Kevin Harvick Rebounds After Late-Race Tire Issueby Kyle Pokrefky October 6, 2014 0 comments
Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Coming off of a 13th-place finish at Dover, Kevin Harvick was hoping to improve better on that finish in the first race of the Contender Round at Kansas Speedway on Sunday; and although he did finish better than he did at Dover, he didn’t do so by much.
Harvick’s day in the Hollywood Casino 400 nearly ended on a sour note after he reported that his No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet felt as if it had a tire going down on a during a green-flag run on Lap 214 of the 267-lap race.
Prior to Harvick’s unscheduled pit stop, the 25-time race winner would spend the day within the top-three for the entire race and he would lead the field for 61 laps. After the crew would get a new tire on the No. 4 machine, Harvick would fall to 23rd – one lap off of the lead.
Upon inspection of the tire, the No. 4 crew would not be able to detect anything actually wrong with the tire; however, with other teams having issues with their Goodyear Eagles early on in the race, it was better safe to be sorry.
“I thought I had a flat tire and pitted because you see all the trouble that was going on,” Harvick said. “We missed it on the handling a little bit today. We qualified well and had good track position. That saved us in the beginning of the race and when I thought I had a flat, it just got behind us.”
As for what indicated to Harvick that he may have had a problem, his response was short and to the point: “Didn’t turn.”
A Lap 231 caution would give Harvick the opportunity to get back on the lead lap and would provide him with just over 30 laps to advance his position back into the top-10. Although he wouldn’t be able to crack the top-10, Harvick would still grab a respectable finish of 12th.
Even with the unscheduled stop, Harvick will come out of Kansas sixth in the Chase standings thanks to other Chasers having their own issues throughout the day.
With two races remaining in the Contender Round, Harvick currently sits 15 points out of the lead and is safe from elimination by six points as the series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500.