Kevin Harvick led the most laps Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway and again appeared to have the fastest car in the field.
But despite multiple shots at the win on late-race restarts, Harvick felt he “lost control of the race” on his final pit stop. Harvick pitted from the lead with 34 laps to go and left pit road second. Kyle Busch’s group laid down a 13-second pit stop while Harvick was in his stall for over 14 seconds.
A later decision to stay on track put Harvick second to Martin Truex Jr. on a restart with 17 laps to go. Truex won the race in clean air, and Harvick eventually faded to a fourth-place finish.
“That decision [to stay out] didn’t matter at all,” Harvick said. “We lost control of the race on pit road when we didn’t come off first. [The team] didn’t do anything wrong, just didn’t come out first like we came in.”
Harvick started second and led 89 total laps, the most he’s led in a single Pocono race. He also picked up his seventh stage win of the season, winning the race’s second stage.
“Great car with our Busch Ford, the guys did a great job,” said Harvick, who remains winless at Pocono in 35 starts. “You win some, you lose some.
“You’re racing against guys like that it’s going to come down to splitting hairs, and the 78 [Truex] and 18 [Busch] were both really good today. It was a lot of fun racing with them.”