Kevin Harvick continues to be plagued by pit road problems. Last week on Lap 321 of the Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover International Speedway, a lug nut knocked a valve stem off his tire during a green-flag stop, forcing the No. 4 back into the pits on the following lap. He lost a lap to the leaders in the process.
It was an instance of bad luck, but it underscores a problem the driver and team have had before.
“All of these issues that we talk about and have for four years now is always things happening in the pits,” Dale Jarrett said on Tuesday’s NASCAR America. “The pit crew makes mistakes, they make a call, they have things like lug nuts flying off and hitting a valve stem. … With the level of competition and as these rounds move forward, you can’t have these types of mistakes and expect to win the championship.”
Stewart-Haas Racing has made substantial changes to the pit crew since Harvick won his first – and so far only – championship in 2014. Only two members (Mike Morneau and Justin White) who went over the wall that year remain with the team. Still, the problems persist.
“What they do … and what constantly amazes me … is they dominate a race, they let it slip away, but they come back and get something out of it,” Kyle Petty said.
On Sunday, Harvick got back on the lead lap when an axle came out of Ross Chastain’s car on Lap 339. The race restarted on Lap 349 and in the final 55 laps, Harvick was able to climb back to sixth as the checkers waved.
For more, watch the video above.