Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Driver Scores Sixth Top-Five of the Season
Date: April 11, 2015
Event: Duck Commander 500 (Round 7 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
Start/Finish: 2nd/2nd (Running, completed 334 of 334 laps)
Point Standing: 1st with 306 points
Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished second in Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It’s his sixth top-two finish in seven starts this season.
Harvick maintained his streak of 10 straight top-10s dating back to the November race at Texas Motor Speedway last season.
The defending Sprint Cup champion started second but passed teammate Kurt Busch on the first lap to take the lead, which he held for the first 33 laps of the race. Harvick maintained his position toward the front of the field and led nine times for 96 laps en route to his sixth top-five and seventh top-10 finish of the season. In 24 previous Sprint Cup starts at Texas, Harvick had led a combined eight laps prior to Saturday.
The Bakersfield, California, native led for the final time starting on lap 285 before giving up the top spot to pit under caution on lap 310. Harvick came to pit road for four tires and an air pressure adjustment and returned to the track in the fourth position after several cars opted for a two-tire strategy.
After the restart on lap 314, Harvick immediately raced his way forward. Despite slight contact with Joey Logano, Harvick’s No. 4 was chasing down leader Jimmie Johnson in the closing laps. Johnson reached the checkered flag 1.107 seconds ahead of Harvick for the win.
“I just got behind there, and Jimmie was fast for those last couple laps and got around us,” said Harvick, who also finished second at Texas in November 2014. “I got loose coming off four and I got in the wall and just was trying to hang on to where I needed to be. I just have to thank everybody on my Budweiser/Jimmy John’s team for all that they have done, and we just raced as hard as we could and it was a lot of fun.”
The second-place finish was Harvick’s second straight runner-up effort at Texas and his fourth second-place result this season. Dating back to Texas last November, Harvick has finished among the top-two nine times during this 10-race span. Four of those finishes have been wins. His lone placement outside the top-two was an eighth-place result two weeks ago at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
The No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s team has led a series-best 766 laps through the first seven races of 2015. Harvick has led more laps in a single season on only two other occasions – in 2014 when he led 2,137 laps and in 2006 when he led 895 laps. He has led at least one lap in six of the seven Sprint Cup races to start this season. Logano and the No. 22 team have led the second-most laps this season with 324.
Harvick led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing contingent Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 14th. Busch started on the pole and led twice for 45 laps to bring his laps-led total at Texas to 295. It was Busch’s 16th top-15 finish in 25 career Sprint Cup starts at the 1.5-mile oval and his fourth top-15 this season.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 TaxACT/GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 16th. It was her first top-20 finish in six Sprint Cup starts at Texas and her fourth top-20 this season.
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 24th.
Jimmie Johnson won the Duck Commander 500 to score his 72nd career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his series-best fifth at Texas.
Harvick finished 1.107 seconds behind Johnson in the runner-up spot, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five. Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Martin Truex Jr. and Carl Edwards comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were eight caution periods for 40 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 334-lap race.
With round seven of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 306 points, 26 ahead of second-place Logano. Patrick is 17thwith 176 points, 130 out of first. Busch is 21st with 144 points, 162 out of first. Stewart is 32nd with 107 points, 199 out of first.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Food City 500 in support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer on Sunday, April 19 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 12:30 p.m.
- SHR -