Daytona Duel: Kevin Harvick race report

Harvick Misses Second Speedweek Victory by .005 of-a-Second DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2010) -- Kevin Harvick and the Shell-Pennzoil race team were nearly able to claim their second victory in a week at Daytona International Speedway....

Harvick Misses Second Speedweek Victory by .005 of-a-Second

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2010) -- Kevin Harvick and the Shell-Pennzoil race team were nearly able to claim their second victory in a week at Daytona International Speedway. Instead, the No. 29 Chevy crossed the finish line just .005-seconds behind four-time NSCS Champion Jimmie Johnson and had to settle for second in the first Duel 150 qualifying race.

In Saturday's qualifying session, the Bakersfield, Calif., native paced the 2.5-mile tri oval in 47.620 seconds, 30th quickest of the 54 drivers to make a qualifying attempt. Not satisfied with their results, the Shell-Pennzoil team looked forward to the Duel 150 qualifying race to better their starting position for Sunday's 'Great American Race'.

Harvick's qualifying position lined up the No. 29 Chevy in the first of the two Duels, along with his Richard Childress Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton. The bright red and yellow Chevrolet began the 60-lap afternoon showdown in the 15th spot and struggled with speed due to a tight-handling condition through the first caution flag on lap 26 when Burton's Caterpillar Chevrolet blew a right-front tire.

Crew chief Gil Martin knew there was strong speed in the Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet Impala and made the call for a chassis adjustment on the first pit stop to try and find it.

Once the 27-car field went back to green-flag racing, it was clear Martin made that correct call as Harvick quickly moved up through the field and into contention. With 20 laps remaining, the No. 29 Chevy moved into the top five and Harvick set his sights on the leader.

Soon after, the 2007 Daytona 500 winner felt a vibration and was concerned about tire wear. Lucky for the 29 team, a caution flew just a lap later, providing the opportunity to pit under caution for four fresh tires.

Back under green with four laps remaining, Harvick, while running 13th, knew he had a fast car and was about to prove it. Within one lap, the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet had climbed back into the top five, then up to third as the field took the white flag.

Harvick maneuvered the No. 29 Chevy into position and led the top line of two-wide racing coming off of Turn 4 on the final lap, with Johnson leading the low line. Drag racing to the line, Harvick took a small lead but was then passed just before the finish line by the No. 48 Chevrolet and had to settle for second.

The runner-up finish will line up the back-to-back Budweiser Shootout winner fifth for the 52nd running of the Daytona 500.

Following Johnson and Harvick to the finish were Kyle Busch in third, RCR teammate Bowyer in fourth and Regan Smith, completing the top-five finishing order. Other RCR teammate Jeff Burton blew a right-front tire to finish in the 26th position.

KEVIN HARVICK:

IT WAS ALMOST TWO IN A ROW FOR YOU: "Well, I had the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) and the No. 33 (Clint Bowyer) in front of me. I had the No. 33 pushing him to the start/finish line there. I felt the No. 18 kind of veer left so I went to left because I knew my car was better on the bottom and wound up being right behind the No. 48 (Jimmie Johnson). The No. 18 came to me and I tried to block him I just didn't make enough zags to keep him behind me. But it was a good day for our Shell-Pennzoil Chevy. I didn't start off that great but Gil (Martin) and the guys made some good adjustments and we were right in the hunt again."

HOW DO THINGS GO THROUGH YOUR MIND THAT QUICKLY WHEN THINGS ARE THAT CLOSE? "Well, I won one here like that and I knew I was in trouble. I knew I was on the right side with Mark Martin and I knew I was in trouble on this one because I was ahead of him coming about half way through the short shoot with the side draft and got me to the tri-oval. Hey, you win some, you lose some, all you can ask for is a chance."

-source: rcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Regan Smith , Clint Bowyer , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin
Teams Richard Childress Racing