AVONDALE, Ariz. — Kevin Harvick, the dominant driver at ISM Raceway with nine Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories at the 1-mile track, didn’t lead a lap in Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500.
In fact, Harvick never ran higher than third in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, and after he was shuffled back on consecutive restarts on Laps 226 and 233, crew chief Rodney Childers opted to pit Harvick for four tires and fuel under yellow on Lap 234.
Harvick restarted 21st on Lap 239 and drove to a ninth-place finish as the race ran green the rest of the way.
“It took us I don’t even know how long to get past cars that were six, seven, eight-tenths slower than us at the end of the race, so just extremely difficult to pass,” Harvick said. “We got shuffled there on the restarts and just decided to come down and get tires and see if we could do something better than being in the middle on two tires, and it took us a long time to get back going.”
With the ninth-place run, Harvick fell one spot to third in the series standings, nine points behind race winner and series leader Kyle Busch and three behind second-place Joey Logano, who finished 10th on Sunday.