Fuel Pressure Issue Hinders Harvick at Chicagoland Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil team suffered a fuel pressure issue during Saturday night's LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. The issue put Harvick behind the wall to make ...
Fuel Pressure Issue Hinders Harvick at Chicagoland
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil team suffered a fuel pressure issue during Saturday night's LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. The issue put Harvick behind the wall to make repairs in the middle portion of the race, and the result was a less-than-desired finish of 34th.
Harvick remains the overall leader in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings, leading second-place Jeff Gordon by 103 points. Additionally, Harvick is 474 points forward of the 13th- place competitor.
During the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series opening practice on Friday, the Bakersfield, Calif., driver was extremely fast in race trim. A few of the teams switched over to qualifying trim in the first practice, but the Gil Martin-led team spent the entire session in race trim, and Harvick posted the 15th-fastest lap in the first session. They worked on qualifying trim in the second and final practice on Friday afternoon, and Harvick was 27th quickest on the sheet. He followed that up in Friday's qualifying session by running a lap time good enough to earn the 27th-starting position for Saturday's 400-mile race.
Gorgeous weather greeted the NASCAR competitors on Saturday evening as 67,500 fans packed the grandstands at Chicagoland Speedway. The 43 drivers took the green flag at approximately 6:40 p.m. local time, and the 13-time NSCS winner started the race from his 27th-place slot.
Harvick raced his way inside the top 20, when the race's first caution flag waved for an incident in turn two. The No. 29 machine was loose, so Martin instructed the Shell-Pennzoil crew to change all four tires, add fuel, and make a trackbar adjustment. Several teams elected to take just two tires, and Harvick left pit road in 24th.
Those changes were not much help, as the Chevrolet Impala continued to be too loose for Harvick to make up much ground. Harvick eventually lost a lap to the leaders at lap 100, but he maintained his track position to be in line to receive the "free pass," which is awarded to the highest placed lap-down machine under caution. But, the caution never came, and Harvick started to feel the fuel pressure fluctuate on lap 150.
A caution on lap 180 allowed the team to look under the hood to try to fix their fuel pickup issue, and they sent Harvick back on the track with fresh tires and fuel. However, they were unable to remedy the issue, and Harvick steered the RCR entry to the garage area on lap 194. The team made the necessary repairs, and Harvick joined the race many laps down, and finished 34th.
David Reutimann won the race, and he was chased to the stripe by Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, RCR driver Clint Bowyer and Jamie McMurray. Fellow RCR driver Jeff Burton finished seventh.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will enjoy a week off before traveling to Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 25.
KEVIN HARVICK: "We had a fuel pressure issue, and we had to go to the garage to make repairs to the fuel pump assembly, so that ended our chance at salvaging a good finish. But, we missed the setup on our Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet, too. We were just extremely loose for most of the race. It was a tough night for us, but we have a strong race team and we will bounce back at Indy."