Stewart Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick in the No.4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang says it is great to check Pocono Raceway off the the winner list after he took his second win of the season in race one of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader weekend.
Speaking following the race, Harvick said:
We weren’t where we needed to be to start the race and lost a bunch of track position, but we came back and made some great strategy calls to get in clean air and get out front and make some good laps. “It’s great to finally check Pocono off the list.
Speaking about his race and the strategy employed by his No.4 Busch Beer Ford crew, Harvick commented saying:
“I knew when we came out of the pits, and they told me how big of a lead we had (over Almirola),” Harvick said. “I saw the 11 (Hamlin) come out of the pits, and he was in second… He caught us a little in traffic, but I knew I could be pretty patient with the gap we had.
“As I started to see everything cycle out and see with the track position we had with the fresher tires, you could kind of start to put it together in your mind as we started to run through the last stage and cars started to have to pit. Just a great call by (crew chief) Rodney Childers and all the guys up on the pit box for having the right strategy and getting us to Victory Lane.”
Harvick’s team mate Aric Almirola who started the race from pole position scored his second third place finish in a row at Pocono and speaking following his podium finish Almirola commented saying:
We opted to score a lot of points (in the stages), and that probably hurt us on strategy a little bit, but I’m really proud of Buga (crew chief Mike Bugarewicz) and these (crew) guys.
“They’ve been bringing some awesome race cars. I felt like we were tit-for-tat there with the 4 (Harvick) when we were on older tires and in clean air… We’re trying to keep the momentum going—three top fives in a row. I’m really proud of my race team.”
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin in the No.11 FedEx Toyota Camry had a great race coming home in second place just behind Kevin Harvick and speaking following the race he commented saying:
With about 15 or 20 (laps) to go, the vibration just got really, really bad. It still would have been tough to pass. Even though we got there, it would have been tough to get around him.”