Kevin Harvick: "We gave ourselves an opportunity" for a win

Kevin Harvick didn’t come away with a win in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series playoff opener but something almost as good - speed.

Kevin Harvick: "We gave ourselves an opportunity" for a win
 Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Mobil 1
 Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Mobil 1
 Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Mobil 1

Harvick was passed by Martin Truex Jr. with 20 of 267 laps remaining in Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and without the benefit of a caution, Truex’s gap only grew larger with each passing lap.

“I was having trouble with the front turning and the back sliding. We were lacking overall grip and Martin was able to catch us on that next to last run at the end of the run and I needed a restart,” Harvick said after the race. 

“I needed the rubber to be picked up and be able to run flat out for 10 laps to build that lead (again) and I was just never able to do that.”

Still, the second-place finish to open the first round of the playoffs left Harvick feeling pretty good about the status of his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team.

“We really had okay speed at the first race (in March), but I still felt like the Gibbs cars were better than us,” he said. “So, we did some things this weekend that we probably will have to undo going forward.

“I think we can do a little bit better going forward.”

Harvick with a comfortable margin

Harvick is now second in the playoff standings after the first race, with a 52-point cushion over the cutoff line. The four drivers lowest in points without a win are eliminated from further title contention after Charlotte Roval race in two weeks.

Asked to sum up his race, Harvick said: “It was good. We had two solid stages and with the way that practice went for us, that was a miracle. 

“To be in contention with a chance to win the race with 25 laps to go says a lot about the guys working on this No. 4 car and everybody did a great job of making something out of what wasn’t very bright for us on Friday.”

Harvick has now finished seventh or better in seven of the last eight races, including all three of his victories this year.

“We gave ourselves an opportunity,” Harvick said. “I knew the Gibbs cars would be tough. Martin was just so much better on the second half of the run.  

“He made up that ground there, was able to stay close enough to us.  My car started to get loose and push the front. It was just in kind of a four-wheel drift.”

Read Also:

shares
comments
Kyle Busch: "Pathetic" lapped traffic "don't know where to go"
Previous article

Kyle Busch: "Pathetic" lapped traffic "don't know where to go"

Next article

Bowyer, Busch and Jones face NASCAR playoff elimination

Bowyer, Busch and Jones face NASCAR playoff elimination
The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team Prime

The ex-F1 driver taking on NASCAR with a new team

Saddled with uncompetitive Minardi machinery, Tarso Marques didn't manage to score points in his three partial seasons of Formula 1. But now the Brazilian has the chance to show what he can do in NASCAR, and explains the story of his comeback with new Cup Series entrant Team Stange

NASCAR Cup
Apr 13, 2022
The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car Prime

The early benefits and challenges of NASCAR's Next Gen car

NASCAR’s new stock car generation is encouraging an influx of fresh blood into its top tier. But there are concerns that parts are in short supply as the entire paddock tries to build up stocks at the same time

NASCAR Cup
Feb 22, 2022
How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style Prime

How Penske's rookie sensation opened NASCAR's new era in style

After holding his nerve and hip-checking his teammate on the run to the line, Austin Cindric made a perfect start to life as a full-timer in the NASCAR Cup Series by winning the Daytona 500. Here's how the Penske Ford man emerged first across the line in the first points-scoring race for the much-anticipated Next Generation cars

NASCAR Cup
Feb 21, 2022
Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season Prime

Six key themes to follow in the 2022 NASCAR Cup season

There are plenty of uncertainties ahead of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season as an all-new fleet of cars take to the track for the first time. Ahead of this weekend's Daytona 500, our experts explain what you need to know

NASCAR Cup
Feb 17, 2022
How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival Prime

How NASCAR had to learn a harsh lesson ahead of Next Gen arrival

The NASCAR Cup kicks off with the Daytona 500 this weekend, but a major engine overhaul and a subsequent mountain of work has been required to be ready for the arrival of the Next Gen cars.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2022
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021