JR Motorsports Race Report
Friday, Aug. 22, 2014
Race 23 of 33: Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway
Track Specs: .533-mile concrete oval
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 73 degrees
Race Winner: Ryan Blaney
Harvick’s Finish: 7th
Kevin Harvick extended his top-10 streak in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition to 20 consecutive races with a seventh-place result in Friday night’s Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. For Harvick and the No. 5 Hunt Brothers Pizza team, the finish marks their 10th top-seven result in as many starts this season.
From the drop of the green flag, Harvick found advancing through the field a difficult task. Harvick patiently moved to 10th before the first caution at lap 42. During the caution period, crew chief Ernie Cope called Harvick to pit road for four fresh tires, knowing the field would be slowed again at lap 60 for a competition caution. At that time, Harvick returned to pit road for fuel only while other leaders made two or four-tire pit stops. Cope’s strategy moved Harvick all the way up to fifth.
Harvick alternated restart positions between fifth and sixth for a trio of restarts in the final 50 laps, but could never solidify himself in the top five. After taking the race’s final restart with six laps to go in sixth, a jam up at the green flag forced Harvick to slow and drop to seventh where he took the checkered flag.
Ryan Blaney outdueled Kyle Busch on a late restart to earn his second career victory with Chase Elliott, Ty Dillon and Regan Smith rounding out the top five.
Ernie Cope, crew chief No. 5 Hunt Brothers Pizza team
“We just didn’t give Kevin a good enough car tonight. We were too loose in qualifying, and in the race, we couldn’t tighten the car up enough for him to make passes and get going on restarts. Starting 13th put us behind from the start and we had to try to mix up our pit strategy to gain track position. We’re disappointed with seventh tonight, but everyone is really looking forward to the next few races with Kevin in the car.”