Kevin Harvick will be in a backup car for the remainder of the Food City 500 race weekend after crashing in opening practice Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Harvick was making laps in the practice session when something broke in the front suspension with about eight minutes remaining, sending the No. 4 Ford veering into the Turn 4 wall. The damage sustained was enough Stewart-Haas Racing immediately pulled out a backup car.
“Something obviously either came off or broke in the front suspension,” Harvick said. “It looks more like the right-front, to tell you the truth. It definitely wasn’t a tire failure or anything like that, but just going in the corner as soon as I let off the gas it just hung a right.”
Harvick has won three of the first seven races and entered the weekend as one of the favorite to win Sunday’s Cup Series race at the half-mile track. But because of the switch to a backup car, NASCAR rules mandate Harvick will start at the rear of the 39-field regardless of where he qualifies on Friday.
Harvick wasn’t the lone driver to have an incident in Friday’s lone practice session, as AJ Allmendinger spun in Turn 2 and bounced off the outside wall. Initially, JTG Daugherty Racing was going to also move to a backup car then elected otherwise allowing Allmendinger to maintain hi qualifying position.