Kevin Harvick, No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet Food City 250, Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, TN Friday, August 24, 2001 Incredible Comeback-Harvick Wins Fifth Race Of The Season Kevin Harvick arrived at Bristol this past weekend hoping to grab at ...
Kevin Harvick, No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet
Food City 250, Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, TN
Friday, August 24, 2001
Incredible Comeback-Harvick Wins Fifth Race Of The Season
Kevin Harvick arrived at Bristol this past weekend hoping to grab at least one win at his favorite track, Bristol Motor Speedway. As defending race champion, Harvick got the weekend off to a good start as he qualified second on the Busch Series on Thursday behind Mike Skinner at the .533-mile high-banked oval that reminds him of his hometown track, Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif.
As the race got underway under the lights at Bristol, Harvick knew the ACDelco Chevrolet would be tough to beat. He grabbed the lead on lap five and rode at the front of the pack for 71 laps. Harvick narrowly escaped getting caught up in a wreck on lap 27 when Michael Waltrip and Larry Foyt collided in front of him.
He dodged another bullet on lap 56 when Randy Tolsma spun directly in front of him while they were exiting turn four.
Harvick had already established himself as the driver to beat when on lap 80 he radioed to the ACDelco crew that the right rear tire was going down. He pitted on lap 83 and the crew quickly changed right side tires and found that the right rear was punctured. Harvick apparently ran over debris on the racetrack that blew a hole in the tire.
When he returned to the track, Harvick was two laps down to the leaders, and running in 30th position. However, Harvick still had the fastest car on the track and he was able to race to get one of his laps back just after halfway and found himself in 25th position. Harvick was determined to continue his comeback and passed the leaders on lap 149 and during the long green flag run raced all the way up to 16th place by lap 193.
Harvick sliced and diced his way through lapped and lead lap traffic. He clawed his way to ninth by lap 202. By lap 216, Harvick had picked off four more positions and grabbed the fifth position. He got by Ryan Newman for fourth on lap 220 and secured third nine laps later. He passed Steve Park on lap 231 for second and set his sights on the leader at the time, Greg Biffle. Unfortunately for Biffle, he suffered the same fate as Harvick and cut down a tire and Harvick went storming into the lead on lap 236.
Harvick was unchallenged over the closing laps and scored his fifth, and most impressive, win of the season.
"I really have to give these ACDelco guys a lot of credit," Harvick said. "They never gave up even when we were running two laps down. They built me an awesome racecar that could go anywhere on the track and that's what allowed me to drive up through the field. There were a lot of close calls out there tonight, I'm just glad we didn't get caught up in any of it. The guys gave me a great stop with about 100 to go and that put us in position to get our last lap back. The race was a lot of fun and to have it end the way it did is pretty cool."
Busch Series points rivals, Jeff Green, Biffle and Jason Keller finished second, 18th and 29th, respectively. Harvick now owns a 345-point lead over Keller in the championship race. He also has a thing for racing at night. Harvick has won four of the five night races this year, including four in a row.