No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet
TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway
Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest
• In a race mired with 18 cautions, Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team avoided trouble and ran solidly in the top 10 for most of Sunday’s TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway before taking the checkered flag in the fourth position.
• Harvick started the race from the fifth position as the field was set by owner points per the NASCAR rule book after qualifying was cancelled due to persistent rain that fell on Friday and again Saturday morning.
• At the start of the race, Harvick initially fell back a couple spots as the bottom lane backed up behind the No. 2 car of Brad Keselowski, but he was able to get back up to the sixth position before the caution flag waved at lap 9.
• On the ensuing restart, Harvick was stuck in the outside line and lost six spots before he was able to get down to the bottom of the track. He radioed to the crew that there was “no second groove,” and continued to struggle with restarting in the outside line throughout the race.
• The team made their first pit stop of the day at lap 30, taking left-side tires and fuel. Harvick restarted from the 14th position and worked his way into the top 10 by lap 46. In less than 20 laps he was running fifth, but told crew chief Gil Martin that the car’s handling was starting to get loose.
• Varying pit strategies over the course of the next 200 laps had Harvick as far back as 19th at one point, but as it cycled around, he ran as high as second before settling into fifth at the halfway point. When Harvick hit pit road under caution at lap 260, Martin called for a four-tire stop with a track bar adjustment to help the tight-handling condition Harvick reported.
• Harvick continued to fight a tight-handling race car over the course of the next two runs, but remained inside the top 10.
• The No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet was running eighth when the caution waved for the 11th time and when Harvick hit pit road at lap 399, Martin called for a two-tire stop to gain track position.
• Harvick took the lead off of pit road and stayed out front until lap 413, when the No. 14 Chevrolet of Tony Stewart got by on the outside. However, when the caution flag waved on the following lap, Harvick inherited the lead as Stewart elected to pit because he thought he had a flat left-rear tire. The No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet held the top spot again until lap 438. Once the No. 48 Chevrolet got underneath Harvick and he was stuck on the outside, the No. 29 team fell back to sixth position by lap 441 and Harvick radioed that the car was “terrible here.”
• The team pitted for the final time on lap 459 for four tires and fuel. Harvick restarted in the 10th position, but was able to get to ninth before the caution flag waved again at lap 463. When the field took the green again at lap 473, Harvick picked up two spots before the caution flag waved yet again on the following lap.
• Harvick restarted seventh at lap 478 and worked his way up to the fourth position before the caution flag waved for the final time at lap 492. The field took the green with just four laps to go with Harvick stuck in the outside line. His Richard Childress Racing teammate, Jeff Burton, let him get down to the bottom quickly and Harvick was able to maintain his position for the closing laps to take the checkered flag in the fourth position.
• Stewart scored the win in Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway by passing Jimmie Johnson on the outside with just two laps to go. Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Harvick and Denny Hamlin completed the top-five finishing positions.
• Carl Edwards maintained the lead in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings. He holds an eight-point lead over Stewart. Harvick sits 21 points back from Edwards in third. Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth round out the top five in the 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 the race at Martinsville Speedway: “It was definitely a battle. Everybody was driving hard. That is what you are supposed to do here at Martinsville. I know the guys did a good job making the car better and we got good track position. The No. 31 (Jeff Burton) helped us on that last restart there to get down and I really appreciate that. The top was tough for me to get going on the restarts and the No. 14 (Tony Stewart, race winner) was really the only one that could make any ground up there on the restarts and that’s what won him the race. All-in-all, everybody on our Budweiser Chevy team did a good job.”
The following is the finish position of the other beverage-sponsored cars participating in the TUMS Fast Relief 500:
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Paint the 88/National Guard Chevrolet team finished seventh.
• Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, finished 17th.
• Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, finished 25th.
• Brian Vickers and the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota team finished 30th.
• Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford team finished 31st.
• Reed Sorenson and the No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge team finished 36th.
The following is the finish position of the other Richard Childress Racing teams participating in the TUMS Fast Relief 500:
• Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished sixth.
• Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 American Ethanol/Cheerios Chevrolet finished 19th.
• Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, finished 24th.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams travel to Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA 500 on Sunday, Nov. 6. ESPN will provide the TV broadcast of the race starting with the pre-race show at 2 p.m. ET. PRN affiliates and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio will provide the radio coverage of the race.