FONTANA, Calif — Kevin Harvick is the only one standing now in the NASCAR Cup Series in one main stat – top 10 finishes. Through three races run thus far, Harvick is the only driver to finish inside of the top 10 in all of them.
Harvick, was fifth in the season opening Daytona 500, eighth in last Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and now ninth in this weekend’s Auto Club 400 in Fontana.
But, the pace isn’t in his No. 4 Ford for what he would have liked.
In Daytona, he rode around at the back for most of the race to stay out of trouble and was there in the end for a top five. In Vegas, he had great early run speed but his car faded as a stint went on. Yes, he’s led 92 laps in all so far, third most in the series, but all those were early in runs.
At the Auto Club Speedway, he started up front but quickly faded. Harvick and his team changed everything but the kitchen sink on his No. 4 Ford as the weekend went on. He wasn’t happy with his car on Friday. They changed a lot and surprised themselves with a good qualifying effort on Saturday. His race car though was less than desired.
He quickly faded to finish 14th in Stage 1. The California native rebounded to 10th in Stage 2. He just didn’t have enough to go further up.
“We just didn’t have a very good weekend,” said Harvick. “This place wasn’t very good for us last year either. I am just having a hard time getting the car to be balanced all the way through the corner. I think as you look at it, we didn’t have a ninth-place car either, we just had a great day on pit road. Those guys did a phenomenal job on pit road and that kept us in the game.”
Harvick, started second and finished fourth last year. He hasn’t led a lap though around the 2-mile track in each of his last four starts. He did lead 142 laps in a runner-up effort in 2016 though and 34 more in another second place run in 2015. His car isn’t giving him chances to compete for the win anymore and they don’t know why.