Nashville Superspeedway recently opened for the inaugural NASCAR event at the beautiful 1.33-mile speedway east of Nashville, Tenn. There was some concern among the NASCAR Busch Series drivers about the grip on the new concrete racing surface. ...
Nashville Superspeedway recently opened for the inaugural NASCAR event at the beautiful 1.33-mile speedway east of Nashville, Tenn. There was some concern among the NASCAR Busch Series drivers about the grip on the new concrete racing surface. And as it turns out, their concerns were well founded. Several drivers wrecked in either turns two or four during practice and qualifying. Todd Bodine, Shawna Robinson, Jeff Purvis and Clay Rogers were among the drivers who had to go to a back up car during practice because of wrecks.
Busch Series points leader Kevin Harvick qualified on the pole for the Pepsi 300 and therefore set the track record at 30.053 seconds and well over 150 miles per hour.
He knew, however, as the race got underway that he would have to be extremely careful racing on the new surface that lacked the rubber that is laid down on older tracks. Harvick took the lead in the race as the green flag flew for first time just after 12 p.m. The first of 11 cautions flew on lap one when Robinson wrecked in turn one. Harvick slipped to seventh as racing resumed when he noticed that the car was very unstable on new, cold tires, and apparently all the other competitors were also experiencing the same problem early in their tire runs.
But not long after that, the ACDelco team began to dial the handling in on the No. 2 car during two pit stops. By the middle part of the race, Harvick had one of the car's to beat. He pressured the leader at the time Jay Sauter for the lead and ran in the second and third positions for a while. He was hurt by the fact that there were so many cautions in the race, because he needed long green flag runs to gain track position and they didn't come with 11 cautions.
Harvick was hit by Mike Skinner on lap 158 while he was running in fifth and he slipped back to 10th position. Harvick then had to work for every position he got. He methodically climbed his way to seventh before the time the checkered flag dropped on lap 225.
"It was tough going out there," Harvick said. "You couldn't relax, even for a second. You really had to watch yourself going through the corners. Because one small slip up and you could wreck. But we kept out of trouble for the most part, except for one scare. We thought we had the car to win there for a while. The car was all over the place early in the runs but then it stabilized. But then it got too tight and we never were able to correct completely. We would've had a top five if we wouldn't have had so many cautions."
Harvick maintains the Busch Series points lead with his series-leading seventh top-10 finish in eight race and he is currently 91 points ahead of Jason Keller who finished second. Race winner Greg Biffle is third and Jeff Green is fourth after finishing eighth in the race. The series heads to Talladega next weekend for the second of two restrictor plate races. The Subway 300 takes place at 1:00 p.m. EDT on FOX.