NASCAR Busch Series points leader, Kevin Harvick, enjoys the challenge of Darlington Raceway. He enjoys wrestling with a car with worn tires on the difficult and abrasive 1.336-mile historic racing surface. After running in the top 10 in practice ...
NASCAR Busch Series points leader, Kevin Harvick, enjoys the challenge of Darlington Raceway. He enjoys wrestling with a car with worn tires on the difficult and abrasive 1.336-mile historic racing surface.
After running in the top 10 in practice during Busch Series practice on Friday, Harvick looked forward to qualifying where he posted the 14th fastest time. Usually a very strong qualifier, who averages a sixth place starting position, Harvick was not too disappointed with his laps even though, remarkably, the 14th place starting spot is Harvick's third worst starting position of the 25-race season to date.
As the race went green for the first time, rain threatened the proceedings. On lap 10, NASCAR threw the caution flag for what would be a 30-minute rain delay. Shortly after the race went green for the second time, Harvick claimed the 10th spot on lap 40.
Harvick radioed to the ACDelco crew on lap 49, however, that the car was extremely tight in the corners and needed more forward bite exiting the turns.
The No. 2 car pitted for the first time under caution on lap 66 for four tires and adjustments to the chassis. Harvick returned to the action in 11th.
At halfway, Harvick checked in 10th in the running order. He grabbed ninth by lap 103 and 8th by lap 109. Seventh was Harvick's by lap 119 and three laps later he took sixth. Harvick had to pit on lap 124 of the 147-lap event for fuel and tires while he was running in sixth. He went a lap down to the leaders in the process. Unfortunately for the ACDelco team, bad luck struck when the caution flag flew on lap 132 for debris. Harvick was in 14th at the time and one lap down to the leaders. The leaders, including Jeff Burton, came to the pits for tires and fuel, and Harvick was unable to get his lap back.
The race went green for the final time with fewer than ten laps to go, Harvick was able to hold his own and finish where he started the race, in 14th.
"It wasn't a great day for us," Harvick said. "It is so hard to get a hold of this racetrack. The place is so unique that it's really hard to get the car handling in all the corners. We were tight all race long and our adjustments didn't do much to help it out. We were unlucky when the caution came out after we pitted under green. That put us a lap down and Burton wouldn't let us get our lap back. But fortunately, in the big picture, it was an off day, but it didn't hurt us too much."
Burton won the race as he led only five lead lap cars across the start-finish line. Harvick maintains the Busch Series points lead over second place Jason Keller by a margin of 316 points.
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|Drivers||Jeff Burton , Jason Keller , Kevin Harvick|