Kevin Harvick knew that the month of July would be his toughest of the 2001 NASCAR season, because of his efforts to run the full schedule on both the Winston Cup and Busch Series. Looking at the schedule, Harvick and his ACDelco team knew that...
Kevin Harvick knew that the month of July would be his toughest of the 2001 NASCAR season, because of his efforts to run the full schedule on both the Winston Cup and Busch Series. Looking at the schedule, Harvick and his ACDelco team knew that this weekend was going to be pivotal in the Busch Series point standings. Harvick was unable to qualify the car in Pikes Peak because he was qualifying the Goodwrench Chevrolet in Pocono on Friday so "Super Sub" Ed Berrier qualified the car eighth. However, Harvick would have to start the race at the back of the field according to NASCAR rules.
"With the schedule as it was, we knew that this weekend we had to give up valuable track position from the beginning," stated Harvick. "Ed did a great job getting the ACDelco Chevrolet into the field. Todd and the crew had the car ready to go and did a great job."
As the green flag waved, it didn't take Harvick long to move his way towards the front. By lap 54, he had passed 33 cars and found himself in the top-10 with almost 200 laps to get to the front.
"This is a great place to race. You can pass almost anywhere on the track and that's what we needed to do today, pass cars. I like coming here and hope that we get to race here more in the future," stated Harvick.
Once breaking into the top-10, the ACDelco Chevrolet methodically worked the crowd, picking up one position at a time during the middle of the 250-mile event. Harvick, working like a seasoned veteran, knew he didn't have to abuse his machine at that point of the race and continued to run times as fast if not faster than the leaders with his smooth driving style.
After final pit stops, the ACDelco crew had Harvick in the top-three for the final run to the checkered flag, but teammate, Jeff Purvis driving the No. 21 RCR Chevrolet, had all but checked out on the field for the final 30 laps. Purvis held his straightaway lead to win his first race since 1996 by a 15.782 seconds.
The victory was RCR's third NASCAR victory for the month of July, including Harvick's two wins at Gateway Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway.
Now that the July schedule of nine races in eight states over four weeks has concluded, Harvick came out of it in fine fashion with two wins, four top-fives and five top-10 finishes.
The NASCAR schedule has both series in Indianapolis this weekend with the Busch Series competing on Saturday night at Indianapolis Raceway Park and the Winston Cup series at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, August 5th.