TALLADEGA, Ala. -- All four Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolets failed pre-qualifying inspection Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway due to the same issue -- improper assembly of the radiator inlet duct panels, which did not conform to NASCAR rules, according to a NASCAR spokesperson. All four teams -- the No. 4 of Kevin Harvick , the No. 10 of Danica Patrick , the No. 14 of Tony Stewart and the No. 41 of Kurt Busch -- had to replace the duct panels, a lengthy process that caused the Nos. 4 and 41 teams to still be in the garage working under the hood 90 minutes before qualifying began. Those two cars were the last out of the garage, getting final approval less than an hour before single-car qualifying began at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Any penalties would be announced next week, according to a NASCAR spokesperson. If there are points penalties, a potential appeal would also be expedited due to Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup points implications. Rodney Childers, crew chief of the No. 4, doesn't expect a points deduction, though. @Freak4Harvick shouldn't be.. Just a visual thing. Wasn't performance related at all. Doesn't do anything. — Rodney Childers (@RodneyChilders4) October 24, 2015 Harvick finished seventh in Saturday's qualifying, the highest of the SHR vehicles. Stewart was 12th, Busch was 14th and Patrick was 20th. Patrick and Stewart will start from the rear, though. The No. 10 team changed transmissions Sunday morning, and the No. 14 team made adjustments. Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon will lead the field to green in Sunday's CampingWorld.com 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM) after winning his 81st career Coors Light Pole Award.
Organization earns second NASCAR premier series title Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John's Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship tonight at Homestead-Miami Speedway . It is Harvick's first Sprint Cup championship and the second for SHR since its inception in 2009. SHR won the 2011 Sprint Cup title with driver-owner Tony Stewart . The following are some anecdotes regarding the 2014 Sprint Cup Series Champions. · This is Kevin Harvick 's eighth driving title in his 33 years of racing . His other titles are: -- 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship -- 2006 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship -- 2002 IROC Series Championship -- 2001 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship -- 1998 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Championship -- 1993 Late Model Track Championship at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, California -- 1987 World Karting Association National Championship -- 1985 World Karting Association National Championship · This is Rodney Childers first championship as a crew chief in NASCAR. · This is the second Sprint Cup championship as a car owner for team co-owners Stewart and Gene Haas. -- 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship with the No. 4 team of Harvick -- 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship with the No. 14 team of Stewart · This is Stewart's 21st overall championship as a car owner. -- Two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championships: -- 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship with Harvick -- 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship via himself -- Five World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Championships: -- 2014 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Championship with Donny Schatz -- 2012 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Championship with Schatz -- 2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Championship with Schatz -- 2008 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Championship with Schatz -- 2001 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Championship with Danny Lasoski -- Fourteen USAC Championships: -- 2013 USAC Sprint Car Championship with Bryan Clauson -- 2013 USAC Silver Crown Championship with Bobby East -- 2011 USAC Sprint Car Championship with Levi Jones -- 2011 USAC Silver Crown Championship with Jones -- 2010 USAC Sprint Car Championship with Jones -- 2010 USAC Silver Crown Championship with Jones -- 2008 USAC Sprint Car Championship with Jones -- 2007 USAC Sprint Car Championship with Jones -- 2006 USAC Sprint Car Championship with Josh Wise -- 2005 USAC Silver Crown Championship with J.J. Yeley (Stewart co-owned team with Bob East) -- 2004 USAC Silver Crown Championship with Yeley (Stewart co-owned team with Bob East) -- 2003 USAC Sprint Car Championship with Yeley -- 2003 USAC Silver Crown Championship with Yeley (Stewart co-owned team with Bob East) -- 2002 USAC Silver Crown Championship with Yeley (Stewart co-owned team with Bob East) Anecdotes: · Harvick joins Bobby Labonte and Brad Keselowski as the only drivers to earn both a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and a NASCAR Nationwide Series championship. Harvick is a two-time Nationwide Series champion (2001 and 2006). · Harvick is only the third Sprint Cup driver since 2000 to lead more than 2,000 laps in a single season. Harvick led 2,137 laps in 2014. Jimmie Johnson led 2,238 laps in 2009 and Jeff Gordon led 2,320 laps in 2001. Both Johnson and Gordon went on to win the championship in those years. · Harvick led a lap in 27 of the 36 Sprint Cup races in 2014. His longest streak of consecutive races with at least one lap led was nine, beginning Aug. 23 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and continuing through the Oct. 19 race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. His longest stretch of races without a single lap led was three, starting June 28 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta lasting through July 13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. · The most laps Harvick led in a single Sprint Cup season prior to 2014 was 895 laps in 2006. · In nine seasons prior to 2014, teams led by crew chief Rodney Childers led a total of 879 laps. Among the seven drivers Childers worked with during this span, Mark Martin was the leader with 295 laps led during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. · Of the 24 track qualifying records set during the 2014 Sprint Cup season, Harvick accounted for six of them. No other driver had more than four. -- April 5 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (Round 1: 27.234 seconds at 198.282 mph) -- May 9 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas Speedway (Round 2: 27.741 seconds at 194.658 mph) -- June 13 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (Round 3: 35.198 seconds at 204.557 mph) --This was the fastest pole-winning speed since April 1987 when Bill Elliott set the all-time Sprint Cup qualifying record of 212.809 mph at Talladega Superspeedway . -- July 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Round 1: 47.753 seconds at 188.470 mph) -- Aug. 22 at Bristol Motor Speedway (Round 2: 14.607 seconds at 131.362 mph) -- Oct. 3 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (Round 2: 27.304 seconds at 197.773 mph) · Harvick won a career-high eight poles in 2014. In his previous 13 years as a Sprint Cup driver, Harvick won a total of six poles. -- April 11 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway -- May 9 at Kansas Speedway -- June 13 at Michigan International Speedway -- July 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- Aug. 22 at Bristol Motor Speedway -- Aug. 29 at Atlanta Motor Speedway -- Sept. 26 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway -- Oct. 3 at Kansas Speedway · Harvick finished among the top-five in the Sprint Cup championship standings six times prior to 2014. His previous career-high point finish was third, which he did three times (2010, 2011 and 2013). · Harvick finished 25 of 36 Sprint Cup Series races with a driver rating better than 100.0, including four races with a driver rating better than 140.0. Harvick scored his only perfect driver rating (150.0) Nov. 9 at Phoenix International Raceway where he led three times for a race-high 264 laps en route to the victory. · Harvick ended the 2014 season as the leader in the following loop data categories: -- Driver Rating: 110.5 -- Fastest Early in Run: 4.710 -- Fastest Laps Run: 1,233 -- Fastest Green Flag Speed: 4.387 -- Most Laps Led: 2,137 -- Mileage Leader: 2,716.86 · Harvick's championship is the 30th driver title for Team Chevy in the Sprint Cup Series. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Stewart-Haas Racing engineers talk about the advantages of using a three dimensional printer.
