What an exciting week for Kevin Harvick and the Richard Childress Racing operation, with Harvick driving the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet to his second career NASCAR Winston Cup victory last Sunday in the Inaugural Winston Cup race...
What an exciting week for Kevin Harvick and the Richard Childress Racing operation, with Harvick driving the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet to his second career NASCAR Winston Cup victory last Sunday in the Inaugural Winston Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway. Harvick backed that up this past weekend with a dominating performance at Gateway Speedway in Missouri, capturing his third Busch series victory of the 2001 season. Along with the win, he posted a veteran performance at New Hampshire International Speedway on Sunday bringing his Monte Carlo home in eighth position.
On his third week of nine races in eight states in four weeks, Harvick made it through his toughest weekend of the season as he and his wife, DeLana, commuted back and forth to work from London, New Hampshire to St. Louis, Missouri on Friday and Saturday.
Competing in his first Winston Cup race at the one-mile oval, Harvick was excited to get the weekend started. As he climbed into his Chevrolet on Friday morning he knew that when the day was through he would be at Gateway International Raceway over 1000 miles away from his garage stall that is housing his No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet.
As the day began, the RCR crew knew they only had limited time this weekend and wanted to make every minute count. When most competitors around them were concentrating on their two lap qualifying run for that afternoon, Harvick and his crew were already thinking about Sunday and working on the No. 29 Chevrolet's race day set-up. "We weren't sure how much time we were going to have on Saturday, so we wanted to make sure that we had some idea of what the car would need for the race, " stated Kevin Hamlin, Harvick's crew chief.
Qualifying began at 2:15 p.m. and Harvick was allowed the first chance to put his GM Goodwrench Service Plus machine on the pole. After he made his two qualifying laps it was straight from the race car and into the waiting helicopter to the Manchester Airport. There an RCR jet was ready and headed to St. Louis, Mo. Harvick made his practice and qualifying run in St. Louis and was ready to go home. After it was all said and done, Harvick had put his No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet into the top-25 with a 24th starting position and his No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet on the outside of the front row and the second starting position.
Back in New Hampshire by midnight, Harvick got some sleep and practiced in the morning session with his Winston Cup team then took the same route as the day before. He was on his way back to St. Louis. That night he dominated the event in St. Louis and drove his ACDelco car to Victory Lane for his third win this year in the Busch series. This year's win marks the fourth consecutive year an ACDelco team took home the winner's trophy.
After a lengthy celebration and many interviews with the media in St. Louis, Harvick made it back to his "house on wheels" in New Hampshire about 3:30 a.m. and settled in for a good mornings sleep.
It was race time and the GM Goodwrench Service Plus crew was ready for the day's events. Harvick got as much rest as possible and was ready for the race. He started where he left off the night before in St. Louis and drove his way into the top-10 within the first 75 laps and on lap 232 he took the lead, gain the five valuable bonus points for leading a lap.
Harvick kept his GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet in the top-10 for the remaining 75 laps, holding off a charging Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at the end and finished the 300 lap event in eighth position marking his eighth top-10 finish of then season. The top-10 finish secured his seventh place position in the point standings with 2,319 points, putting him 95 points out of the top-five and only 348 out of the top-three, while only competing in 17 of the 18 races so far this season.