Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

MENCS: Costly Mistake On Pit Road Prevents Harvick From Celebrating In Atlanta

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To say that Kevin Harvick dominated the Folds of Honor QuikTrip500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway would be an understatement. The driver of the No. 4 Stewart Haas Racing entry won the Coors Light Pole Award Friday afternoon, claimed the top spot in stage 1 and 2, and lead a race-high 292 of the 325 laps in Sunday’s race.

With a weekend like that, you’d expect Harvick to be celebrating in victory lane at the conclusion of the race. However, that didn’t come to fruition.

When the caution flew on lap 311 after Austin Dillon lost power to his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, the leaders hit pit road.

Photo: Jan Foster/Rubbings Racing

Photo: Jan Foster/Rubbings Racing

Harvick brought the gaggle of lead-lap cars down for service to their cars. After the pit crews completed their job, Harvick’s team had his No.4 off pit road first and back to the point for the restart of the race. Shortly after the long line of cars hit the backstretch of the 1.54-mile Georgia track, NASCAR officials radioed that Harvick was to fast heading into the pits.

“I didn’t think I was pushing it,” Harvick radioed to his team after the infraction was announced. “I’m so sorry guys.”

Due to violating the 50 mph speed limit on pit road, Harvick served his pass thru penalty relinquishing the lead to Kyle Larson  at the front of the field for the restart.

Harvick fought back over the final laps of the race before ultimately ending the day ninth as there wasn’t enough time to make up the distance under the green flag.

“I had a great car under me,” Harvick said after the race.

Atlanta hasn’t been good to Harvick over the last three years as the SHR driver has led 442 laps, the most of anyone the last three races, but no trophy to show for his domination.

Harvick wasn’t the only one caught speeding at Atlanta. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott were just a few names hit for speeding in Georgia Sunday afternoon.

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About Jacob Mullins

Jacob Mullins serves as the managing editor and senior NASCAR writer covering all three national touring series's. You can find him on on Twitter at @JMulls15. An intercollegiate athletic administrator by trade, Mullins can be found at the big tracks as well as the local short tracks in the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Mullins enjoys social media, photography and graphic design. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Mullins follows all forms of racing, Major League Baseball (Baltimore Orioles) and college football (Virginia Tech Hokies).

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