Despite Late-Race Penalty Harvick and Crew Finish Ninth at Bristol

Post-Race Reports | XFINITY Series | 03/18/12

Kevin Harvick entered the Bristol 300 looking to add to his NASCAR Nationwide Series-leading five wins at Bristol Motor Speedway, instead a late-race pit road speeding penalty relegated the No. 33 Armour Vienna Sausages team to a ninth-place finish. After qualifying sixth for the fourth Nationwide Series event of the season, the Bakersfield, Calif., native quickly moved into the top five in the early laps of the 300-lap affair and made himself at home. With only four caution flags throughout the event at the half-mile bullring, crew chief Ernie Cope took every opportunity to bring Harvick to pit road to assist with the loose-handling condition on the No. 33 Chevrolet. While the former Nationwide Series champion was running in the fifth position on lap 264, the caution flag flew for the final time of the race, setting up tough decisions for crew chiefs up and down pit road. Cope called Harvick to come in for service for two tires and chassis adjustments to set up for a final run to the checkered flag. Unfortunately, the No. 33 team was hit with a pit road speeding penalty in the process and forced to drop to the rear of the field for the final restart on lap 272. With 28 laps remaining, Harvick battled his way back through traffic to claim the top-10 finish.

Start - 6               Finish - 9               Laps Led - 0         

“The Armour Vienna Sausages Chevrolet was just really loose all day long. Ernie (Cope) did a nice job adjusting on it every stop and then I ended up getting caught speeding on that final pit stop, which put us way behind on the restart. These guys work hard to give us fast cars every week so I really appreciate their effort. ” 

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