple spots on pit road, and it kind of multiplied for us. We had a car that was plenty fast. It was just really difficult to pass.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 17 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 3 p.m.