Last month, Kevin Harvick raced at Watkins Glen in the Busch Series as part of a Double-Duty weekend with the Winston Cup race, the Pepsi 400, at Daytona. Harvick had a considerably less hectic pace this past weekend, but he was looking for an ...
Last month, Kevin Harvick raced at Watkins Glen in the Busch Series as part of a Double-Duty weekend with the Winston Cup race, the Pepsi 400, at Daytona. Harvick had a considerably less hectic pace this past weekend, but he was looking for an equally strong performance this time at Glen. He finished third during the 82-lap event last month.
Harvick qualified in fine fashion on Friday at the Glen in a field full of excellent road racers such as Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Ricky Rudd and Ron Fellows, to name a few. He grabbed the 10th position on the starting grid with a lap of 72.46 seconds at over 121 m.p.h. during qualifying.
As the race got underway, Harvick noticed that the car was tight in the corners and he was trying to save his brakes. Despite trying not to wear out his equipment, Harvick was able to climb to ninth by lap 14 and eighth just three laps later.
Harvick radioed to the GM Goodwrench Service Plus crew that he needed forward bite off the corners without making the car any tighter as he ran in eighth on lap 22. He passed John Andretti shortly thereafter for seventh and grabbed the sixth position two laps later.
The No. 29 car came to the pits for the first time on lap 29 for four tires and fuel under the green flag and Harvick resumed racing in 25th position as the rest of the leaders began to cycle through their pit stops.
Harvick noticed the car's handling was starting to improve as the tires came in. He found himself running in 13th by lap 42 and 12th at the halfway point of the race, lap 45.
Harvick pitted on lap 56, again under green flag conditions, and resumed racing in 16th position. He radioed to the crew that the brakes were heated up to a point that they weren't working optimally. So Harvick adjusted the brakes with his in-car adjustment mechanism to give the car more rear brake.
By lap 73, Harvick had reached the top 10 again and grabbed eighth by lap 83 and seventh by lap 88. Harvick held off Boris Said and Bobby Labonte over the final two laps to finish seventh and recorded his first career top 10 in Winston Cup road racing in just his second start.
Jeff Gordon won the race, but Harvick was happy with his performance.
"That was a really good performance for us," Harvick said. "I overheated the brakes so I had to be gentle with it for more than half the race. I learned a lot about brake management today. You learn something new, it seems, every time you come here. It was a good points day for us. Only Jeff Gordon and Ricky Rudd finished ahead of us among the guys ahead of us in points. The Goodwrench guys did a great job in the pits which was critical because we had a couple of green flag pit stops where every second counts. I'm really happy with our road racing performances this year, 14th and 7th is pretty cool."
Harvick jumps two spots in the points to seventh, equaling his season high. He is just 89 points out of fourth place in the Winston Cup standings.