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.