The teams of Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch head into this weekend's season-ending, championship-determining race with three warnings each, which could be an issue should either have trouble getting through inspection prior to Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (3 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM). Harvick's Stewart-Haas Racing team and Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing squad are two of the four teams in the Championship Round, which is the final round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Also in contention for the 2015 title are Jeff Gordon ( Hendrick Motorsports ) and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ). Teams lose their opportunity in the pit selection process following qualifying if they receive a fourth warning during inspection. Failing to clear one of the inspection checkpoints, such as the Laser Inspection Station, typically results in a warning being issued. Rodney Childers, crew chief for Harvick, said he isn't concerned about a potential penalty arising at Homestead this weekend. "We've been at three (warnings) for a long time now," Childers said during a teleconference on Wednesday, "and we haven't had any issues at all. You've just got to be a little bit careful going through for qualifying and that type of thing. But honestly, the past month it hasn't even been an issue at all." Earlier this season, teams complained that the LIS platform, which measures specific points underneath the car, wasn't consistent. Childers said that hasn't been the case of late. "NASCAR is doing a really good job with that thing and changed a few lasers out on it," he said. "(Last week) at Phoenix it was really consistent. You've just got to do the best job you can and play it a little bit conservative on some things and get through qualifying and get your pit selection done." Adam Stevens, crew chief for Busch, agreed with Childers, noting that his team will "make a couple extra trips across the platform before practice starts to make sure we know exactly where our stuff is. "If there's anything that's marginal or a number we're chasing, we'll make sure that we're on the short side of it rather than taking a chance of having to go around (again)." The No. 18 team picked up its third warning last weekend when it required more than two trips through the LIS during pre-race inspection. Other Sprint Cup teams receiving warnings for inspection issues at Phoenix were the No. 16 of Roush Fenway Racing ( Greg Biffle ), the No. 20 of Joe Gibbs Racing ( Erik Jones , driving Matt Kenseth 's car), the No. 10 of Stewart-Haas Racing ( Danica Patrick ), the No. 27 of Richard Childress Racing ( Paul Menard ) and the No. 46 of HScott Motorsports ( Michael Annett ). The 20, 46, and 10 teams will also be docked 15 minutes of practice time Friday for failing to arrive in the inspection line on time. Non-Chase teams heading into this weekend's event with three warnings are the teams of Alex Bowman ( Tommy Baldwin Racing ), Denny Hamlin (JGR) and Jeb Burton ( BK Racing ), although none of those occurred last week. When it's time to go Kurt Busch ( Stewart-Haas Racing ) was penalized last week at Phoenix for beating the leader to the start/finish line at the start of the race, the first time this season the infraction had been called in the Sprint Cup Series. RELATED: Watch video of the incident The NASCAR Rule Book allows a driver other than the leader to cross the line first only during a restart, not the initial green-flag start of a race. Busch, who started the race alongside pole winner Jimmie Johnson , had to serve a pass-through penalty. Although he was able to remain on the lead lap, he fell from the front of the pack to 43rd. While able to rally to a seventh-place finish, Busch was one of four drivers eliminated from Chase contention at PIR. Brad Keselowski was penalized earlier this season at New Hampshire when he jumped a Lap 242 restart, beating the race leader (control car) out of the restart zone. Although he did not beat the leader, Greg Biffle , to the start/finish line, NASCAR officials judged that he accelerated through the defined restart zone ahead of Biffle. Earlier this year, NASCAR added a camera and additional official in the restart zone area to better police restarts. Three other drivers -- AJ Allmendinger , Justin Allgaier and Josh Wise -- have been penalized for passing on a start/restart. Drivers are not allowed to change lanes or pass other cars until ther have crossed the start/finish line. Homestead Test shortened NASCAR officials have announced that the Goodyear tire test, originally slated for Dec. 14-15 at Homestead-Miami Speedway , has been shortened to a single-day test on Dec. 14. Organizations scheduled to participate in the test are Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet), Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet), Richard Petty Motorsports (Ford) and Furniture Row Racing (Toyota). It will be Furniture Row Racing 's first on-track outing under the Toyota banner. The No. 78 team, with driver Martin Truex, currently fields Chevrolet entries. Tuesday, Dec. 15 is a scheduled rain date in case of inclement weather.
An in-depth profile of the most dynamic and diverse team in NASCAR. Featuring interviews with the drivers of Stewart-Haas Racing ; Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick. Check it out on August 1st at 2:30 pm ET on Fox Sports 1.
