Sometimes, a race just falls into one’s lap and the only way to lose is to beat one’s self. That has been the real story of the No. 4 team over the last four years. Every time NASCAR has come to Atlanta, this team has been the one to not only beat, but to outsmart.
The problem became that the team was so smart, one mistake ends up costing victory, so they outsmarted their own selves.
Once again, the No. 4 of Kevin Harvick was the car that was not only setting the pace for the competition, but also was getting into the heads of the competition when it came to crew chiefs, car chiefs, pit crews and spotters, just to find a place where they maybe had a weakness. At one point, a pair of teams tried a different strategy to hold him off just long enough to steal the victory away.
Turns out, a late caution erased that strategy entirely, because everyone was now on the same cycle and had to beat Harvick the straight-up way, by beating him on the track.
Unfortunately for the competition, the Freaky Fast Ford was no match for anyone.
After so many years of costing himself a win, Harvick finally won his Atlanta race, and got to once again salute Dale Earnhardt at the same track where he got his first career Cup victory.
His dominance also provided four, yes the same as the car number, victories this week. Bonus points came out in a huge way after the checkered flag indeed. Here’s the updated standings after the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500:
Rob Blount – 80 – Martin Truex Jr. finished 5th (0) 0
Misan Akuya – 77 – Kevin Harvick WON (1) 6
Ashley Hobbs – 66 – Kevin Harvick WON (1) 6
Penny Whitecotton – 66 – Kevin Harvick WON (1) 6
Trisha Rodisch – 63 – Kevin Harvick WON (1) 6
Sal Sigala Jr. – 58 – Brad Keselowski finished 2nd (0) 1
Ashley Hull – 58 – Jimmie Johnson finished 27th (0) 1
Rob Tiongson – 54 – Kyle Larson finished 9th (0) 0
Dustin Parks – 50 – Kyle Busch finished 7th (0) 0
Klarissa Mitchell – 46 – Ryan Blaney finished 12th (0) 0
Billy Fellin – 27 – Chase Elliott finished 10th (0) 0
Next Race: A few drivers gambled in Atlanta late in the running to possibly take down Harvick, but they came up empty. Now, NASCAR heads west to start out it’s run on the Pacific coast, with the first stop being at a city that makes it’s living on gambling.
Welcome back to Las Vegas, and for the first time it’s the first of two stops at this track this year.
Time to put money where the rubber is because the picks, or gambles, for the Pennzoil 400 are due by Thursday, March 1, at 10 p.m. ET.