Watkins Glen: Kevin Harvick race report

Harvick Suffers Flat Tire and Finishes 11th at The Glen Kevin Harvick was running sixth in his No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet and closing in on another top-five finish when he suffered a flat tire coming to the white flag. The Bakersfield, ...

Harvick Suffers Flat Tire and Finishes 11th at The Glen

Kevin Harvick was running sixth in his No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet and closing in on another top-five finish when he suffered a flat tire coming to the white flag. The Bakersfield, Calif., driver nursed his red and yellow machine to the checkered flag and finished 11th.

Harvick remains the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leader in the overall standings, 185 points ahead of Jeff Gordon in second. Additionally, Harvick is now 579 points forward of the 13th-place competitor, with just four events remaining before the 2010 Chase field is set.

During the two NSCS practice sessions on Friday, the No. 29 team was 18th and fifth fastest in each session, respectively. The Gil Martin-led team worked solely on race trim in the opening session, and then turned their focus toward qualifying trim in the final practice.

In qualifying on Saturday morning, Harvick had trouble in turn one that resulted in him securing the 20th slot for Sunday's 90-lap race at the 2.45-mile road course.

Beautiful weather greeted the 43 teams as approximately 90,000 fans packed the grandstands at Watkins Glen International for Sunday's affair. Harvick took the green flag and marched forward from his 20th-place starting position. He moved his way inside the top 15 at lap 16, and communicated that his car was a little too loose off the corners.

Despite the handling concerns, the 13-time NSCS winner raced his way inside the top 10 just eight laps later. Martin instructed Harvick to pit under green-flag conditions on lap 26, and the Shell-Pennzoil team changed all four tires with a small air pressure adjustment, and filled their Chevrolet with fuel. Just as Harvick left pit road, the caution flag waved for a stalled vehicle in the inner loop.

The race resumed on lap 30, and Harvick took the green flag in 13th. It took just 11 laps for him to race his way back inside the top 10, and he made another routine green-flag pit stop on lap 57 while running eighth. This time, the No. 29 team made no adjustments, changed all four tires and added fuel.

Another caution, this time for debris, bunched the field on lap 61, and the teams went into fuel conservation mode in order to make it the rest of the way on fuel. The racing action resumed on lap 64 with Harvick scored eighth, and he moved up to sixth with two laps to go before his left-rear tire went flat, just as he approached the white flag. Gordon just narrowly beat Harvick to the stripe for 10th. The effort was the team's 19th finish of 13th or better in the season's 22 events

Juan Pablo Montoya won the race, and he was chased to the stripe by Kurt Busch, Marcos Ambrose, A.J. Allmendinger and Carl Edwards. Harvick's RCR teammates, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer, finished ninth and 32nd, respectively.

Next week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will make their second trip to the Irish Hills of Michigan for Sunday's running of the CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

KEVIN HARVICK:

"We had a good day. Our Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet was extremely fast, and I was just taking care of it until the end of the race. We had a car capable of winning. We just needed better track position. We got a flat tire at the end and I had to hang on to the c

-source: rcr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya