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.

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My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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