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Kevin Harvick Misses Advancing Out of Playoffs in Bristol

Kevin Harvick prepares for his last race at “The Last Great Coliseum” with daughter Piper (Photo: Kyle Ritchie | The Podium Finish)

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Kevin Harvick failed to advance in his last NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs after finishing the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway in 29th place.

The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion did not have the speed he wanted out of his No. 4 Gearwrench Ford Mustang this weekend, even as early as qualifying, when he placed 21st on Friday afternoon’s session.

Harvick was able to work his way inside the top 20, restarting 16th after a caution on Lap 77. By Lap 90, however, he faded back to the 24th position, and ended Stage 1 in 27th place, 18 points below the cutline to advance into the Round of 12.

Likewise, Harvick’s night at did not improve any during the second stage of the race, as he got lapped by leader Christopher Bell on Lap 174 before driving to a 33rd Stage 2 finish, still seven points below the Round of 12 cutline.

Similarly, Stage 3 did not see Harvick’s luck improve any, with him being able to drive his way back up to 29th but not gain any more ground in the closing laps of the race.

After the race, Harvick spoke about his weekend in relation to the 2023 season, and what his expectations were coming into the 2023 Cup Series Playoffs.

“We’ve been like that all year, we’ve been hit or miss, and tonight we just missed by a mile,” Harvick said. “I’ve had some good days and bad days, but that’s definitely the worst one I’ve had with fenders on it. I didn’t really have many expectations with just up and down as the year has been so it is what it is, that’s probably about what we deserve.”

The 47-year-old originally made his way into the playoffs on points, as he has yet to secure a win for the 2023 season. Seven races remain for Harvick to have the chance to find Victory Lane before Josh Berry takes over the No. 4 car for the 2024 season.

In spite of missing the postseason, Harvick has many reasons to make it a season to not forget. The Bakersfield, California native spoke about the impact that crew chief Rodney Childers has had on his career and finding the success he has had throughout 23 seasons, almost half of them with Childers.

“I think for us it’s been a great relationship of friendship, I think for the guys on the team it’s been a good ride that a lot of us have been on for almost 10 years,” he said. “Rodney and I have a good relationship and have been able to execute and do things well on the race track and work through good moments and bad moments, and just move on to the next one.

“I think it’s rare that you see a group of people work together for the amount of time that we’ve worked together and I’ve enjoyed that and it’s worked out well.”

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