Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Armed Forces Team Score Win in Coca-Cola 600

Post-Race Reports | NASCAR Cup Series | 05/30/11

No. 29 Budweiser Armed Forces Chevrolet
Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest

·      Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Armed Forces Chevrolet team scored their third victory of the season by stretching fuel mileage to pick up a win in one of NASCAR’s marquee events, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night.

·      Harvick’s trip to Victory Circle came after overcoming an ill-handling race car that was tight on entry and loose on exit, getting caught a lap down twice as the caution flag waved during rounds of green-flag pit stops and late-race fuel strategy.

·      As Harvick expressed his frustration with the handling of the No. 29 Budweiser Armed Forces Chevrolet during the first half of the race, crew chief Gil Martin and the No. 29 Budweiser-Armed Forces team dug in and continued making adjustments to improve the car as the sun began to set and the track started to change.

·      The No. 29 was first caught a lap down to the leaders on lap 232 as the caution flag waved in the midst of a cycle of green-flag pit stops. Martin called for Harvick to stay out during the caution and take the wave around to get back on the lead lap. The scenario was repeated again when the caution flag waved again at lap 281.

·      Martin called Harvick to pit road on lap 290 as most other teams stayed out, a move that would prove to be pivotal later in the race. The No. 29 Budweiser Armed Forces Chevrolet restarted in 23rd position at lap 292. Two caution periods later the majority of the field elected to pit, moving Harvick up to the third position. After making an effort to conserve fuel under caution, the No. 29 team felt they could go the remainder of the race on one more fuel stop, the same as the rest of the field.

·      The final stop of the night came at lap 345, which was just shy of the No. 29 team’s fuel window to make it to the end of the race. Martin told Harvick to save as much as he could under caution, and the No. 29 Budweiser Armed Forces Chevrolet restarted in seventh position at lap 348.

·      As the laps wound down, Harvick did his best to conserve fuel and maintain his track position. With six laps to go, other teams started running out of fuel and making pit stops, moving Harvick up to the sixth position when the caution flag waved at lap 396. The driver of the No. 29 continued to do his best to conserve fuel, and even received a push from teammates Paul Menard and Jeff Burton under caution.

·      The field came to the green flag for a green-white-checkered finish and Harvick was able to quickly gain positions as cars started running out of fuel. As the field entered Turns 3 and 4 on the final lap, leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of gas and Harvick passed him to take the checkered flag and score the victory.

·      David Ragan, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and A.J. Allmendinger complete the rest of the top-five finishers, respectively.

·      The win on Sunday moved Harvick up to the second position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings. He sits 36 markers behind point leader Carl Edwards. Jimmie Johnson, Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch complete the top-five drivers in the championship point standings.

Follow along each weekend with Harvick and the team on Twitter. Check out @KevinHarvick for behind-the-scenes information straight from the driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet. Get live updates from the track each weekend from @Black29Car, the PR team for Harvick. Also, follow @RCRracing and @RCR29KHarvick for additional information about the Richard Childress Racing organization.

Harvick on his win in the Coca-Cola 600:

Congratulations. How do you feel? “I tell you what; I’ve got to give a huge credit to all the race team, Gil Martin and all these guys. We started saving gas from lap one when the green flag fell, just hoping that we’d go to the end. I saw those guys up there racing and I knew how close we were on gas but it all worked for our Budweiser Chevrolet. I want to thank all the men and women who have served and are currently serving that give us a chance to do everything we do in this country.”

You’ve led nine laps and won three races. That’s pretty interesting. “Yeah, I mean, you know, it’s just one of those deals I guess. The last two we earned and this one we conserved gas to be around at the end. I can’t stand driving at this place. This is a great facility, great management, great people running it, but it’s just been a race track for me where I’ve struggled every time I’ve ever been here. Yesterday was probably the best day I’ve ever had in the Nationwide car and to be here in Victory Lane says a lot!”

Do you feel that this is the season that feels like you can really go after the championship hard? “Well, it’s one of those deals like today, when everybody started pitting we said to heck with it. We’re just going to try to save gas and try to get to one pit stop to go by saving gas. And the caution came out with like four or five laps before we were supposed to pit. So heck, it’s just one of those deals where we had enough gas to get to the end and wound up winning the race.”

The following is the finish position of the other beverage-sponsored cars participating in the Coca-Cola 600:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet team finished seventh.
Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Jeremiah Weed Ford team finished 14th.
Brian Vickers and the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota team finished 18th.
Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, finished 19th.
Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, finished 22nd.
Robby Gordon, driver of the No. 7 SPEED Energy/Harris Teeter/Sam’s Mart Dodge, finished 38th.
Mike Skinner and the No. 60 Big Red Toyota team finished 43rd.

The following is the finish position of the other Richard Childress Racing teams participating in the Coca-Cola 600:

Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet finished 15th.
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished 21st.
Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Moen/Menards Chevrolet, finished 29th.

Next Sunday NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will compete at Kansas Speedway. On Friday, SPEED is scheduled to air practice from at 1:30 p.m. ET, followed by final practice at 4:30 p.m. ET. SPEED will also air Saturday’s qualifying session at noon ET. FOX will provide the live race broadcast on Sunday starting at 12:30 p.m. ET. SIRIUSXM NASCAR Radio and MRN Radio will air radio coverage of the on-track action.

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