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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Gabby Chaves to sub for Joao Barbosa at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

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Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.

The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.

Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.

“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”

Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”

Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.

The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.

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