Harvick’s Strong Run Ends in Disappointment

Post-Race Reports | NASCAR Cup Series | 06/14/15

Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Driver Finishes 29th at Michigan

Date: June 14, 2015

Event: Michigan 400 (Round 15 of 36)

Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile triangle)

Start/Finish: 2nd/29th (Running, completed 137 of 138 laps)

Point Standing: 1st (576 points, 15 points ahead of second)

Winner: Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), suffered a cut right-front tire following a green-flag pit stop on lap 122, forcing him tofinish 29th in the rain-shortened Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

The reigning Sprint Cup champion started second and raced his Chevrolet into the lead by lap 43, where he stayed until pitting under green-flag conditions on lap 82. Harvick returned to the lead on lap 97 as the field completed the green-flag pit cycle. The No. 4 team dominated by nearly 4.5 seconds until pitting again under green on lap 120.

Following the green-flag pit stop, the Bakersfield, California, native reported that he cut a right-front tire, and he was forced to return to pit road for service. That stop on lap 122 dropped the No. 4 team to the 35th position, two laps down to the leaders.

Harvick raced his way back up to the 29th position before torrential rain forced the race to end.

Harvick was credited with leading twice for a race-high 63 laps around the 2-mile oval to bring his laps-led total this season to a series-best 1,225. This mark eclipses Harvick’s laps-led total for every one of his Sprint Cup seasons with the exception of last year, when he led 2,137 laps en route to the Sprint Cup championship.

“We had an awesome Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet today,” said Harvick, who won the Sprint Cup race at Michigan in August 2010. “But we had some unfortunate luck. I’m proud of my guys as we smashed them all day.”

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday at Michigan International Speedway by winning the rain-shortened Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

It was the 29th points-paying Sprint Cup win for SHR since its inception in 2009 and the organization’s fourth this season. Busch also won at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, and Harvick won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway.

Busch started 24th and led six laps to bring his laps-led total at Michigan to 448. It was Busch’s 27th career Sprint Cup victory, his second this season and his third at Michigan.

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, led her first two laps of the 2015 season and finished 16th.

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 28th.

Busch was leading when the race ended due to a heavy rain shower. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard, Trevor Bayne and Clint Bowyer comprised the remainder of the top-10.

There were five caution periods for 38 laps, with two drivers failing to finish the 138-lap race.

With round 15 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR in the championship point standings. He is first with 576 points, 15 ahead of second-place Truex. Busch is 11th with 426 points, 150 out of first. Patrick is 19th with 357 points, 219 out of first. Stewart is 26th with 269 points, 307 out of first.

The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Save Mart 350 on Sunday, June 28 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.


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