Victory slips away from Harvick at Atlanta: "It's my own doing today"

Kevin Harvick feels a little “snake bitten” at Atlanta Motor Speedway of late. Who can blame him?

Victory slips away from Harvick at Atlanta: "It's my own doing today"
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford pit stop
Start: Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, and Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, lead the field
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

In his last four races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Harvick has led 734 of 1,315 laps – more than half the laps available – but not won any of those races.

Again in Sunday’s Folds of Honor 500, Harvick appeared in command and exited pit road with the lead with 14 laps remaining. But before he could line up for the restart, he was sent to the tail end of the field for speeding on pit road.

Owning up to it

In the final 11 laps, Harvick – who won the first two stages of the race and the playoff points that come with it – rallied to finish ninth. He remains the series points leader after two races.

“It’s my own doing today. I really didn’t think I was even close on pit lane. It gets to bouncing around, I thought I was being conservative, apparently I wasn’t,” Harvick said. “I want to thank everyone on our (team) for everything they did this weekend.

“I was just pushing it too hard.”

Harvick said the incident was a difficult one for him because he preaches all the time to his team “not to beat yourself” when it comes to pit road.

Harvick’s dominating performance did provide further evidence that Stewart-Haas Racing’s offseason transition from Chevrolet to Ford is going smoothly, at least on the track.

Strong showing for SHR

SHR driver Kurt Busch won the Daytona 500 last weekend and even with Harvick’s issues, three SHR cars – Harvick, Busch and Clint Bowyer – all finished 11th or higher.

“We didn’t know what we were going to have when we got here and we had a great weekend the whole time,” Harvick said. “Man, I just, one way or another, I have figured out how to lose races here at Atlanta after being so dominant.

“We will pick ‘em up and start again next week.”

Team co-owner Tony Stewart said the first two weeks’ performance is “proof all the man hours the guys put in over the winter is paying off.”

“We’ve got to stay the course. We stubbed our toe a little bit today but we have to keep working on it,” he said.

“I don’t think anybody knows how difficult this was to pull off then maybe the other teams in the garage area. The people in the industry know but most people (on the outside) don’t really have a clue what it means.”

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