Tire issue derails champ's chances at win No. 3 of 2015 BROOKLYN, Mich. -- The road to the championship wasn’t exactly a smooth one for Kevin Harvick and his Stewart-Haas Racing team in 2014. Early-season issues often stymied the team. Fast cars were sidelined by funky occurrences, broken parts, flat tires. But Harvick and the team persevered. When the issues didn’t surface, there was no one better, no car faster. The end result was the 2014 Sprint Cup Series championship, Harvick ’s first and the second for SHR. The momentum from last year’s title run hasn’t subsided. Heading into Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway , Harvick already had two wins (at Las Vegas and Phoenix) and an incredible eight runner-up finishes. No one else has been so close so often to the checkered flag, yet so far. But on Sunday, the gremlins returned. Although he led a race-high 63 laps in a race shortened by rain to only 138 of its scheduled 200, a flat tire caused by an errant lug nut buried the No. 4 Chevrolet deep in the field. Smashed them all day damn proud of my boys. Lug nut knocked the valve stem off and the tire went flat. #dumbluck — Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) June 14, 2015 Bummer day for the 4 team.... A big, big shoutout to all the fans who weathered the storms. Y’all are the most loyal fans ever!! — DeLana Harvick (@DeLanaHarvick) June 14, 2015 Teammate Kurt Busch was out front when the skies opened up again, and took home the trophy. Who knows? Had the race run its scheduled distance, with a couple of well-timed cautions it’s possible the team could have found itself back in the hunt. But it didn’t, the team didn’t and at the soggy end of a long day, the scoreboard in the infield showed the No. 4 29th in the final rundown. Harvick ’s fared worse this year -- he finished 38th at Bristol in April after being collected in a chain-reaction accident shortly after a restart. He led a race-best 184 laps at Bristol before the incident. It rained in that race as well. “Once we were in front we were basically just cruising the entire day,” Childers said of Sunday’s effort. “We had a good car and the guys at the shop did a really good job. Really didn’t have any issues all weekend. “It’s aggravating to give them away like that. I felt like we had the best car. When we pitted, there were some guys that stayed out … maybe it would have worked out for us but it’s hard to say.” Harvick , who had qualified No. 2 on Friday, was out front at Lap 119 when he hit pit road under a round of green-flag pit stops. But after returning to the track, a flat right front tire caused when a lug nut knocked the valve stem off the wheel sent him back to the pits. Childers said the team found the cause of the problem after going back and looking at video of the initial pit stop. “One of the lug nuts that had come off the first wheel bounced off the changer’s leg and right when the other wheel was going in, (the lug nut) was in mid-air and he caught it (with the wheel),” he said. “We’ve changed all kinds of stuff to keep it from happening and haven’t had it happen since Dover (last year). … I don’t even know how to fix it. Definitely got to do something though.” After a week off, the Sprint Cup Series rolls back into action at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway for the season’s first road-course stop on June 28. Childers said his driver and team are more than up to the task. “We’re just going there to win,” he said. “We had the best car there last year … so I feel good about it. We’ll do the best job we can and hopefully it’s good enough. “ Kevin and all the guys are on it. If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll be alright.” FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
SHR driver paces session with best speed of 202.094 mph RELATED: Live weather updates from Michigan " Practice 1 results Rain halted the opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Michigan International Speedway twice on Friday afternoon, but Kevin Harvick had already established a formidable speed atop the leaderboard that stuck through the remainder of the session. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver paced the field with a best speed of 202.492 mph, achieved in just five laps in prep for Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). Joey Logano was second in the session at 201.607 mph, followed by last week's winner Martin Truex Jr . (201.157 mph), Denny Hamlin (200.921 mph) and Jeff Gordon (200.781 mph). Clint Bowyer struggled in the session with his new crew chief, Billy Scott, as the No. 15 Toyota came in 27th on the leaderboard at 197.055 mph. With 25 minutes left in the session, Kurt Busch lost control of his No. 41 Chevrolet, sending it into the outside wall. "Went down in there and was a little twitchier when it turned in and then it went full on left," Busch radioed to his team after the hit. "Sorry … it's pretty much ruined." Crew chief Tony Gibson decided to switch to a backup car, which the 2004 Cup champion will test run during Coors Light Pole Qualifying at 4:15 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
One lap after giving up the lead to pit, Kevin Harvick has to return to pit road for a flat right front tire putting him two laps down.
Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano discuss their contact in the closing lap which cost both a shot at victory.
Go All Access with Kevin Harvick as he deals with rain and tire issues during the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
SHR teammate Tony Stewart wrecks, goes to backup RELATED: Watch video of Stewart's wreck " Practice results Kevin Harvick led NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice on Friday at Pocono Raceway . Harvick turned a lap of 176.932 mph around the 2.5-mile course in 50.867 seconds. Kyle Busch finished second with a speed of 176.772 mph, followed by Carl Edwards , Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Austin Dillon to round out the top five. Earnhardt Jr., the defending race winner, posted a speed of 176.564 mph. Tony Stewart spun out exiting Turn 2 and hit an interior wall, bringing out a red flag with 49 minutes left in the session. Stewart, who was in the No. 14 Chevrolet, had to go to a backup car. "I was already past the bump," Stewart said. "I got loose on the exit of it and couldn’t catch it. Driver error." Sprint Cup Series action continues with Coors Light Pole Qualifying at 4:45 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 1). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
The No. 4 Chevrolet tops all three practices in Pocono RELATED: Watch video of Stewart's wreck " Practice results Kevin Harvick led the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice on Saturday at Pocono Raceway . Harvick turned a lap of 175.974 mph around the 2.5-mile course in 51.144 seconds and topped the leaderboard during all three Pocono practices. Kyle Larson finished second with a speed of 175.292 mph, followed by Kasey Kahne (174.914), Carl Edwards (174.897) and Kurt Busch (174.829) to round out the top five. Edwards and Harvick are the only drivers who snagged a top-five finish in both of Saturday's practices. Defending Pocono race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr . was ninth-fastest with a speed of 174.452 mph in the final tune-up in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet. Dale Jr. is looking to win three straight at The Tricky Triangle, a feat that would put him in rare company with Bobby Allison and Tim Richmond, who are the only drivers to accomplish the three-peat at Pocono. Notably outside the top 10 for Saturday’s final practice were Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch . Sprint Cup Series action continues tomorrow with the Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 at 1 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). Harvick tops Saturday morning's Pocono practice Kevin Harvick led NASCAR Spring Cup Series practice on Saturday morning at Pocono Raceway . Harvick turned a lap of 175.658 mph around the 2.5-mile course in 51.236 seconds. Dale Earnhardt Jr . finished second with a speed of 175.596 mph, followed by Carl Edwards (175.593), Martin Truex Jr . (175.493) and Denny Hamlin (175.418) to round out the top five. Jeff Gordon finished outside the top 10 in the No. 11 spot (174.689). Gordon tops the all-time wins list at Pocono Raceway with six victories. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See the look he will sport for first road course race of 2015 Stewart-Haas Racing unveiled the patriotic look Kevin Harvick will be sporting for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28 (3 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM). Harvick's No. 4 Outback/Budweiser Chevrolet will have the Folds of Honor Foundation logo and wording on the hood of the car for the first road course race of the Sprint Cup Series season. The Bakersfield, California native has three top fives and five top 10s in 14 starts at Sonoma. REVEAL: Retweet if you love @KevinHarvick 's No. 4 @Outback / @Budweiser Chevy that will race in June at @RaceSonoma . pic.twitter.com/FCIMputxUd — Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) June 2, 2015
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman recaps the FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway as Jimmie Johnson holds off Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson on a G-W-C finish to capture his 74th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory.
President Obama welcomes Kevin Harvick and his Stewart-Haas Racing team members to the White House to honor his 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.