BUSCH: Darlington II: Kevin Harvick race report

Harvick finishes career-best fifth at Darlington DARLINGTON, S.C. (Aug. 30) - Kevin Harvick drove the Honey Roasted Reese's/PayDay Chevrolet to a fifth-place finish in the Aug. 30 Busch Series event at the Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Harvick, who...

Harvick finishes career-best fifth at Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. (Aug. 30) - Kevin Harvick drove the Honey Roasted Reese's/PayDay Chevrolet to a fifth-place finish in the Aug. 30 Busch Series event at the Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Harvick, who started on the pole for the third time this season, led 76 of the race's 147 laps. Brian Vickers won the race, his second career Busch Series victory. Kyle Busch and Michael Waltrip finished second and third, respectively. The PayDay team increased its lead in the team standings to 180 points over the No. 10 team (Scott Riggs).

"The Honey Roasted Reese's/PayDay car was real good today," Harvick said. "We got hung up a little bit at the end of the race, but it was a good finish for the PayDay team, and a good day in the owners' points. We led the most laps and picked up 10 extra bonus points, so a good day overall." Harvick, who is not known for running well at Darlington, qualified the Honey Roasted Reese's/PayDay Chevrolet on the pole Friday afternoon and had a great final practice session to follow the great qualifying run.

Crew chief Butch Hylton and the PayDay team fine-tuned Harvick's machine in anticipation for Saturday's event. At the drop of the green flag, Harvick began driving away from the rest of the field. By lap 25, Harvick worked his way through lapped traffic and felt little pressure from the competition. Around lap 40, Harvick's car became loose, and the remainder of the top-five cars were able to catch Harvick. On lap 44, Harvick gave up the lead to Michael Waltrip. He fell to the fifth position one lap later and reported to the crew that he had no rear grip.

By lap 54, Harvick's car was in dire need of service, so Harvick made his way onto pit road. Just has he entered pit road, the caution flag waved, and Harvick drove through pit road and back onto the track. He was penalized for speeding on pit road, and was forced to restart at the rear of the longest line of traffic. After two more caution flag laps, Harvick finally brought the PayDay machine down pit road for servicing. When the green flag waved on lap 55, Harvick was in the 21st position. The caution flag waved on lap 68, and Harvick again came down pit road for service.

Harvick's car was tight on the previous run, and the PayDay team worked on trying to loosen the car's handling. After the restart, Harvick methodically worked his way through the field. By lap 84, he was on the point once again. He led until lap 116, when his tires were worn, and the car became loose again. The caution flag waved on lap 125, and the field came down pit road for one final round of service. Harvick came down pit road in fifth, but the PayDay crew had trouble changing the left-front wheel. The race restarted on lap 131 with Harvick still in fifth place.

A lapped car blocked Harvick for the next few laps, enabling the leaders to get away from the PayDay machine. When the checkered flag fell, Harvick crossed the line in the fifth position.

Next week, the PayDay team will take its special Honey Roasted Reese's/PayDay paint scheme to the Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, where Harvick won in May. The Funai 250 will air live from the Richmond International Raceway on Friday, Sept. 5, at 8 p.m. EDT on the TNT television network and the MRN radio network.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Kevin Harvick , Scott Riggs , Brian Vickers