Kevin Harvick got his playoff performance back on track in Sunday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Harvick had a frustrating first round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs and was looking for better things when round two kicked off on Sunday. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver had a fast car all weekend and it showed in race trim when he led a race-high 139 laps.
He wasn’t able to mount a challenge for the win late but Harvick’s third-place finish was still welcome.
“That’s about about where we were gonna run, second or third,” Harvick said. “We just kind of lost a little bit of the track there as the VHT started to wear off in the second half of the race. But they did a great job all day.
“For the most part, we had good stops all day – just the timing of the bad one came at the end, but, for the most part, they did a great job. Everybody in the field had a bad stop at some point today, so it was a good day for our Jimmy John’s/Busch Ford, and everybody is doing a good job with the speed of the cars.”
Harvick scored his sixth straight top-10 finish on a 1.5-mie track, dating back to Texas in April. He has two third-place finishes at the 1.5-mile tracks so far in the playoffs with a third to kivk things off at Chicagoland Speedway.
However, Sunday’s race did present its share of challenges as Harvick fought to maintain the early speed he had as things progressed.
“I would get close and then I would get loose, and as the day went I just got looser on the entrance to the corners,” he said. “The car started bouncing really bad and started losing grip as the VHT went away and kind of lost what I had at the beginning of the race – to arc it into the corner and do all the things I needed to do to get through the middle of the corner and be in the throttle.
“I knew where I was running was kind of questionable as to how long it would last, and the entry was the first part that gave up for me and I just had to be really cautious getting in there and that’s why I lost my speed from the first half of the race.”
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Kevin Harvick
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