Kevin Harvick's promising day at Michigan comes apart in pits
Once again it appeared defending Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick was setting up for another top-two performance Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.
Starting from the second spot, Harvick's No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet was one of the strongest cars in the field. Taking the lead for the first time on Lap 43, Harvick would stay out front for a total of 62 laps, the most of any driver.
With rain approaching and a fast car set up by crew chief Rodney Childers under him, things appeared to be shaping up nicely for Harvick.
However, after giving up a nearly five-second lead for a scheduled green flag pit stops on Lap 120, Harvick was forced to come back to pit road when he suffered a flat right front tire after a lug nut had cut the inner valve stem.
Harvick was able to get his car to pit road without further damage, but fell to 35th in the leaderboard and was two laps down.
When the caution flew for debris on Lap 136, Harvick took the wave-around to get one of his laps back, but remained in the 35th spot.
Once back to racing, he was able to slice and dice his way through the field and climb to 29th when the skies finally opened up and brought out the final red flag of the race.
So while his SHR teammate Kurt Busch was celebrating in a makeshift Victory Lane, Harvick was left wonder what could have been. The 29th-place finish was Harvick's worst since Bristol in April, and broke a streak of six consecutive top-10 finishes, four of which were second-place runs.
VIDEO: Highlights from Kurt Busch's rain-shortened win in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan