Charlotte II: Kevin Harvick rce report

Kevin Harvick, Shell-Pennzoil Team Finish 18th Under the Lights in Charlotte CONCORD, N.C. -- Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet team rebounded from a 32nd-place qualifying position to turn in a top-20 finish at Lowe's Motor...

Kevin Harvick, Shell-Pennzoil Team Finish 18th Under the Lights in Charlotte

CONCORD, N.C. -- Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet team rebounded from a 32nd-place qualifying position to turn in a top-20 finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday night.

After posting the 26th-fastest time in a rain-delayed practice on Thursday afternoon, Harvick and Co. qualified 32nd later that evening. For the two practice sessions on Friday afternoon, the Gil Martin-led team posted the 21st and 18th times, respectively.

It was a chilly evening as the race began on Saturday night with temperatures in the low 50s. Two cautions within the first 10 circuits around the 1.5-mile oval led Martin and Harvick to decide they would pit out of sequence on lap 11 to gain track position later in the race.

While coming down pit road in 31st position, NASCAR officials monitoring speeds on pit road deemed the No. 29 Chevrolet Impala SS was too fast entering pit road. Thus, Harvick had to restart at the end of the longest line, placing him 41st for the lap-13 restart.

The "out of sequence" pit strategy still worked when the caution waved again on lap 34 with Harvick in 28th place. Coming to the attention of the Shell-Pennzoil team, the crew added fuel and took two right-side tires, which lined Harvick up 10th on the lap-42 restart. Prior to this stop, Harvick was pleased with the car's balance, only calling for minor adjustments via the track bar.

By lap 56, Harvick was 15th in the running order and stayed there when green-flag pit stops started on lap 88. After a routine stop for four tires and fuel on lap 91, Harvick was 13th. The caution flag waved on lap 119 and during the next pit stop, the Bakersfield, Calif., native called for no changes to the No. 29 Chevrolet Impala SS.

As the race laps clicked off the scoring pylon, Harvick said the main problem was how the car handled in traffic. Running in the top 15 for a large portion of the race, several cautions slowed the pace of the race beginning on lap 290 of the 334-lap event.

Pitting for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment under caution, Harvick lined up 14th for the lap-295 restart. Running 15th, with only 18 cars on the lead lap, Harvick pitted again, when the caution waved four laps later, for tires and a track bar adjustment in hopes of gaining more positions later in the race.

With the car running better on longer runs than short, the team was hampered by three more cautions before the checkered finally waved. This kept Harvick from improving his position in the running order as he did earlier in the race under long green-flag runs, leaving the team with an 18th-place finish. Harvick remains 21st in points trailing 20th place by 56 markers.

His fellow RCR teammates of Clint Bowyer finished sixth, Casey Mears seventh and Jeff Burton 14th.

Points leader Jimmie Johnson gave Chevrolet its 17th win of the season as he was followed by Matt Kenseth in second, Kasey Kahne in third, Jeff Gordon fourth and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five finishers.

Harvick and team take to the short track action of Martinsville Speedway this coming weekend.

Kevin Harvick "We had a decent run in the Shell-Pennzoil Chevy, but we just couldn't get the track position we needed. Gil made a good call by taking two tires early in the race to gain us a bunch of spots. But, we were too tight in traffic and all those cautions there at the end didn't help us any, either."

-credit: rcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Casey Mears , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Clint Bowyer , Joey Logano