Kevin Harvick’s fourth-place finish Sunday at Sonoma Raceway made his sixth top-six finish in the last seven races at the California road course, but it was of little consolation to the Stewart-Haas Racing driver.
Over a 20-second pit stop on Lap 81 (of 110) took Harvick’s No. 4 Ford out of contention for the win. And despite rallying for a top-five finish, not being near the front to challenge eventual race winner Daniel Suárez hurt Harvick badly in the larger playoff picture, too.
“Our GEARWRENCH Ford Mustang was good. We had our minimum of once-a-week catastrophic failure on pit road and got back as far forward as we could, as usual,” Harvick said after the race. “It is what it is, I guess. We didn’t finish where we should have.”
“I mean, we took away all of our chances,” Harvick added. “We should have been second at worst but we keep screwing up every week.”
Trouble on the left side resulted in a final pit stop of 22 seconds, according to Racing Insights. Harvick’s previous two stops on the day were 11.51 and 11.57 seconds, for comparison.
Harvick’s post-race comments followed his immediate in-race scanner chatter after the slow stop: “I swear to God, we look like the biggest (expletive) bunch of wankers every single week on pit road.”
With Harvick too far back to seriously challenge, Suárez pulled away for his first NASCAR Cup Series win, topping Chris Buescher (P2) and Michael Dowell (P3). It’s an automatic playoff berth for the Trackhouse Racing driver, despite being 17th in the regular-season standings.
Austin Cindric, Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin also have wins and are below 16th in the regular-season standings. That means Harvick, who jumped to 12th in the standings following Sonoma, is out of the playoffs as it currently stands, sitting seven points behind teammate Aric Almirola for the final spot.