Hunt Brothers Pizza Driver Rules at Charlotte, Finishes Second
Date: May 17, 2014
Event: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (non-points event)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Start/Finish: 3rd/2nd (Running, completed 90 of 90 laps)
Winner: Jamie McMurray of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), appeared to have the car to beat late in the running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Saturday night, but a slow pit stop and a caution-free final segment denied him a second All-Star win. Harvick, who won the race in 2007, had to settle for a second-place finish in the 30th annual non-points event.
“We had a bad pit stop. The guys did a great job putting a fast racecar on the track. We recovered from the first bad pit stop on pit road and we didn’t recover from the second one. All in all, they put a car on the racetrack that was capable of the winning and we just didn't get it done,” said Harvick, who recorded his third top-five finish in 14 career All-Star races. “But I’ve got to thank all my guys on the Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevy. They did a great job and provided a fast car. We just didn’t get it done on pit road.”
Harvick qualified third for the annual non-points race featuring drivers who met one of the following criteria:
Won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 2013 or 2014.
Is a past All-Star Race winner.
Is a Sprint Cup champion from the past 10 years.
Won Friday night’s Sprint Showdown.
Was the runner-up in the Sprint Showdown.
Won the Sprint Fan Vote.
The 90-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval was broken up into five segments of 20 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps and featured a 22-driver field.
Harvick started third in the 22-car field and maintained the position to the end of the first of the four 20-lap segments. He followed the rest of the leaders to pit road for a routine four-tire stop at the conclusion of the segment, but varying strategies saw him drop to the 13th position for the start of segment two. Harvick displayed the strength of his Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet throughout the following two segments, working his way through the field to record consecutive second-place finishes.
After taking the lead on lap 76, Harvick went on to earn the win in the fourth segment. With the field placed under caution, the running order was set based on drivers’ average finish in the first four segments, which allowed Harvick to maintain his position at the front of the field for the final trip down pit road for the mandatory four-tire pit stop before the fifth and final segment. Harvick’s No. 4 team was beat off of pit road by the respective pit crews of Carl Edwards and eventual winner Jamie McMurray, placing Harvick in third place for the restart. While he was able to overtake Edwards for the second position on lap 82, he was unable to mount a challenge for the lead over the closing laps and was forced to settle for a second-place finish when the checkered flag waved.
Harvick’s SHR teammate Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, finished 11th.
Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 12th.
Jamie McMurray won the All-Star Race. It was his first victory in eight All-Star Races. Harvick finished .696 of a second behind McMurray in the runner-up spot, while Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski comprised the remainder of the top-10.
The Sprint Cup Series returns to points-paying racing on Sunday, May 25 with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. The longest race on the Sprint Cup schedule gets underway at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX beginning at 5:30 p.m.