Kevin Harvick just missed capturing the Bud Pole Award for the inaugural Mr. Goodcents 300 on the NASCAR Busch Series at Kansas Speedway by fractions of a second to Kevin Lepage. Nonetheless, Harvick was pleased to be starting second knowing he would have a good shot at going for the win and adding to his collection of inaugural race wins this year at Kentucky and Chicagoland Speedways.
As the race got underway, Harvick had difficulty getting down to the bottom of the racetrack. He was shifted back to the 10th spot early in race, but shortly thereafter, he showed the tenacity that has helped propel him to a commanding lead in the Busch Series standings. He went low on Jeff Green and passed both the No. 10 car and the car of Chad Little for the eighth position.
Shortly after lap 50, however, disaster struck the ACDelco team. Harvick was clipped by Andy Kirby's No. 77 car while he was passing the lapped car. Harvick collided with the retaining wall and badly damaged the right side, nose and rear end of the No. 2 ACDelco machine.
The car was taken to the garage area immediately, and an impressive display of teamwork commenced. The ACDelco guys, with the help of some members of the RCR teams the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service team, the Nos. 21 and 31 teams, began to repair the car to get back out on the track in order to gain as many points as possible.
The teams worked feverishly as they straightened the frame, cut away damaged and excess sheet metal. They replaced the radiator, drive shaft and rear wing, and Harvick returned to the track on lap 170. After returning to the pits three times to fix a leak in the power steering system that was impeding Harvick's view through the windshield, Harvick got back up to speed. By going back out, Harvick gained two positions and six points in the championship race.
"It was a tough day for the ACDelco team," Harvick said. "We got clipped by a lapped car and tore up the car. That's going to be a real hit for us in the points. Even though the car was a little tight early on, we thought we were working on a good run. The RCR guys did an amazing job putting the car back together so we could get a couple of spots. That says a lot about this organization and how they never give up. The main thing for us now is to get back on track. And we need to do it right away, at Charlotte."
Harvick finished 38th and now leads second place Jeff Green, who won Saturday's race, by 187-points with five races to go. The Busch Series takes to the track in Charlotte this coming Saturday for the Little Trees 300 on TNT at 1:00 p.m. ET.