JR Motorsports Race Report
Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016
Race 29 of 33: Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile quad-oval / 200 laps
Weather: Clear; 65 degrees
Race Winner: Joey Logano
Harvick’s finish: 7th
Kevin Harvick earned his fourth top-10 finish of the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season on Sunday after his seventh-place finish in the Drive for the Cure 300. The No. 88 JR Motorsports entry also advanced to the second round of the NXS Owner Championship Chase and currently sits sixth, 21 points behind the leader.
For the second week in a row, qualifying was cancelled due to weather. The lineup was set by final practice speeds and the No. 88 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet lined up 19th for the 300-mile race. Five laps into the first green flag run, Harvick reported that his car was loose and by lap 13 he reported that the car needed a large adjustment.
When the caution was shown on lap 26, the California native told the team that he didn’t have any rear grip from the apex to the exit of the turn. Once pit road was open, the No. 88 was serviced for four tires, fuel, an air pressure adjustment and a track bar adjustment. On lap 60, Harvick was scored in the 11th position.
On lap 66 the caution waved for debris on the backstretch and Harvick reported that the No. 88 machine was over rotating, but was a little bit better than the previous run. The team elected to pit for four tires, fuel, a left side air pressure adjustment and a wedge adjustment. Harvick reported on lap 72 that those adjustments helped the car and was scored in the ninth position. By lap 96, the No. 88 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet cracked the top five.
Green-flag pit stops got underway and the No. 88 visited pit road on lap 120 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Six laps after pitting, Harvick reported that his Chevrolet was loose. On lap 130, Harvick was scored in the fifth position and radioed to the team that his machine was sideways. Teammate Elliott Sadler got by Harvick, moving him to the sixth position.
With 23 laps remaining, the caution flag was shown and the No. 88 team elected to take the wave around after going a lap down. Three laps after going green, the caution flag fell for the final time of the evening. While under caution, Harvick visited pit road for four tires only.
Harvick brought home a seventh-place finish with the No. 88 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, which helped advance the No. 88 JR Motorsports entry into the second round of the NXS Owner’s Chase.
Joey Logano brought home the win and was followed by Sadler, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, and fifth-place Erik Jones.
Dave Elenz, crew chief No. 88 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet team
“We had a trying day with our Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet. We weren’t able to start where we needed to due to weather cancelling our qualifying. Our team was able to work on it throughout the day and we turned the No. 88 into a top-five car. Unfortunately the way that the cautions fell at the end, we weren’t able to show the speed we had in the car. We will move on to Kansas next week.”