May 25, 2014, 11:50 PM EST
After running 600 miles (400 laps), you can’t really blame Kevin Harvick for wanting to get out of Charlotte Motor Speedway as fast as he could after finishing runner-up to Jimmie Johnson in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.
Wouldn’t you be in a rush if you recorded your second straight runner-up finish – and a rather frustrating, far-too-close runner-up finish at that – in as many races (also was runner-up two weeks ago at Kansas)?
After calling out his pit crew for costly mistakes on pit road during a TV interview immediately after the race, Harvick definitely was anything but his nickname of “Happy” when he walked into the CMS Media Center.
“We had a fast car all night, just kind of fumbled again on pit road,” Harvick said. “Got behind, got a lap down. We needed a 700-mile race to get back to where we needed to be.
“All-in-all, they’re doing a great job of putting cars up on the track, we just have to clean up on pit road.”
Harvick at first disagreed that it was Johnson’s turn to win Sunday, coming into the race tied for the worst season start of his Sprint Cup career.
“I look at it as we let them slip one in front of us by shooting ourselves in the foot,” Harvick said.
But this is the defending and six-time Sprint Cup champion we’re talking about, and Harvick eventually acquiesced that Johnson was not only due for a win, he was overdue.
“You knew that was going to come,” Harvick said. “They’ve won championships and done a great job through the years. They were solid all weekend, didn’t make any mistakes, kept themselves up front all night and won the race.
“In the end you’re going to have to beat them in all ways, shapes or forms, just not on speed.”
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