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Kickin The Tires

Harvick scores Top-10 after leading late at Charlotte

Photo by Chris Owens / Harold Hinson Photography

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

The short run speed was there for Kevin Harvick, but it wasn’t enough to score a victory in the Alsco Uniforms 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Harvick zoomed forward after several restarts. The No. 4 Busch Light #FaceAtTheRace Ford Mustang chased down and passed race leader Alex Bowman after the start of the final stage. As Bowman broke loose and tagged the wall behind him, it looked like Harvick was in the clear to cruise to victory.

A caution with 64 laps to go closed the field up. Although Harvick restarted in the lead, the final green flag run was on the edge of a fuel run. Just halfway into that run, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver lost all grip. Chase Elliott took advantage and swept by Harvick.

As the green flag run continued, the Ford Performance driver faded. Harvick struggled to keep his competitors at bay. When the checkered flag waved, the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series Champion crossed the line in 10th.

Harvick admitted that he and his Rodney Childers-led team knew that they had short run speed:

“It just falls off after lap 30. We knew that’s what we had with our Busch Light Ford and it went straight 60-some laps. They did a really good job turning the car around. It was the total opposite of what we raced last Sunday, so it was a good test session for us. We just didn’t need a long run.”

With no qualifying for the Alsco Uniforms 500, Harvick started 16th. He made quick work of those ahead of him as a result of an invert. Harvick finished the first stage in fourth and was fifth in the second stage.

The 10th-place finish is the eighth top-10 for Harvick this season. It is also his 13th consecutive top-10 dating back to last season and the 370th of his career.

Harvick still sits atop the points standings, 14-points ahead of Joey Logano. He is locked into the playoffs via his win in NASCAR’s return to competition in The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway.

Harvick will be back in action in the Food City Presents the Supermarket Heroes 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 31.

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