Harvick, No. 29 Team Earn a Solid Sixth-Place Showing in Thunder Valley
After a late-race accident that took them out of contention for the win, Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team rallied back to score a sixth-place finish in Sunday's Jeff Byrd 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Harvick started Sunday's race from the 15th position and fell back several spots before the first caution at lap 28. He brought the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet to the attention of his pit crew for new tires and adjustments to help the car's loose-handling condition. On the subsequent caution at lap 50, the team opted for only fuel and a chassis adjustment, and Harvick restarted in the 11th position on lap 56. The No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet was solidly inside the top five in less than 10 laps. Harvick continued to gain positions and took the lead at lap 155. Harvick remained first until he got hung up in lapped traffic and the No. 48 car got by at lap 192. At the halfway point, the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet was running in the third position and remained inside the top six as Harvick radioed to the crew that the car was still loose in the middle of the corner. On the subsequent trip to pit road, crew chief Gil Martin called for a four-tire stop with air pressure adjustments to help the car's handling. While running in the top five, contact from the No. 5 car sent Harvick for a spin at lap 437. The No. 29 Chevrolet sustained damage to the left-rear quarter panel and the team pitted twice under caution to make repairs and change tires. Harvick restarted at the back of the field in 16th position at lap 444. A caution just six laps later allowed him to line up with the rest of the lead-lap cars in the 13th position when the green flag waved at lap 456. Harvick worked his way into the top 10 by lap 471. In the remaining laps, he raced his way up to seventh and passed the No. 22 car coming to the checkered flag to finish sixth.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
"Well, I just want to thank all of my guys. You know when we were sitting there running third and fifth, we were really just riding. I just wanted to make sure that we had a race car left and the No. 4 got a little tight and the No. 5 ran over us again. Luckily, we didn't hit anything and they got the fenders off the tires and our Budweiser Chevrolet was really, really fast today, especially the last run there. I was able to maneuver and pass cars and do what I needed to do. We've had top-five cars every week and we don't really have a lot to show for it. We came back and got a good sixth-place finish today. These guys are doing a great job and I really think it shows the maturity of the race team and the things that we go through and the way we've been able to come back."