Victory eludes Kevin Harvick at Atlanta despite fast car — again

For the fourth time in the last five races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kevin Harvick led more than 100 laps, this time pacing the Folds of Honor Quicktrip 500 for 131 of 329 circuits on Sunday.

But once again Harvick didn’t win, just like he didn’t win the other three times he led more than 100 laps.

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In fact, Harvick’s only win at the 1.54-mile track came in his rookie season of 2001, just three weeks after replacing the late Dale Earnhardt at Richard Childress Racing.

Now with Stewart-Haas Racing, Harvick had the car to beat for most of the day at Atlanta until a bad pit stop late in the race, combined with the handling going away on his Chevrolet and a less-than-ideal final restart left him sixth at the end.

Not bad, but not the result he wanted.

"We had issues about the last three runs," Harvick said. "I had to start driving the car different. It just required a little bit different handling. And then we had a slow pit stop there. We got way behind, and the No. 48 Johnson) was way out front and I had to drive the car really hard and got the right rear burned up."

And in the end, that was the difference between winning and finishing sixth.

"We just didn’t execute today, but everybody on our Jimmy John’s/Busch Chevrolet hung in there all day and we’ll keep at it," said Harvick.