Harvick Finishes 11th at Atlanta
Race Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kurt Busch of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Kevin Harvick started 21st and finished 10th, earning one bonus point.
● The No. 4 Mobil 1 Summer Road Trip Ford Mustang was 20th when the competition caution came out after 25 laps.
● “Need it to turn just a little bit better, but it’s pretty good,” said Harvick on lap 26.
● Pitted on lap 27 for four tires and fuel. Only adjustment was to tire pressures.
● Lined up 19th for lap-30 restart and was 17th when the caution came out again on lap 31.
● Lined up 15th for lap-36 restart and climbed to 12th by lap 65.
● Grabbed 11th on lap 67 from Matt DiBenedetto.
● “Need to rotate just a little bit better through the center (of the corner),” said Harvick on lap 74 while running 11th.
● Cracked top-10 on lap 78 with a pass of Brad Keselowski and held the position through the end of the stage.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel at the conclusion of the stage, but had to pit again on lap 85 to repair right-front fender after contact with the car of Martin Truex Jr., upon leaving pit box.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
● Harvick started 25th and finished 11th.
● “Absolutely horrible,” said a 23rd-place Harvick while mired in traffic on lap 94. “Just way too loose when I touch the throttle.”
● Made scheduled, green flag pit stop for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment on lap 119 while running 17th.
● “I can’t get this thing to the bottom of the corner,” said Harvick on lap 133 while running 19th.
● Once pit stops cycled through by lap 137, Harvick was 17th.
● Harvick wheeled the No. 4 Mobil 1 Summer Road Trip Ford Mustang into the top-15 on lap 145.
● In final nine laps of the stage, Harvick rallied his way to 11th.
● “Couldn’t get it to the bottom. It was way better when it was loose and I could get it to the bottom,” said Harvick at the end of the stage.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel with a chassis adjustment upon the conclusion of the stage.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-260):
● Harvick started ninth and finished 11th.
● There was a 19-minute red flag period prior to the final stage to make track repairs just before the start/finish line.
● After going green on lap 171, Harvick fell to 14th by lap 175 after a four-wide scrum on the restart.
● “I am really, really, really loose,” said Harvick on lap 177 while running 14th.
● Dropped to 16th on lap 188 but regained one spot on lap 190 to re-enter top-15.
● Picked up 14th on lap 198 and 13th on lap 199.
● Made scheduled, green flag pit stop on lap 211 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
● Once pit stops cycled through by lap 213, Harvick was up to 11th, a position he held through the finish.
● Harvick has finished 11th or better in his last eight NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta.
● Kurt Busch won the Atlanta 400 to score his 33rd career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his series-leading fourth at Atlanta. His margin over second-place Kyle Busch was 1.237 seconds.
● There were four caution periods for a total of 21 laps.
● Only 18 of the 37 drivers in the Atlanta 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Atlanta with a 10-point advantage over second-place Kyle Larson.
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on Sunday, July 18 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
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