Kevin Harvick Doubles Up With NASCAR Cup Series Victory In Federated Auto Parts 400 At Richmond Racewayby Press Release August 15, 2022 0 comments
RICHMOND, Va. – Last Sunday at Michigan, Kevin Harvick broke a 65-race drought.
Now the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford has a two-race winning streak.
Chased by runner-up Christopher Bell and third-place finisher Chris Buescher over the closing laps, Harvick threaded his way through traffic to win Sunday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway by .441 seconds.
The NASCAR Cup Series victory was Harvick’s fourth at the .75-mile short track—his first there since 2013—and the 60th of his career, tying him with Kyle Busch for most among active drivers and ninth all-time.
Harvick led twice for 55 laps, passing eventual sixth-place finisher Joey Logano for the lead on Lap 334 and regaining it from Denny Hamlin on Lap 353 at the end of a cycle of green-flag pit stops.
“It’s like I said last week, the cars have been running good week-in and week-out,” Harvick said, “and you see that we have a lot better understanding of what’s going on with how we adjusted on the car after the first run and were able to get our car handling a lot better.
“I think as it got dark, the racetrack really came to our Mobil 1 Ford Mustang.”
By pitting one circuit earlier than Logano on Lap 340, Buescher leap-frogged the Team Penske driver and began to chase Harvick, who led the final 48 laps. Buescher got to Harvick’s bumper in traffic but couldn’t make a run for the lead.
The driver of the No. 17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing Ford lost his chance for a serendipitous victory when Harvick lapped Bubba Wallace and Buescher stayed trapped behind Wallace’s No. 23 Toyota and fell two seconds behind.
“Just burned the rear tires up,” said Buescher, who needs a victory to qualify for the Cup Playoffs. “Ultimately that’s on me. Lapped traffic didn’t do us any favors, either, but ultimately just got to keep the rears under us a little bit better so we can have a little bit better shot there to get after him for the win.”
On 12-lap fresher tires, Bell charged forward, slipped past Buescher on Lap 396 of 400 and closed on Harvick before running out of time.
“Well, I knew he was coming, but I forgot to shift down the front straightaway the last time,” Harvick said. “I was not paying attention, and he got closer than he should have. I made a mistake there a couple laps doing the same thing. I wasn’t shifting on the back, and I was shifting on the front. There was a lot going on, and made a couple mistakes, let him get too close.”
Bell, who already has a victory to his credit this season, seemed pleased with the runner-up result.
“Really, really proud of (crew chief) Adam Stevens, this entire 20 group,” Bell said. “The Rheem Camry didn’t feel very good at the beginning, and we had our fair share of troubles (including a spin on Lap 250), and the pit crew really came through at the end there with some blazing stops and allowed us to get in front of the 11 (Hamlin), who was on the same strategy as us and get up there and contend.”
In the battle for the last position in the Playoffs, Ryan Blaney widened his advantage over Martin Truex Jr. despite finishing 10th to Truex’s seventh. The difference was in stage points. Blaney scored 11 to none for Truex and now leads the 2017 series champion by 26 with two races left in the regular season.
Hamlin came home fourth, followed by Chase Elliott. Logano led a race-high 222 laps, but his No. 22 Ford wasn’t as strong in the twilight as it had been earlier in the race.
“Yeah, I think just as the sun went down and the track cooled off, (we) lost some turn on our car,” Logano said. “Kevin and some others got a lot better the last couple of runs in the race. When it was hot and slick, that was probably our strength with the Shell Pennzoil Mustang.”
The Cup Series heads for Watkins Glen next Sunday for the 25th regular-season race.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series) and three international series (NASCAR Pinty’s Series, NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).
About Richmond Raceway
Richmond Raceway is America’s Premier Short Track annually hosting two NASCAR race weekends, featuring the NASCAR Cup Series and either the NASCAR Xfinity Series or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, on the iconic ¾-mile D-shaped oval. Richmond Raceway is a regional leader for events including sports, live music and consumer trade shows. The Richmond Raceway Complex hosts more than 200 live events over 280 event days annually including concerts with top national recording artists at Virginia Credit Union LIVE!, the region’s only covered amphitheater. For more information, visit richmondraceway.com, richmondracewaycomplex.com, or vaculive.com.
Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade