Kevin Harvick, No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet Kroger 200, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Clermont, IN Saturday, August 4, 2001 Two-Tire Stop Propels Acdelco Team To Victory For Fourth Time In '01 Kevin Harvick had one of the busiest Saturday's of the ...
Kevin Harvick, No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet
Kroger 200, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Clermont, IN
Saturday, August 4, 2001
Two-Tire Stop Propels Acdelco Team To Victory For Fourth Time In '01
Kevin Harvick had one of the busiest Saturday's of the entire season in Indianapolis even though he was competing at tracks that are just several miles apart. Harvick started Saturday by practicing the GM Goodwrench Service Plus Winston Cup car at the Brickyard at 8:00 a.m. before qualifying just over two hours later. He placed 11th in Cup Qualifying and flew to Indianapolis Raceway Park via helicopter for 11:30 a.m. Busch Series practice. Harvick qualified the ACDelco Chevy in 12th place at 3:30 p.m. and then took the helicopter back to the Brickyard for the last hour of Final Practice.
Harvick returned to IRP for the final time at 5:05 p.m. just in time for the Busch Drivers Meeting and he began to mentally prepare himself for the race.
The race got underway at about 10 minutes after 7 p.m. CT and Harvick found himself running in 10th by lap 11 with a tight race car from the middle of the corners off.
Harvick pitted for the first time on lap 79 for four tires, and for air pressure and wedge adjustments. After the stop, Harvick resumed racing in 19th position as the car's handling had improved. Harvick climbed to 17th by lap 89, 14th by lap 94 and 12th by lap 107.
The pivotal moment of the race came on lap 107 when the caution flag flew and Harvick and crew chief Todd Berrier decided to pit for right side tires and another chassis adjustment. Harvick returned to the action in 13th position and found that the car was handling the best that it had all night even though he couldn't run any higher than a groove and a half up on the racetrack.
Harvick started his methodical, but steady climb to the front on lap 115 and two laps later, he found himself in 10th. By lap 127, he reached the seventh position, fifth by lap 136 and fourth one lap later. The third position was his by lap 145 as points rival Greg Biffle settled in fourth in the running order. Harvick grabbed the second position by lap 167 and set his sites on the race leader, Chad Little. Harvick caught him a lap or two later and began a lengthy duel in trying to set up Little for the pass. After much resistance, Harvick finally took over the top spot by lap 172 as Biffle remained in fourth.
The caution flag flew on lap 177 and again on lap 185 as Harvick proved he had the car to beat over the closing laps. The race had to be red-flagged after the final caution because of a great deal of debris and oil on the racing surface, but when it was restarted on lap 195, Harvick sprinted ahead of the field and onto his fourth victory of the season.
"I can't say enough about Todd Berrier and the rest of the ACDelco guys," Harvick said. "Todd and I talked about what we might try if the opportunity presented itself. And because the tires don't fall off much and because of the way the caution flags flew, we tried the two-tire stop. It paid off for us big time because we were able to gain some valuable track position, get to the front and stay there. We definitely didn't have much better than a top 10 car early, but the guys gave us two sets of adjustments that turned the car into the fastest car in the field. It wasn't easy getting to the front over the last 50 laps. The 74 (Little) gave us everything we could handle and the 98 (Elton Sawyer) had a good car. But once we got to the front, we knew we'd be hard to beat."
"We got through July better than we could have ever imagined. Now we just have to focus and approach every race like we have all season. That is, go out to win every race and if we can't, get the best possible finish we can for the points."
Biffle finished second so Harvick's Busch Series points lead remains 163 over Biffle. The Busch Series takes one weekend off before returning to action August 18th at Michigan Speedway. Harvick will be racing the Goodwrench car at Watkins Glen this coming Sunday.