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October 10, 2021

Kevin Harvick wrecks late, ending hopes of playoff advancement

Kevin Harvick’s playoff hopes came to an end with 11 laps remaining in Sunday’s Round of 12 elimination race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

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The No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford overshot Turn 1, locked up and crunched the barrier. The car ended up on the hook after Harvick exited under his own power.

“I just pushed it in there too hard and I got the tire locked up and I couldn’t stop it once I felt like I needed to go to get a couple spots back that I had lost, and I got the left-front locked up and I couldn’t get it to turn.”

Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was behind Harvick before his mistake. The two had a brush-up earlier in the final stage, which left Elliott’s car with severe damage. “Karma,” said Elliott spotter Eddie D’Hondt over the No. 9 radio.

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Harvick, still winless this season, entered the cutoff race nine points below the elimination line. He was 10th in the first stage and third in the second, giving him nine stage points. After wrecking out, Harvick checked in at ninth in the standings — the first driver out — finishing 25 points below the elimination line.

This will be the earliest Harvick has ever been eliminated from the NASCAR Playoffs since the current format was established in 2014. He has always made it to at least the Round of 8, including last season.