Kevin Harvick once again had the dominant car at Dover International Speedway, but a second pit stop under green flag conditions took away a potential eighth win on the season.
“Can’t control where the lug nuts fly,” Harvick told NBC Sports. “Our Busch Beer Ford was really fast, and that’s about it.”
Harvick won both stages of the Gander Outdoors 400 and led 286 of 400 laps before a green flag pit stop on lap 319. Two laps later, a lug nut knocked out the valve stem on the left rear tire. The result was a loose wheel, and Harvick had to make a second pit stop with 78 laps to go that knocked him off the lead lap.
Harvick was in the free pass position and earned his lap back when a debris caution came out with 62 laps to go. Harvick then drove from 14th to just outside the top five with 20 laps remaining. But even two more cautions inside the final 10 laps didn’t allow Harvick to get near the lead again.
Harvick did, however, have a shot when he missed a multi-car wreck with four laps to go. Harvick then lined up eighth on the final restart and finished sixth.
“We were just lucky there and wound up dodging and weaving and being in the right place, so maybe that makes up for the bad luck on losing the race with an absolute dominant car,” Harvick said of missing the wreck.
With two races remaining in the Round of 12, Harvick has a 68-point advantage on the cutline, but he said, “I don’t really care about points. I’d rather win.”