Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Harvick on Vegas Performance: ‘We Just Missed It Bad’

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

Last Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a race to forget for Stewart-Haas Racing.

This includes Kevin Harvick, who was the highest-finishing SHR entry with an appalling 20th.

Harvick’s teammates Chase Briscoe, Cole Custer and Aric Almirola also struggled, finishing 21st, 25th and 38th respectively.

When it’s a race where no SHR car led a lap nor end up on the lead lap, questions pile up. More so for Harvick, who led the field to the green flag. Even with the concerns, heplans to move on from a woeful Sunday.

“We just missed it on all levels with all the different things that are going on from last year,” said Harvick during Tuesday morning’s video call.

“I think whether we over thought it or just missed it has yet to be seen, but we just missed it bad.”

Harvick kept any additional thoughts of finishing a lap behind winner Kyle Larson at a minimal. This includes what it felt like driving the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang.

“Not fun,” Harvick bluntly explained. “I can just tell you that it’s not that much fun to drive. I’d explain it, but it would take way too long.”

Prior to Las Vegas, Harvick and Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell had finished in the top-10 each race. Neither scored a top-10 with McDowell finishing three spots ahead of Harvick.

That said, the next race will be at Phoenix Raceway for the running of the Instacart 500 (Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX). No time for Harvick to get angry over a frustrating performance.

“Most of my races are over by Monday, whether we’ve won or lost. It’s really just whatever the challenge is for the next week and how do you recap the last week, so running first or running last is really no different for me on a Monday morning,” said Harvick.

“Angry takes too much time and it’s hard to carry that all the way through the week and have everybody around the house want to participate in being around you, so I think for me Phoenix is a great example,” Harvick added.

“I think when you look back at the first race last year and you have a chance to win the race and have the best car and then you go back to the second race and things don’t go your way just because it’s not what you expected, that’s just part of what we do. 

“You guys sometimes see the results and look at it and say, ‘He’s gonna be this or that,’ and, really, it’s just the same. It’s really no different as you get into the meetings on Monday. The conversations may be different, but it’s the same routine week after week for me,” Harvick concluded.

In a track he’s won nine times, it’s been since Spring 2018 that he visited victory lane. Harvick assured to Jenna Fryer that a “silly question” about still being a threat to win there won’t slip away.

“I think you should go back and look at the first race from last year that we led the most laps (67 of 312 laps) and had the fastest car,” said Harvick.

“We wound up finishing second. I would consider us a challenger at just about any racetrack that you go to, but you’re not gonna be that way all the time, so, I think as we go to Phoenix you expect to go there and perform well.”

Harvick will look to extend his top-10 streak to 16 in a row this Sunday. The streak dates back to Fall 2013 when he would begin a streak of four straight wins in Arizona.

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From the Pacific Northwest, Luis is a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. Over the years, Luis has focused on writing, video and photography ranging from Idaho athletics to auto racing with ambitions of having his work recognized.