RELATED: Drivers, crew chiefs on the move One day after the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season ended, the first official move of the offseason came down courtesy of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The team announced that Chad Johnston has been named crew chief for Kyle Larson and the No. 42 Target team. Johnston will assume the role effective immediately to begin preparation for the 2016 season, replacing Chris Heroy. Heroy had been Larson's crew chief for his first two years at NASCAR's highest level. "I'm excited to get to work with Chad and to start doing what needs to be done to get the team to Victory Lane next year," Larson said in a team release. "As a team, I think we are very close and the addition of Chad should help move our program forward for many years to come. Lastly, I would also like to thank Chris for all he did to help me grow in my first two seasons in the Cup series." Johnston joins the No. 42 team from Stewart-Haas Racing , where he has been the crew chief for Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Chevrolet since the 2014 season. Johnston also served as crew chief for Martin Truex, Jr. and the No. 56 at Michael Waltrip Racing from 2011-2013. Johnston has one career Sprint Cup race win as a crew chief (2013, Sonoma ) and helped guide Truex Jr. into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup during the 2012 season. The announcement from CGR means Stewart will have a new crew chief in his final Sprint Cup Series season in 2016. Johnston has also worked in NASCAR as a race engineer at Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, Evernham Motorsports, and JTG Daugherty Racing before serving as a crew chief. He graduated from Indiana State University with a major in mechanical engineering, and briefly worked in the aerospace industry before his passion for motorsports brought him to NASCAR and the Camping World Truck Series in 2004. "I am very excited for the opportunity to be joining Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and the opportunity to work with Kyle Larson ," Johnston said in a team release. "The organization has a great reputation in numerous forms of racing , and I'm looking forward to adding to that reputation in NASCAR. Kyle is certainly a unique talent, and I'm eager to get to work with him and the team as we look to build a foundation of success." Larson will begin his third full-time Sprint Cup season in 2016. The 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year is coming off of a season that featured two top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. In 75 career Cup starts he has accumulated one Coors Light Pole Award, 10 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes.
Team says Texas, Phoenix present opportunities to keep title hopes alive RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Kevin Harvick 's stumble out of the gates in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup last weekend at Martinsville Speedway has left him with two races to put his name in the championship-eligible field of four. The mathematical route of accumulating points is a formidable one, but a victory at either Texas or Phoenix in the next two weeks would cure all of Harvick's ills. And if numerology has any hand in providing an assist, Harvick will be making his milestone 500th start in NASCAR's premier series in Sunday's AAA Texas 500 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN). For his Stewart-Haas Racing support system, there are no misgivings that their lone remaining title hopeful can come through in the clutch. "Absolutely not. There's definitely no doubt," said Tony Stewart , Harvick's stablemate and team co-owner. "You look how fast he was at Texas in the spring. I think we feel good going to Texas, and Phoenix is one of his favorite tracks. There's nobody I'd put money on in a two-race deal more than him." Mid-race contact from championship rival Matt Kenseth left Harvick 43 laps off the pace in 33rd position after last Sunday's race, shuffling him to last among the eight drivers still in title contention. The 33-point deficit to new series leader Jeff Gordon isn't impossible to overcome, but Harvick would need some misfortune to visit some of the Chase competition to advance by points. The other way to lock into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship under this year's new format isn't easy but is less complex -- win one of the next two. It's been done before, even in the new playoff system's infancy, with Brad Keselowski 's Talladega victory to avoid elimination taking on the equivalent of a walk-off homer or a buzzer-beater. Conventional wisdom might say, "don't drive angry," but SHR competition director Greg Zipadelli expects Harvick to convert last Sunday's setback into motivation going forward. "Obviously, he's frustrated but he seems to do well when his back is against the wall and I think he wants it," Zipadelli said. "Nobody is going to give you it. Racing for years, you gotta go earn it, you gotta race it and some days things stack against you and you've got to go see what you're made of. We'll go to the next couple of races and see what we've got. I believe in our people, I believe in our equipment, so we've just got to do it." A large part of the optimism stems from Harvick's recent performance at both tracks, starting this weekend with Texas Motor Speedway . Though Harvick finished 42nd at the Fort Worth track in April after suffering engine failure just 28 laps in, he was third-fastest in final practice and third-best in Coors Light Pole Qualifying before his No. 4 Chevrolet broke down. Harvick's prospects are even more encouraging at Phoenix International Raceway, where the Eliminator Round finale will cut the remaining Chase field in half to determine its final four. Harvick has won three of the last four Sprint Cup races at the mile track in the Arizona desert, including a dominating victory there in March, when he led 224 of 312 laps in just his second start with the Stewart-Haas operation. While last weekend's dust-up with Kenseth made the road ahead more difficult, Rodney Childers -- Harvick's crew chief -- maintains there's no panic in the team's game plan. "We're ready to go," Childers said. "Our Texas and Phoenix cars are already ready, and our Homestead cars are going there to test. There's nothing we need to change or do differently. We've just got to go win a race." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
RELATED: Race results " Final standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- It wasn't the sort of record that Kevin Harvick wanted to break, another runner-up finish in a season full of them with a repeat NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship on the line. Harvick entered Sunday's season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 as a pre-race favorite and the defending race winner. He was left with his 13th second-place effort of the year, his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet a scant 1.552 seconds behind eventual winner and first-time champion Kyle Busch . The baker's dozen of runner-up performances surpassed the modern-era record formerly held by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison in the 1972 season. Those oh-so-close finishes -- balanced against three wins in 2015 -- helped him forge into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs with rock-solid consistency, but it wasn't quite enough on Busch's night. "It's been a great couple years, and I know we're disappointed about finishing second tonight, but it's kind of the theme of the year, finishing second," Harvick said. "Unfortunately it's just one short, but all in all, it's been a great couple years, and couldn't be prouder of our bunch of guys." Harvick led once in the race's early stages for 46 of the 267 laps, but struggled to find the handling balance on the 1.5-mile track. "No rear grip. Won't turn," he called out to crew chief Rodney Childers during the sixth of seven caution periods, hoping adjustments could help him regain his previous edge. Childers said he wasn't able to tell if alterations the team made overnight helped the No. 4 car or not, since track conditions were so much different from Saturday practices to Sunday's main event. But he said he's historically fought the same issue -- "tight getting in and too loose off" -- in past visits to the South Florida speedway. "We haven't been able to get a hold of it," Childers said. "It's probably one of our worst race tracks really, but we won last year and finished second this year at a place we feel like we just can't get a hold of. We need to make some changes with our cars and try to do a better job coming down here next year. "All in all, we had a great car and a great season. You look at the wins and the top-fives and the top-twos, and it's pretty incredible what we've been able to do and just really proud of Kevin and everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing ." The race's final caution flag with 11 laps left seemed to give Harvick new hope, and he jumped from fourth to second place shortly after the restart. But by then, Busch had swept around late-race leader Brad Keselowski to take command. Post-race, after thanking his team and accepting congratulations from Stewart-Haas teammate Kurt Busch , a trademark smile formed on Harvick's face as he watched the 30-year-old Busch celebrate on the main stage -- seeing a little bit of his 2014 self in the No. 18 team's jubilation. It's a scenario that played out for Harvick last season, but was just one elusive position away. "I think when you race your whole life and you accomplish what you've raced for your whole life, it's exciting," Harvick said of Busch's first Sprint Cup championship. "I've been fortunate to experience that last year and know that feeling and know how gratifying that is. You know, it's fun to see that excitement. "He broke his leg at Daytona, and to come back from everything that he came back from, it's like I told you guys three or four days ago, I mean, there's four phenomenal stories that were sitting up on the stage, probably three that were much more exciting than mine, but that's a great comeback story from where he was after Daytona." WATCH: 'Dream come true' for Ky. Busch
