Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Sharpie 500, Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, TN Saturday, August 25, 2001 Harvick Comes Storming Back With Damaged Nose At Bristol Coming off of a thrilling come-from-behind win during the NASCAR...
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet
Sharpie 500, Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, TN
Saturday, August 25, 2001
Harvick Comes Storming Back With Damaged Nose At Bristol
Coming off of a thrilling come-from-behind win during the NASCAR Busch Series race at Bristol Friday night, Kevin Harvick looked to become the only driver in NASCAR history to win both the Busch and Winston Cup races on the same weekend at Bristol.
Harvick qualified eighth for Saturday night's race. He ran in the sixth position in the early going and returned to the track in 13th position after the first round of pit stops.
Disaster nearly struck the Goodwrench team when Harvick got caught up in a typical Bristol melee on lap 80 when he ran into the back of a competitor's car when several checked up in front of him. The contact buckled the hood and slightly caved in the nose of the No. 29 car. Crew chief Kevin Hamlin was concerned about the temperatures because often times front-end damage leads to the radiator failure, but fortunately, the numbers remained normal.
Harvick resumed racing in 15th after pitting following the collision and the team soon found out that he was running the fastest lap times on the track. He was making up ground as he climbed to 14th by lap 114, 13th by lap 132 and 10th four laps later. On lap 180, Harvick checked in eighth in the running order. He seized seventh by lap 187 after passing Mark Martin, sixth after passing Dale Jarrett on lap 204 and got to the top five for the first time on lap 215.
Hamlin called Harvick to the pits on lap 235 for four tires and fuel and the team sent him back onto the track in fifth position. Harvick again passed Jarrett on lap 310 for fourth, grabbed third on lap 332 and got to second place by passing Jeff Gordon, who had led much of the race, on lap 433.
Harvick was closing in on the race leader, Tony Stewart, when he ran out of laps. He finished second for the second time in his Winston Cup career (Coca-Cola 600). Harvick earned 170 Winston Cup points and currently sits ninth in the standings.
"That was a good run for the GM Goodwrench team," Harvick said. "We messed up a little on the first set of pits stops. I didn't have the wheel straight on one stop. But we recovered and had great stops the rest of the night. The Goodwrench Chevrolet ran really well and I'm really proud of this team because we got down when we ran into the back of that wreck. The good thing is that we never gave up and that says a lot about this team. The car was still really strong and we were able to drive up to the front. We did come up a little short to Stewart. His car was really fast in the last part of the race. We may have had a shot at him if the race was 20 laps longer."
Harvick jumped one position in the points to ninth place and is just 137 points behind fifth place Tony Stewart. Harvick holds a commanding lead in the rookie of the year race with 264 points to 211 over Kurt Busch.