Kevin Harvick said his team overachieved at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana and it took a “really experienced group of racers” for the No. 4 Ford to pick up a fourth-place finish.
While he didn’t lead a lap in the race, Harvick ran well – his average running position for the day was 6.75 – and he picked up some useful stage points by finishing fourth in Stage 1 and sixth in Stage 2.
“We didn’t have a fourth-place car, we overachieved today with our Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang,” said Harvick. “Just got to thank all of my guys — they’ve done a great job with not much on the west coast here. You’re kind of dealt the cards that you’re dealt when you put [the cars] in the truck and leave home. So, we’ll go back and go to work.
“Everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing will get us what we need, and right now we’re just off a little bit from the 18 (winner Kyle Busch) and the Penske cars. We know that and we got solid top-five finishes out of stuff that we didn’t think was very good, so we’ll go work hard.”
Harvick finished fourth in Las Vegas, ninth at ISM Raceway, and fourth Sunday afternoon for his west coast results. The only laps Harvick led in those three races were the 88 he racked up after starting from the pole in Vegas.
Last season, Harvick won three straight races through Atlanta, Vegas, and ISM. He is winless this season but has four consecutive top-nine finishes since the Daytona 500, quietly boosting him to a solid third in points.
“When you come to this west coast swing, you have what you have, and we left here with four top-10’s and three top-fives over the first five races, said Harvick. “I’m proud of everybody for that. It isn’t always going to be good. You have to try to figure out how to do things better when they aren’t going very good, and our guys have done that.”