Harvick makes his "Payday" at Bristol. BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 22) - Kevin Harvick drove the PayDay Chevrolet to victory lane in Saturday's Channellock 250. The win was the first for PayDay and Harvick's ninth career Busch Series win. Crew chief...
Harvick makes his "Payday" at Bristol.
BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 22) - Kevin Harvick drove the PayDay Chevrolet to victory lane in Saturday's Channellock 250. The win was the first for PayDay and Harvick's ninth career Busch Series win.
Crew chief Butch Hylton made an impressive call in the early stages of the event, electing to pit on lap 60 of the race. The call proved to be a deciding factor in Harvick's victory.
"We had planned to make only one stop today," Harvick said in victory lane. "We had worked on long green flag runs, and it paid off for us because that's what we had there one time. Our goal is to win the owners' points championship for RCR this year, and so far so good."
After just five races in the series, PayDay has its first victory, and the PayDay racing team leads the team standings, a feat that is all the more impressive, considering it is being accomplished with two drivers. Harvick moved to fourth in the drivers' standings, and teammate Johnny Sauter moved to seventh in the standings.
Harvick qualified the PayDay Chevy in the 11th position for Saturday's event. The team took a gamble on their qualifying setup, but missed what they were looking for and settled for an 11th starting spot. At Bristol, track position is everything. Hylton had no conerns, and after Happy Hour, the PayDay Chevy had found the right setup, and Harvick was happy with the car.
The high-banks of Bristol saw plenty of action on Saturday. A record 13 caution flags were thrown during the event, and the first came just four laps into the event. For the first 50 laps of the event, there was radio silence by Harvick as he drove the PayDay Chevy through the field and into the sixth position.
On lap 59, the fifth caution flag of the day was waived. That's when Hylton went to work. "We can make it if we stop now Kevin. We just need a couple more cautions. Let's bring it in."
Harvick brought in the PayDay Chevy for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. He returned to the track in the 18th position, the furthest back he would go all day. By lap 75 he was in 15th, and after a series of caution flag pit stops for the rest of the field, Harvick climbed all the way back to fifth.
On lap 114, Harvick passed the pole-sitter, David Green, for the second spot. On lap 154 Harvick passed the No. 23 car of Scott Wimmer for the lead, and he would never look back.
Harvick received some pressure early in his lead run from Jimmy Spencer; however, a mechanical problem with Spencer's car left him off the pace. Then on lap 190, Tony Raines appeared in Harvick's mirror and pressured him for the lead for the remainder of the event.
With eight laps to go, the caution came out once again, and NASCAR stopped the field. Hylton told Harvick, "We've got plenty of fuel in the car; you're good to go."
The field was restarted with five laps to go, and Harvick never looked back. Harvick took the checkered flag, his third time at Bristol.
The O'Reilly 300, the next race on the schedule, will air live from the Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 29, at 2 p.m. ET on the Fox cable network and the PRN radio network.