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Unibet Racing: Kevin Harvick Martinsville Race Report

Harvick Soldiers to 12th-Place Finish at Martinsville

Date: Oct. 31, 2021
Event: Xfinity 500 (Round 35 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
Format: 500 laps, broken into three stages (130 laps/130 laps/240 laps)
Start/Finish: 9th / 12th (Running, completed 501 of 501 laps)
Point Standing: 6th with 2,318 points
Note: Race extended one lap past its scheduled 500-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-130):

● Kevin Harvick started ninth and finished 13th.

● The No. 4 Unibet Ford Mustang steadily fell back and was 15th by the time the competition caution waved on lap 62.

● “Can’t get into the corner. Wants to lock up the tires. Plows up off (the corner),” said Harvick during the caution.

● Pitted for four tires and fuel with a track bar adjustment during the caution on lap 63.

● Lined up 13th for lap-68 restart. Ran a handful of laps before another caution on lap 73. Remained 13th.

● Grabbed 10th place shortly after lap-77 restart, but gradually dropped to 13th by the end of the stage.

● “It started off better, but it still doesn’t turn on long runs,” said Harvick. “I don’t have enough forward drive on exit.”

● Pitted for four tires and fuel with a right-rear wedge adjustment upon the conclusion of the stage.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 131-260):

● Harvick started ninth and finished 15th.

● Grabbed eighth place from Joey Logano on lap 153.

● Caution on lap 198 allowed Harvick to pit for four tires and fuel with another right-rear wedge adjustment.

● “That was definitely better,” said Harvick before the stop. “Still need help on the long run.”

● Lined up eighth for lap-204 restart, but some jockeying for position among others left Harvick 14th by lap 208.

● “I’m out of control… sideways!” said Harvick on lap 215 while running 15th.

● Harvick held steady in 15th through the end of the stage.

● “Slides the back and just won’t turn,” said Harvick about his Unibet Ford Mustang.

● Pitted for four tires and fuel with a right-rear wedge adjustment before the final stage began.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 261-500):

● Harvick started 12th and finished 12th.

● Dropped to 16th by lap 282.

● “Won’t turn and no rear grip on exit,” said Harvick during a caution on lap 311.

● Harvick used the caution to pit for four tires and fuel and to get another right-rear wedge adjustment.

● Lined up 14th for lap-320 restart before the caution flag waved again on lap 324. Was 15th for lap-330 restart.

● Was 14th when caution came out again on lap 340.

● Pitted on lap 341 for four tires, fuel and adjustments to left- and right-side wedge.

● Was 15th for lap-346 restart.

● “Hard to defend (position) when you can’t put the throttle down,” said a 15th-place Harvick before another caution on lap 359.

● Lined up 16th for lap-363 restart.

● Caution on lap 379 allowed Harvick to pit for four tires and fuel and a left-rear wedge adjustment. He restarted in 18th on lap 385.

● “Won’t turn. No rear grip as soon as you push the accelerator,” said Harvick while under caution on lap 437 and in 17th.

● Pitted on lap 438 for four tires, fuel and a right-rear wedge adjustment. Restarted in 14th on lap 444.

● The No. 4 Unibet Ford Mustang was 15th when the caution flag waved again on lap 456. Harvick opted to stay out for track position, where he restarted in 13th.

● Survived a barrage of yellow caution flags in the final 35 laps to finish 12th.

Notes:

● Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has only finished outside the top-20 once at Martinsville – a lone 33rd-place finish in October 2014.

● Alex Bowman won the Xfinity 500 to score his sixth career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his fourth of the season and his first at Martinsville. His margin over second-place Kyle Busch was .478 of a second.

● There were 15 caution periods for a total of 91 laps.

● Twenty-five of the 38 drivers in the Xfinity 500 finished on the lead lap.

Next Up:

The NASCAR Cup Series season finale is Sunday, Nov. 7 at Phoenix Raceway. The championship race starts at 3 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.



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.

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