Early Engine Failure Sees Jimmy John’s Driver Finish 42nd at Texas
Date: April 7, 2014
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: 3rd/42nd (Engine, completed 28 of 340 laps)
Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske in a green-white-checkered finish (Ford)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), hoped that setting a new track qualifying record at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on Saturday would parlay into a successful run in the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, but it wasn’t to be as an engine failure just 27 laps into the rain-postponed event ended his day prematurely Monday.
“Something happened with the engine right after that restart,” Harvick said. “The Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was really fast. It’s frustrating. I don’t know what else I can say. I didn’t get any indication that anything was going wrong. Hendrick engines are among the fastest and most reliable engines in the garage. We’ll take it back to the shop and figure out what happened. But that’s a disappointing end to the day.”
The first 10 laps Monday were run under the green and yellow flags as NASCAR worked to confirm that the racing surface was ready for competition. Once the yellow flag was lifted on lap 11, Harvick advanced to the second position, where he would ride until the caution flag was displayed on lap 13 for an incident involving the No. 88 Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt Jr. When green-flag conditions resumed on lap 25, Harvick passed his SHR teammate Tony Stewart for the race lead. He relinquished the position the following lap and began to slow drastically.
Harvick keyed his radio and reported to the Jimmy John’s crew that the engine had expired. Crew chief Rodney Childers instructed Harvick to bring his No. 4 Chevrolet to the garage so the crew could diagnose the problem and see if there was a chance that Harvick could get back on track.
The problem was determined to be terminal after members of the No. 4 crew and the Hendrick Motorsports engine shop inspected under the hood. Harvick’s day was over after just 28 laps.
Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, led the four-car SHR contingent by finishing 10th.
Stewart started from the pole and led three times for 74 laps en route to his third top-10 of 2014 and his 13th top-10 in 24 career Sprint Cup starts at Texas. Stewart is now the all-time Sprint Cup lap leader at Texas with 801 total laps led, 26 more than next-best Matt Kenseth.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/Get Found Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 24th and finished 27th. It was Patrick’s 53rd career Sprint Cup start and her fourth at Texas.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, started 11th and finished 39th as two flat tires conspired against him.
Joey Logano won the Duck Commander 500 to score his fourth career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Texas. He is the seventh different winner in the seven races held this season.
Jeff Gordon finished .476 of a second behind Logano in the runner-up spot, while Kyle Busch, Brian Vickers and Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five. Greg Biffle, Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard and Stewart comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were seven caution periods for 49 laps, with five drivers failing to finish the 340-lap race, which was extended six laps by a green-white-checkered finish.
With round seven of 36 complete, Stewart leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is 14th with 189 points, 70 behind new series leader Gordon. Busch is 25th with 151 points, 108 out of first. Harvick is 26th with 138 points, 121 out of first. Patrick is 29th with 121 points, 138 out of first.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Southern 500 on Saturday, April 12 at Darlington (S.C) Raceway. The race starts at 6:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 6 p.m.