Harvick inches closer to Championship 4 after Kansas runner-up

John Harrelson/Motorsport Images

Harvick inches closer to Championship 4 after Kansas runner-up

NASCAR

Harvick inches closer to Championship 4 after Kansas runner-up

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Kevin Harvick led the most laps at Kansas Speedway and appeared faster than Joey Logano, but he needed another variable to beat Logano in the Hollywood Casino 400.

“There were a lot of things that could happen with lap cars or him guessing wrong and me being able to run the bottom or run the top or get a good run or something along those lines, and it never materialized,” said Harvick after finishing second.

The battle for the win came down to Harvick and Logano after the two separated themselves from the pack off the final restart with 42 laps to go. Harvick had led 85 laps before the final round of pit stops but lost the lead to Logano coming off pit road. It was the turning point in the race for Harvick and his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team, as Harvick lost control of the restart and, subsequently, the race and couldn’t overcome Logano’s dirty air.

“I think it’s how we race for sure; I think you’ve become used to that part of it,” said Harvick. “For me, it’s just a scenario that you just become used to, that’s part of what we race, and I definitely don’t make the rules, and just try to do the best we can each week with whatever situation that we have and go from there.

“Yeah, he did a great job of putting his car where he needed to, and we just never had an opportunity to capitalize on anything from a mistake side of it.”

Harvick hounded Logano over the final round and seemingly tried every lane available to find something that would work. Meanwhile, Logano blocked and weaved all over the mile-and-a-half to disturb the air and take away Harvick’s line. He admitted afterward to looking in the rearview mirror more than the windshield.

The closest Harvick got to try and mount any sort of challenge was to Logano’s bumper. But like every lap before it, Harvick’s run would stall out, or he had to get off the gas.

“Joey did just a good job of putting his car right in front of ours, and with this package every time you put your car in front of the car behind you, it takes the nose away,” said Harvick. “We just had a little bit of trouble trying to get the nose to turn when he would take our lane. So, guys did a great job, brought a fast car and just came up one short.”

Harvick does remain primed for a spot in the Championship 4 with a 41-point advantage on the cutline. Three spots remain after Logano’s victory, and Harvick has won the last three Texas fall races.

“I feel better about Texas than I do here (at Kansas),” said Harvick. “Our guys did a pretty good job of bringing a whole lot better car than what we had at the first race. If our car’s that much better at Texas than it was the first race, it should be a good weekend.”

“You just never know how the cautions are going to fall, the strategy, anything like that. You just have to go lap by lap and see where it falls.”

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