Kevin Harvick finished second for the tenth time this season, trailing race-winner Joey Logano by just a couple of car lengths.
Kevin Harvick finished second … again.
You would think the reigning Sprint Cup Series might tire of being the first car behind the race winner for the 10th time in 24 races this season.
Not so, says Harvick.
“I can tell you that we finished 39th at Michigan and 39th here (in the spring), and that wasn't near as cool as finishing second,” he said. “I think you have to put it all in perspective.”
Saturday night’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway was his latest runner-up finish as Joey Logano earned the win.
Harvick is now the 10th driver in NASCAR history with 10 or more runner-up finishes in a season and the first since 1972. David Pearson holds the record with 18 in the 1969 season.
Over the final 50 laps Saturday night, Harvick would repeatedly close to within a car-length of Logano only see Logano power away on the straightaways.
Fighting back from two pit road penalties
That Harvick was even in position to challenge for the lead late in the race was remarkable considering he was twice sent to the rear of the field during the race for mistakes on pit road.
On one pit stop, a pit crew member went over the wall too soon and later in the race Harvick was penalized by NASCAR for speeding.
“It’s just a huge credit to the team. They just keep bringing fast cars to the race track, and we're able to overcome a lot of things and everybody just keeps grinding away at whatever the circumstances are,” Harvick said.
“That's really what it's going to be about over the last 10 weeks. Obviously you want to win races, but we're in position and feel like we can get that momentum swing at any point, if it just starts going our way.”
It's good to be fast ... Even if you don't win
Asked if the continued second-place finishes was frustrating, Harvick said no.
“When you're in position to do that and finish second 10 times and win a couple races, that's (almost) half the races that we've run so far. I'm honored to drive the car,” he said.
“I'm not frustrated at all because I've been on the other side of this fence, and you'd give everything in the world to finish second every week because it's not easy.”