RELATED: Complete results from Homestead " Updated standings SHOP: Champion's gear " Gordon gear HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch capped a most improbable comeback Sunday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway , capturing the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship while winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 . Busch, 30, passed race leader Brad Keselowski on a final restart with seven laps remaining, then pulled away from fellow Chase for the Sprint Cup contender Kevin Harvick to score his fifth win of the season and secure his first premier series title. It was also the first Sprint Cup Series championship for automaker Toyota, which entered the series in 2007. "A dream of a lifetime, a dream come true," Busch said. "I just can't believe with everything that happened this year and all the turmoil, all the things that I went through, that my wife (Samantha) went through and the people that are around me went through. This championship is all for these guys, my wife, my family, everyone who has had to sacrifice so much to get me here to this place today, whether it was on my team right now, or on my teams in the past." "Adam Stevens (crew chief) prepared such a great race car. Adam Stevens is my hero. I love that guy." Busch ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Jeff Gordon ( Hendrick Motorsports ) and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ) advanced through this year's 16-team, 10-race Chase format to qualify for a shot at the title. RELATED: Busch wins first Cup Series championship Busch said he never doubted that he and his team could orchestrate such a stunning comeback. "Oh yeah, no doubt," he said. "The rehab ... getting ready and focused, all that was the hardest part and the hardest thing I have ever gone through. To put it all together and be here tonight, this wasn't that hard." Sidelined for the season's first 11 points races after suffering a broken right leg and fractures to his left foot in an XFINITY Series crash at Daytona International Speedway , Busch returned to win five times. Sunday's victory was the 34th of his career. Busch can thank debris on the race track for the race win. It was driver and team that won the championship, however. Seemingly on his way to a second-place finish that would have still secured the title, Busch shot past Keselowski ( Team Penske ) on a Lap 261 restart for the 18th and final lead change of the night. "I knew it was time to go," Busch said. "I don't know why Brad chose the bottom, but he gave me the top and I thought, 'This is interesting.'" The restart order put Harvick directly behind Busch, who said, "I knew I just had to protect whatever Harvick tried to do if he was going to shoot the middle or shoot the gap or whatever it was going to be." "I don't know if Brad spun his tires or what. We got to Turns 1 and 2 and we were pretty even; I just looked into (Turn) 4 and gave it everything I had those last seven or eight laps." Officially, it was Busch, Harvick and Keselowski finishing first through third, with Joey Logano and Kyle Larson rounding out the top five. "I don't really know if there was a right one or wrong one, to be honest," Keselowski, who led a race-high 86 laps, said of the lane choice call. "We just weren't fast enough and I don't think it would have mattered either way." Gordon ended his illustrious driving career with a sixth-place finish while Truex wound up 12th. ALL ACCESS: Gordon parks car for final time "His talent is so strong, and that team really found some things this year," Gordon, a four-time champion making his final start, said of Busch, adding that he's seen "a changed Kyle." "When he came back, not only was he driven and just inspired by it, but you can tell he was racing smarter, with more patience, just being more deliberate. ... I think he showed it right away when he came back that there was a pretty good chance he was destined to win this championship." It wasn't a down-to-the wire battle for the championship or for the race until the final caution. With 67 laps remaining, Keselowski was easily out front while Busch enjoyed a lead of more than one second over Harvick for second place. Gordon, who had led earlier, ran ninth and Truex was just outside the top 10, running 12th. A fire on pit road and an ill-handling car stymied the efforts of Truex and his team for the first half of the race; a two-tire gamble during pit stop on Lap 168 put him out front. WATCH: Truex Jr. has 'a lot to build on for the future' But the lead was short-lived; Truex soon found himself free-falling through the field, eventually settling in just outside the top 10. Gordon made his way to the front for the first time following a Lap 36 restart, shooting past the soon-to-be champ for the lead and bringing the crowd in the grandstands to their feet. Harvick took charge moments later with a power move on a Lap 45 restart. A multi-car accident involving Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Clint Bowyer and others erupted almost as soon as Harvick took control, bringing the yellow flag for the fourth time. RELATED: Harvick sets bittersweet NASCAR record The defending series champion was able to build as much as a 1.5-second lead over Busch and led 46 laps before a cycle of green-flag pit stops allowed Joey Logano to move to the top spot. Afterward, Harvick could only smile as he watched Busch celebrate on stage. "He broke his leg at Daytona, and to come back from everything that he came back from ... that's a great comeback story from where he was after Daytona," said Harvick. The race began 1 hour, 35 minutes late due to rain but ran uninterrupted by weather conditions following its 4:50 p.m. ET start.
Mobil 1 Engineering introduces Oliver Rivera a Stewart-Haas Racing engineer who explains his responsibilities during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Season.