Harvick proves a non-factor at Phoenix

Kevin Harvick was a virtual non-factor at a track he’s practically owned the deed to as of late, and not even a top-five finish was enough to transfer him to the championship race for the third straight year.

Coming to Phoenix International Raceway this weekend, the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet had won five of the last six races and led no fewer than 139 laps in each of them. This weekend, his car was just off the mark.

From the start of the weekend, Harvick and team couldn’t find the setup that best suited his car, saying that he just began way off on Friday.

It didn’t start better for him on raceday as he went from the top-10 to outside the top-10 in the second run of the race because his car was loose and progressed to “plowing through the center.”

He had a chance to steal the victory in overtime after a turn 1 wreck involving Matt Kenseth and Alex Bowman, who ironically put on a drive one would expect from Harvick, but nothing materialized on the final restart and he settled for a fourth-place finish.

“We just started way too far off on Friday. We never got a handle on the racecar,” Harvick said. “They made it a ton better in the race and we were in contention there at the end and just came up short. Just really proud of everybody for the effort that they put in. It was a very challenging Chase for us for all the mechanical failures and situations that we had going on. We kept rebounding and winning races and today we were a lap down and came back to have a chance at the end. That says a lot about the character of our race team and we just came up short this year.”

He missed making the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway by 20-points.

With the Chase reset, Harvick leaves Phoenix 11th in points five back of Chase Elliott.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."

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