Early exit in Kansas puts Harvick in a must-win spot

Nigel Kinrade/Motorsport Images

Early exit in Kansas puts Harvick in a must-win spot

NASCAR

Early exit in Kansas puts Harvick in a must-win spot

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Kevin Harvick will face a likely must-win scenario to advance out of the first round of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs after crashing out of Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway.

Harvick hit the wall off Turn 4 on lap 34 after having the car get away from him when Ross Chastain and Bubba Wallace came up the track. The contact caused the right-front tire to go down on Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang, and he hit the wall again to further damage the car.

A brief diagnosis by Harvick’s team on pit road led crew chief Rodney Childers to determine “every piece” of the suspension from the front to the back of the car was broken.

“When those two cars came up in front of me, I just got super tight,” said Harvick. “When I lifted, it grabbed and got loose. I just wasn’t expecting them to come up and my car getting that tight.”

Harvick was the first playoff driver to encounter trouble in the Hollywood Casino 400 and will finish last, earning one point. He entered the weekend already last on the playoff grid and below the cutline by 13 points.

“Go win,” Harvick said of next weekend’s elimination race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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