ThatsRacin

Kevin Harvick's last-place finish at 600 makes wrong kind of history for him

Kevin Harvick's mangled race car sits in the garage area at Charlotte Motor Speedway, leaving him with a last-place finish for the first time in his career.
Kevin Harvick's mangled race car sits in the garage area at Charlotte Motor Speedway, leaving him with a last-place finish for the first time in his career. dscott@charlotteobserver.com

Kevin Harvick’s hot streak came to a quick end Sunday.

Harvick crashed out of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway after only 83 laps, ending two notable streaks that he’s enjoyed.

First, it stopped his winning streak at three races, a string that included victories at Dover, at Kansas and at last week’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte.

The accident also led to a 40th-place finish for Harvick, the first time he’s finished last in 1,089 starts in NASCAR’s three national series over a 24-year career, according to NASCAR.

“I can’t complain about anything that’s happened this year,” said Harvick, who also won three straight races at another stage earlier this season. “We have to take the good with the bad.”

When Harvick’s left front tire went down Sunday in Turn 3, his No. 4 Ford slammed into the wall. The damage was too severe to repair.

“We stood in the garage and I can’t tell if we ran something over,” Harvick said. “There’s enough things that could have happened right there.”

Harvick had perhaps the fastest car in the field when he wrecked. Starting 39th after failing to get through pre-qualifying inspection Thursday, he quickly worked his way through the field. He had moved up to fourth place — 35 spots in 83 laps — when he crashed.

“The car was really, really fast,” Harvick said. “We came all the way through the pack and made it into the top (four), and sometimes those things happen.

“The guys did a great job in basically guessing at where the car needed to be with all the penalties, no practice and starting in the back. To come out and have the fastest car again was quite an honor to drive, and they’re doing a great job. It was just bad luck.”

Harvick said that not only was his car fast, it was handling well.

“Traffic was pretty tough,” he said. “Getting through traffic you had to really pick and choose your lanes. But our car could go in multiple lanes and we were able to really make up ground the second half of those runs. So it was fun to come up through there.”

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