Kevin Harvick’s bid for back-to-back wins ends with broken left front wheel hub

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Kevin Harvick went from halfway to no way in Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

After leading the race at the 134-lap halfway point of the 267-lap event, Harvick’s bid for back-to-back wins came to an abrupt end when his No. 4 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet suffered a broken left front wheel hub after about 175 laps.

When that happened, it became increasingly difficult for Harvick to turn the wheels in the turns around the 1.5-mile progressively-banked racetrack. He ultimately completed 191 laps of the scheduled 267-lap event before taking his ailing car to the garage.

Last week’s Sprint Cup winner at Phoenix, Harvick was the halfway leader for Sunday’s race and went on to lead 23 laps before apparently hitting a piece of debris that locked up the left front wheel on his race car.

With 50 laps remaining in the race and Harvick’s car in the garage being serviced and repaired, he was scored 40th in the 43-car field — although his team hoped to get him back on the track before the end of the race.

As it turned out, Harvick was unable to get back on the track and wound up with a very disappointing 41st-place finish.

“It looks like the left front hub is locked shut,” Harvick told Fox Sports. “The car just kind of lost the handling the last 15 or 20 laps and started to get loose, which makes sense with that left front brake dragging like that.

“Our Jimmy John’s car was Freaky Fast again, and just got to keep doing what we’re doing and everything will be fine with cars like that.”

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Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”