Harvick’s Playoff Road Ends at Roval
Late-Race Crash Leaves Mobil 1 Driver 33rd and Out of Playoffs
Date: Oct. 10, 2021
Event: Bank of America Roval 400 (Round 32 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval (2.28-mile, 17-turn road course)
Format: 109 laps, broken into three stages (25 laps/25 laps/59 laps)
Start/Finish: 7th / 33rd (Accident, completed 98 of 109 laps)
Point Standing: 9th (3,088 points, 25 points below top-eight cutoff)
Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-25):
● Kevin Harvick started seventh and finished 10th, earning one bonus point.
● Made scheduled, green flag pit stop for four tires only on lap nine. Had been running ninth prior to pitting.
● Was 19th when competition caution came out on lap 12.
● “Wheel-hopped there in chicane,” said Harvick during the caution. “Having to kind of ‘baby’ it through there.”
● Harvick stayed out during the competition caution while others pitted. Lined up ninth for lap-14 restart.
● “When we fill it with fuel, we’re going to have to tighten the back up some,” said Harvick during a caution on lap 19 while running 10th.
● Took advantage of the caution and pitted for four tires and fuel with a track bar adjustment on lap 21.
● The No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang was 15th for lap-23 restart.
● Picked up five spots in the final laps of the stage to finish 10th.
● Harvick stayed out during the resulting caution period to gain track position.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 26-50):
● Harvick started fifth and finished third, earning eight bonus points.
● Harvick kept the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang steady in fifth after battling with AJ Allmendinger and Kyle Larson on the opening green flag lap.
● Picked up fourth place from Allmendinger on lap 33 shortly before the caution flag waved.
● Harvick stayed out during the caution and lined up third for lap-36 restart. He took second place from William Byron as the field barreled into turn one.
● Chase Elliott passed Harvick on the final lap of the stage, leaving Harvick third when the stage ended.
● “Totally lost the back of the car on entry and exit,” said Harvick at the conclusion of the stage.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel at the end of the stage. Made a track bar adjustment and tire pressure adjustments.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 51-109):
● Harvick started 21st and finished 33rd.
● On lap 56, Harvick made contact with Elliott coming off turn seven to bring out the caution.
● Lined up 17th for lap-58 restart and was 12th by lap 59.
● Harvick climbed to 11th on lap 65, passing his Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Chase Briscoe.
● Green flag pit stops began on lap 75, with Larson hitting pit road first.
● Harvick made scheduled, green flag stop on lap 76 for four tires and fuel with chassis adjustments.
● After pit stops cycled through, Harvick was 12th with 30 laps to go.
● By lap 81, the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang was back inside the top-10.
● Passed Alex Bowman for ninth on lap 85 as the duo raced through the frontstretch chicane (turns 15-16).
● “I can’t get the grip that I need off the back chicane and front chicane. Need more forward drive,” said Harvick while running ninth during a caution period on lap 87.
● Pitted for four tires and fuel with chassis adjustments while under caution on lap 88. A handful of other drivers opted to stay out.
● Lined up 12th for lap-90 restart and stayed in that spot as the caution came out again on lap 93.
● Returned to green on lap 96, but three laps later, Harvick’s race was over after heavy contact with the turn one wall.
● Harvick was subsequently evaluated and released from the infield care center before the race ended.
● Harvick did not advance beyond the Round of 12 for the first time since the inception of the elimination-style NASCAR Playoff format in 2014. He was vying for his eighth appearance in the Round of 8.
● The Bank of America Roval 400 marked Harvick’s milestone 750th career NASCAR Cup Series start. He is one of just 13 drivers in series history to make 750 or more starts.
● Kyle Larson won the Bank of America Roval 400 to score his 13th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his series-leading seventh of the season and his first on the Roval. His margin over second-place Tyler Reddick was .782 of a second.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 18 laps.
● Thirty-one of the 39 drivers in the Bank of America Roval 400 finished on the lead lap.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I just pushed it in there too hard and I got the tire locked up and I couldn’t stop it once I felt like I needed to go to get a couple spots back that I had lost, and I got the left-front locked up and I couldn’t get it to turn.”
Playoff Standings (to begin Round of 8):
- Kyle Larson (4,065 points)
- Denny Hamlin (4,030 points) -35
- Martin Truex Jr. (4,029 points) -36
- Ryan Blaney (4,024 points) -41
- Kyle Busch (4,023 points) -42
- Chase Elliott (4,022 points) -43
- Joey Logano (4,013 points) -52
- Brad Keselowski (4,008 points) -57
Failed to Advance to Round of 8:
- Kevin Harvick (3,088 points) -25
- Christopher Bell (3,085 points) -28
- William Byron (3,070 points) -43
- Alex Bowman (3,061 points) -52
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 on Sunday, Oct. 17 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It is the seventh race of the 10-race playoffs and the first race in the Round of 8. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.