CONCORD, NC – NASCAR's hottest driver did not make 100 laps in the Coca-Cola 600.
Kevin Harvick hit the wall on Sunday and ended his night early at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Harvick had won five times this season, including the last two point races in Dover and Kansas and winning the All-Star event here a week ago. It did not bother him to start the 39th after failed inspections because he was sure he would not take long to get back into the lead.
After Harvick finished fourth, he crashed into the wall on lap 83 and ended his attempt to win both Charlotte weekends.
Harvick followed sparks along the track and into the workshop, where he went immediately after the accident. [1
The standings of the Cup Series, Kevin Harvick (Green Hat), is removed from the 600 races means he will not win his third Straight Points race and the Charlotte Double will not win Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 in consecutive weekends. You can smell the burning rubber only 15 feet from the number 4 you are working on.
Harvick had not left early after leaving the Daytona 500 would have. It's the first time in 18 Coca-Cola 600s that two-time winner Harvick will not cross the finish line. It has been a disturbing race week for Harvick since the All-Star victory. He failed three times on Thursday and failed to qualify. The delay on Saturday made him miss the training time.
Harvick seemed disappointed but seemed to retire prematurely.
"At some point, things like that happen," Harvick said. "I can not complain about anything that happened this year, we have to take good with evil."
Kevin Harvick, who made his first DNF in Charlotte this season in 2018, says the car "never warned … It's one of those deals, you have to take the good with the bad and." The weekend was one of the bad ones. "
No one was as good as Harvick at the end of the races this season.
After leaving early in Daytona in February, Harvick won three straight events in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix. He resumed his victories in Dover, Kansas and Charlotte this month, albeit without points.
Harvick was on the luck side of the Speedway during his career. In 2011, he was second, as Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the last round had no more fuel and Harvick drove to victory.
Harvick returned to Victory Lane two years later and advanced in the final (19659002) Harvick thanked his crew for giving him another fast car, one that was ready after his Attack on the top of the field to run.
"To come out and have the fastest car again was an honor to drive and they do a great job," he said. "It was just bad luck."
Was it a matter of time before Harvick took the lead? Harvick would not go there.
"Our car could run in multiple lanes, and we were able to do the second half of those runs really well," he said. "It was so fun to get through there."