Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Mailbox: The Closer’s Costly Mistake

Kevin Harvick looked poised to return to victory lane and grab what may have been the final win of his NASCAR Cup Series career in the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Instead, he will have to wait once again after a controversial pit road penalty left him below the cut line.

See also
Dropping the Hammer: Kevin Harvick & the First Big 'What If?

And with all of the storylines surrounding the playoff drivers at Darlington, Carson Hocevar was quietly one of the most impressive figures from the Southern 500 in his second Cup start. Why should you be focusing more on that run than what its been given credit for?

Frontstretch‘s Luken Glover addresses this week’s comments on NASCAR Mailbox on Frontstretch‘s YouTube Channel. Find out in the assessments below.

About the author

Luken Glover joined the Frontstretch team in 2020 as a contributor, furthering a love for racing that traces back to his earliest memories. Glover inherited his passion for racing from his grandfather, who used to help former NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey in his Richmond, Va. garage. A 2023 graduate from the University of the Cumberlands, Glover is the author of "The Underdog House," contributes to commentary pieces, and does occasional at-track reporting. Additionally, Glover enjoys working in ministry, coaching basketball, playing sports, and karting.

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Harvick was named the closer by those in the booth. But during Kevin’s career, Jimmie Johnson was the real closer.

Ronald Thornton

Chad made jimmy. No one in the history of nascar ever benefited more from their crew chief than jimmy. That damn man always picked the right time to either pit for 2, 4 or just gas. I thought evernham was the best, but chad just kept making the right call. No doubt jimmy was one of the best drivers, but Chad’s calls probably gave him 25% of his wins and he definitely wouldn’t win 7 in Earnhardts time.

Alex Curits

With that logic then NASCAR created Richard Petty. He was allowed to run illegal cars most of his career. Side note, he won his 7 championships when only a few drivers ran all of the races.


I wonder how kany drivers today would be able to run all the races if they wrecked their car on Wednesday and had to race again on Thursday in another state?


“I was committed. I was past the commitment line. There’s no way to turn back out. I don’t know how you turn back out. ” – Harvick protests on the radio

Then he should have driven through and minimize the mistake. He knows what to do. Even if the crew chief says to stop. The drive through would have cost him a few positions but not go to the back.


The “closer” is any driver who leads at the end of the last lap.

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