No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet
AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway
Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest
• Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet team finished 13th in Sunday’s AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway after struggling with a loose-handling race car following a two-tire call on the final pit stop of the race.
• Harvick started the race from the 21st position and raced his way up to 16th by the time the field came around to complete the first lap. He made it as high as 12th before falling back a couple of spots prior to the team’s first stop of the race at lap 43. Before the stop Harvick told the team that the car was “loose in, tight in the middle and loose off.” When the No. 29 Chevrolet hit pit road, the team changed four tires, added fuel and made a track bar adjustment.
• Following two trips to pit road for four-tire stops at lap 87 and lap 113, Harvick got back into the top 10. He remained there until lap 195 when he slipped back to 11th. Crew chief Gil Martin called him to pit road for another four-tire stop at lap 199 and the caution flag waved on the following lap, catching Harvick a lap down to the lead cars that had yet to pit.
• As he was the first car one lap down, Harvick was granted the lucky dog award and got his lap back. Prior to the lap 199 stop, Harvick said the car was “tight in the middle and loose off,” so Martin called Harvick back to pit road again on lap 203 to change tires again and add a spring rubber to the left-rear spring to help the car’s handling.
• Harvick took the green flag at lap 206 in 11th position. When the caution flag waved again at lap 239, Harvick was ninth. The team pitted again and a quick stop by the No. 29 team got him up to seventh when the field went back to green at lap 244.
• The team came back down pit road less than 20 laps later when the caution flag waved as the No. 20 car’s engine expired. Martin called for a four-tire stop for Harvick, while many other teams elected to make two-tire stops. Harvick restarted in the ninth position at lap 266 and raced his way up to seventh before telling Martin that he thought they should start thinking about strategy for the final pit stop as all teams had to make one additional trip to pit road to make it to the end on fuel.
• As other teams started to hit pit road under green-flag conditions, Martin called Harvick in for a two-tire stop at lap 299 in an effort to gain track position. However, as the laps wound down on the final run of the race, Harvick told the team that the car was way too loose. As teams continued to cycle through pit stops, Harvick ran as high as 10th before he started sliding back. The No. 29 Chevrolet took the checkered flag in 13th position.
• Tony Stewart scored the win in Sunday’s AAA 500. Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle completed the top-five spots.
• Edwards continues to lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings. He holds a three-point margin over Stewart in second. With two races left in the season, Harvick sits in third, 33 markers back from first. Kenseth and Brad Keselowski are fourth and fifth, respectively.
• 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.
Crew chief Gil Martin on the team’s finish at Texas Motor Speedway not being what they wanted: “No, not really. I mean, if we just ran it straight out, we probably could have run seventh or eighth if we didn’t take two tires under green. But we had to try something and hope the car would come around and maybe we could steal a top-five finish right there. We had about an eighth-place car today which is not horrible, but it’s not what we needed. We gambled right there trying to steal a top five and it didn’t work, so it probably cost us six or seven points. If it works we gained a few points. It is what it is.
“We just didn’t have the early speed. We were good after like 15 or 20 laps, but we just didn’t have any early speed. The pit crew did good. Everybody did good. It was good, we just didn’t have early speed and I just don’t know why. We had it on Saturday in practice and didn’t have it today.”
The following is the finish position of the other beverage-sponsored cars participating in the AAA 500:
• Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, finished third.
• Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford team finished fourth.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 National Guard by Tradition/AMP Energy Chevrolet team finished seventh.
• Brian Vickers and the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota team finished 21st.
• Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, finished 24th.
• Mike Bliss, driver of the No. 32 Street King Ford, finished 34th.
• Dave Blaney, driver of the No. 35 Big Red Chevrolet, finished 35th.
The following is the finish position of the other Richard Childress Racing teams participating in the AAA 500:
• Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet finished ninth.
• Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet, finished 15th.
• Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished 27th.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams travel to the newly renovated Phoenix International Raceway for the Kobalt Tools 500 on Sunday, Nov. 13. ESPN will provide the TV broadcast of the race starting with the pre-race show at 2 p.m. ET. MRN Radio affiliates and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio will provide the radio coverage of the race.