Kevin Harvick, No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet NAPA Online 250, Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI Saturday, August 18, 2001 Harvick Builds Points Lead To A Season High After Second Place Finish At Michigan Kevin Harvick entered Saturday's...
Kevin Harvick, No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet
NAPA Online 250, Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI
Saturday, August 18, 2001
Harvick Builds Points Lead To A Season High After Second Place Finish At Michigan
Kevin Harvick entered Saturday's NAPA Online 250 at Michigan with a 163-point lead over Greg Biffle in the NASCAR Busch Series points standings. Harvick felt good about his chances of running for the win, but knew several competitors in the field would be tough.
Harvick qualified seventh for the 125-lap event, but he knew based on how the ACDelco Chevrolet was running in "Happy Hour" final practice, that the car would hard to beat.
As the race got underway, Harvick immediately pressed toward the front of the field. And by lap 25, Harvick and Ryan Newman had established themselves as the ones to beat by taking the first and second positions.
Harvick noticed the ACDelco Chevrolet was suffering from a slight tight condition from the middle of the corners to the exit and Harvick and crew chief Todd Berrier discussed adjustments. Harvick stressed to Berrier that he needed to be freed up in the middle without hurting the car as it entered the corners. Berrier made minor adjustments during the two rounds of pit stops and Harvick noticed the car improve so much that he had the best handling chassis on the racetrack.
Unfortunately for the Harvick, Newman had a beefed up motor that Harvick couldn't keep up with down the straight-aways. Despite the disadvantage, Harvick was able use a crafty move to get around him for the lead on lap 53 after the restart. Harvick held the lead for four laps until Newman was able to get around him for good on lap 58.
Harvick finished second, but more importantly, his closest competitor in the Busch Series points standings, Greg Biffle, finished 43rd after an early race accident. Jason Keller, who took over the second position in the points, finished eighth and is 236 points behind Harvick. Jeff Green is fourth in points and he finished 36th.
"It was a good day for us," Harvick said. "It was a great day for us in the points and the ACDelco Chevrolet was really strong. We just had the second fastest car. We adjusted on the car and the guys did a great job in the pits, we just didn't have anything for Ryan Newman. We wanted the win, but the big picture is a good one."
The team heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for Friday night's Food City 250 at Harvick's favorite track. Harvick led both the Winston Cup and Busch races there last March. He led 135 of the 500 laps of the Cup race and 86 of the 250 in the Busch race. He is looking this time to led the most important laps, and those are the final laps.