Kevin Harvick‘s bid to win a fourth consecutive Cup race ended on Lap 39 of Sunday’s Auto Club 400.
Harvick and Kyle Larson were racing for third place out of Turn 2 when they made contact, a result of Harvick trying to side draft.
The contact sent Harvick’s No. 4 Ford into the outside wall before it slid to the backstretch apron.
Harvick’s team made repairs to his car and he was able to continue. When the race resumed Harvick was two laps down.
He finished 35th, nine laps down.
Later in the race Harvick and crew chief Rodney Childers discussed the accident over their radio.
“(Expletive) happens,” Childers said. “You lose some. You win some. I get to race every week. We’ll get through it today and we’ll go race next week.”
“Just a weird spot there,” Harvick responded. “When I went to pull down and I thought he was coming up and I pulled it back to the right and spun it out.’’
Harvick took further responsibility for the accident after the race.
“I don’t know that that’s (Larson’s) fault, I think that’s my fault coming down the race track right there and trying to side draft,” Harvick told Fox after the race.
Harvick later added it “was just a dumb mistake on my part. … The race car was there, it was just a mistake.”
Larson went on to finish second, his best result of the season.
Harvick had started 10th and made it into the top five by Lap 14.
He entered the race having won at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway.