Event: YellaWood 500 (Round 31 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format: 188 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/68 laps)
Start/Finish: 5th/20th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: (2nd with 3,121 points, 68 points ahead of top-eight cutoff)
Note: Race extended 12 laps past its scheduled 188-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Chris Buescher of Roush-Fenway Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex, Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
● Harvick started fifth, finished 23rd.
● Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang, pitted on lap 27 for fuel only and a wedge adjustment. He was in fifth place.
● The No. 4 car headed to the back and late in the stage, Harvick was having trouble seeing out his windshield as something was stuck to it.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
● Harvick started 22nd, finished 22nd.
● The No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang hit pit road on lap 63 for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. The crew took a tear-off from the windshield so Harvick could see better.
● Harvick pitted on lap 71 for four tires and fuel. He was in tenth-place.
● On lap 90, Harvick pitted for fuel only. He returned a lap later because his spoiler was dirty and he couldn’t see behind him. Also took on more fuel.
● Harvick pitted on lap 110 for four tires and fuel.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):
● Harvick started 17th and finished 20th.
● On lap 124, Harvick pitted for fuel only.
● Harvick pitted on lap 150 for two tires and fuel.
● On lap 187, Harvick was in the top-10 when the car driven by Kyle Busch was turned and his car made contact with the car driven by Joey Logano who then made contact with the car driven by Harvick.
● The crew, led by crew chief Rodney Childers, repaired the car so Harvick could drive it and he limped the machine home to a 20th place finish.
● Denny Hamlin won the YellaWood 500 to score his 44th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his seventh of the season and his second at Talladega. His margin of victory over second-place Erik Jones was .086 of a second.
● There were 13 caution periods for a total of 54 laps.
● Twenty-two of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Hamlin leaves Talladega as the championship leader with a 20-point advantage over second-place Harvick.
● This was only the fourth time this season that Harvick has finished outside the top-15.
● By completing lap 39 at Talladega, Harvick surpassed NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Labonte for 14th in all-time laps completed in the NASCAR Cup Series. He now has 203,620 laps completed in the series – the most among all active drivers.
● Harvick led twice for two laps to increase his laps-led total at Talladega to 264.
● Harvick has now led 11,026 laps since joining SHR in 2014. He has led 15,452 laps in his entire NASCAR Cup Series career.
● Harvick has led 1,418 laps in the 31 races held this season. He is the only driver to hit the 1,000 laps led mark this season. Next best is Denny Hamlin with 983 laps led and then Brad Keselowski with 920 laps led.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We tried to take care of our Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang for most of the day and we wound up starting fourth on one of the restarts toward the end and wound up part of the attrition for the day. Looking up and down pit road it doesn’t look like there are many cars without damage.”
Playoff Standings (with one race to go before the Round of 8):
1. Denny Hamlin (3,141 points) 1 win
2. Kurt Busch (3,048 points) 1 win
3. Kevin Harvick (3,121 points) +68 points
4. Brad Keselowski (3,094 points) +41 points
5. Martin Truex, Jr. (3,085 points) +32 points
6. Chase Elliott (3,080 points) +27 points
7. Alex Bowman (3,075 points) +22 points
8. Joey Logano (3,074 points) +21 points
9. Austin Dillon (3,053 points) -21 points
10. Kyle Busch (3,053 points) -21 points
11. Clint Bowyer (3,036 points) -37 points
12. Aric Almirola (3,026 points) -48 points
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bank of America Roval 400 on Sunday, Oct. 11 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway road course. It is the sixth race of the 10-race playoffs and the final race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.