Kevin Harvick and the No. 33 Armour Vienna Sausages team captured their first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of the 2012 season after leading the most laps while battling a loose-handling condition in the Virginia 259 College Savings 250 under the lights at Richmond International Raceway. The Bakersfield, Calif., native started the race from the third position and quickly reported to crew chief Ernie Cope that he was battling a loose-handling condition on the No. 33 Chevrolet as he traveled around the 0.75-mile race track. Cope called Harvick to pit road during a caution period on lap 40 for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments, sending Harvick back on track in the third position for the lap-44 restart. As green-flag racing resumed, the two-time Nationwide Series champion moved into the lead by lap 71 and remained out front until the team’s final pit stop on lap 187 when the No. 33 pit crew changed four tires, added fuel and made another round of chassis adjustments to combat the loose-handling condition Harvick was facing. The No. 33 Richard Childress Racing team was scored in the second position for the ensuing restart and was shuffled back to the third position as the field returned to full speed. As the final laps ticked away, Harvick powered on to regain the lead with 22 laps remaining in the 250-lap affair and was able to hold onto the top position, grabbing the checkered flag to earn his first victory of the 2012 season.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
“What a great night for the entire Armour Vienna Sausages racing team. It’s been a great year for us in the NASCAR Nationwide Series car, I know we haven’t won the races that we needed to, but man have we led a ton of laps and been in contention to win just about every race this year. Sometimes you go through slumps like that, and when you break them, it just makes a win that much sweeter. Our team did an awesome job tonight, and it’s about time we finally got to celebrate in Victory Lane.”