Kevin Harvick on his struggling pit crew: ‘I can’t fix them’

Kevin Harvick's No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team has continued to have troubles in the pits throughout this season.

Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Kevin Harvick knows what he has to do to survive in the upcoming Chase for the Sprint Cup.

That’s not what worries him. He’s more concerned about how the pit crew on his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet will perform over the next 10 races.

And you can hardly blame him after what transpired in the pits over the first 26 races that made up the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season.

Harvick has battled pit-road issues all season, and they continued during Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. While eventual winner Brad Keselowski clearly had the car to beat all night, Harvick was the only one who seemed to possibly have something for him.

But after working on Keselowski for much of the early part of the race and finally passing him on Lap 120, Harvick and the rest of the field came to pit road on Lap 120 of the 400-lap race when debris on the backstretch brought out a caution.

Once there, the season-long issues of problems on pit road bit Harvick and his team again. Keselowski came out first, ahead of Jeff Gordon and Harvick. It was the eighth time in two races that Harvick lost the lead on pit road.

Keselowski would never trail again for the rest of the race.

"I can’t fix them, but it’s probably the biggest thing that we have to fix in order to contend for the championship," Harvick admitted of his pit crew. "I think our cars are as fast as they need to be. The guys do a great job of bringing fast cars every week. But it’s just one mistake after another every week on pit road."

As for his chances in the Chase, especially under the new format that will eliminate participants from the 16-driver field every three weeks until the final four survivors race for the championship in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Harvick said the strategy is simple.

"You know, you just have to survive first off," Harvick said. "I feel like you need to be consistent, but you need to capitalize on winning races because that guarantees you a trip to the next round.

"There’s lots of different ways to do it. You can’t force it. You just have to go out and do the things that you have to do to race every week and try to qualify well, lead laps, run up front. And when you have a chance to win, you need to capitalize on it and try to figure it out."

That includes minimizing all the mistakes on pit road. That goes not just for Harvick’s team in the Chase, but also with the team of his Stewart-Haas teammate Kurt Busch, who also has qualified.

"Hopefully they have a plan as to what they think they need to do in the shop with the two teams in the Chase," said Harvick. "But that’s not my department."

VIDEO: Kevin Harvick calls out his pit crew after mistakes cost him in the Coca-Cola 600