Event: Pocono Organics 325 (Round 14 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (2.5-mile triangle)
Format: 130 laps, broken into three stages (25 laps/52 laps/53 laps)
Start/Finish: 9th/1st (Running, completed 130 of 130 laps)
Point Standing: 1st with 534 points, 29 ahead of second place
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logono of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):
● Kevin Harvick started ninth and finished 34th.
● The No. 4 Busch Beer Head for the Mountains Ford Mustang was a bit too loose early on.
● Harvick pitted under caution on lap 14 for right side tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment. Was in 15th place.
● On lap 23, Harvick pitted for fuel only.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 25-77):
● Kevin Harvick started 15th and finished seventh, earning four bonus points.
● The No. 4 Busch Beer Head for the Mountains Ford Mustang was fourth when the caution came out on lap 66. He pitted for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. He restarted 12th.
● At the end of the stage, Harvick commented that his car was much better.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 78-130):
● Kevin Harvick started sixth and finished first.
● The No. 4 Busch Beer Head for the Mountains Ford Mustang on the restart moved from sixth to second on lap 82.
● On lap 94, Harvick pitted for right side tires and fuel. He was second.
● He led the final 17 after pit stops had cycled through, and despite a late challenge from Denny Hamlin who closed within a second, he scored his first ever win at Pocono.
● This was Harvick’s 52nd career NASCAR Cup Series win. He is 12th on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series win list, two victories behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Lee Petty.
● This was Harvick’s 29th NASCAR Cup Series victory since joining SHR in 2014.
● With today’s victory, Harvick has won at all but two tracks on the current NASCAR Cup Series schedule – Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval.
● Harvick earned his third victory of the season and his first victory in 39 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Pocono.
● Harvick’s margin of victory over second-place Denny Hamlin was .761 of a second.
● This was Harvick’s second straight top-10. He finished 10th in the series’ last race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
● Harvick has finished among the top-10 in 11 of the 14 races held this year. He has only one finish outside the top-15.
● Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has finished inside the top-four at Pocono eight times – including a five-race stretch from July 2016 to July 2018.
● In the past 21 races at Pocono, Harvick has finished in the top-10 14 times.
● Harvick finished seventh in Stage 2 to earn four bonus points.
● Harvick led once for 17 laps to increase his laps-led total at Pocono to 266.
● Harvick has now led 10,169 laps since joining SHR in 2014. He has led 14,595 laps in his entire NASCAR Cup Series career.
● This was Ford’s series-leading eighth NASCAR Cup Series win of the season and its 694th all-time Cup Series victory.
● This was Ford’s 24th all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory at Pocono and first since Ryan Blaney won in June 2017.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Head for the Mountains Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I just have to thank everyone on this Busch Beer Head for the Mountains Ford Mustang. We weren’t where we needed to be to start the race and lost a bunch of track position but we came back and made some great strategy calls to get in clean air and get out front and make some good laps. It is great to finally check Pocono off the list. Everybody at Stewart-Haas racing has done such a great job with all our cars over the last several years. I guess it takes special paint schemes to get to victory lane. I want to say hi to my family. I know Keelan (son) raced all day and Delana (wife) and Piper (daughter) and everybody at home. I am really proud of everybody and I am just glad it didn’t rain all day. I’ve got to thank everybody from Mobil 1, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Jimmy Johns, Fields, everybody from Haas that puts this car on the racetrack. I wish I could explain to everybody how hard the guys and gals are working in the shop right now with this schedule and everybody broke up. We appreciate all you guys. Thank you to all the fans. I wish you were here. This isn’t near as exciting. I feel like I am my seven year old. I have all this pent up energy and am going to just share with anybody.”
On lap 95, you came down pit road with a quick two-tire pit shop. When do you know when it has worked out?
“I knew when we came out of the pits and they told me how big of a lead we had. I saw the 11 (Denny Hamlin) come out of the pits and he was in second. I knew that the tire gap was going to be a little less. He caught us a little in traffic but I knew I could be pretty patient with the gap we had. As I started to see everything cycle out and see with the track position we had with the fresher tires you could kind of start to put it together in your mind as we started to run through the last stage and cars started to have to pit. Just a great call by Rodney Childers and all the guys up on the pit box for having the right strategy and getting us to victory lane.”
Was it still managing that distance or lap traffic or what closed the gap?
“I just caught a couple of lap cars in the wrong spots going in the corner and messed up my entry and lost some of my momentum down the straightaway and you lose a second there and then you do that two laps in a row and there goes the lead. It definitely got closer than it needed to.”
What do you do for tomorrow?
“I think we can make our car quite a bit better. We kind of crutched it today to get the problems that we had. I think there are a lot of problems we can fix on it and make it better. Hopefully we can do that. Sometimes it goes the opposite way and you think you can make it better and it slows down. We will find out when they drop the green flag tomorrow.”
The second event of the NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Pocono is the Pocono 350 on Sunday, June 28. The race starts at 4 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.