HAMPTON, Ga.– A dominant car and dominant performance by Kevin Harvick wasn’t enough to secure the victory in Atlanta.
Despite leading 131 of the 330 laps in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet stumbled on the final restart of the race with two laps to go and finished sixth.
“We had issues about the last three runs,” he said. “I had to start driving the car different. It just required a little bit different handling. And then we had a slow pit stop there. We got way behind and the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson) was way out front and I had to drive the car really hard and got the right rear burned up. We just didn’t execute today but everybody on our Jimmy John’s/Busch Chevrolet hung in there all day and we’ll keep at it.”
In four of the last five years at Atlanta, Harvick has led over 100 laps. In each of those races, he’s finished fifth, 19th, second and sixth. In the last three trips, he’s led 195, 116 and 131 laps.
Despite coming up short, Harvick leaves Hampton, Georgia third in points trailing Kyle Busch by four. He’s also heading to Las Vegas as the defending race winner.