No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet
Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway
Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest
• Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team finished 19th in the Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway after late-race pit strategy didn’t play out in their favor.
• Harvick started the race from 27th position and raced his way into the top 20 by lap 6 as the caution flag waved for the second time. The No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet was running in the 18th position when NASCAR issued a competition caution at lap 40.
• Prior to coming down pit road, Harvick told the team that the car was “tight in the middle and loose off,” so crew chief Gil Martin called for a two-tire stop at lap 42. Harvick restarted in the 14th position when the field took the green at lap 45.
• On the subsequent run, Harvick radioed that the car was now “too tight all the way through the corner,” so Martin called for a four-tire stop at lap 94. Even though some teams took only two tires, Harvick restarted in the 12th position, gaining two spots from the No. 29 team’s efforts on pit road.
• Harvick ran as high as 11th before reporting a vibration on lap 138. He brought the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet to pit road under green five laps later for a four-tire stop as the vibration continued to worsen. The team checked all the tires following the stop and determined that the vibration must have come from the brakes as a number of teams were reporting brake issues. Martin noted that the team would remove tape on the next trip to pit road to help cool the brakes off.
• Harvick was running in the 26th position when the caution flag waved on lap 158 and was caught a lap down as many of the leaders had yet to make pit stops. The No. 29 team elected to take the wave around to get back on the lead lap and restarted from the 22nd position on lap 163.
• The team pitted under the next caution on lap 169 for four tires, fuel, a chassis adjustment and removed tape from the nose of the car. Harvick restarted from the 23rd position at lap 172 and got up to 15th when the caution flag waved again at lap 219. Martin called for a four-tire stop and elected to put on scuffed tires instead of sticker tires at lap 221.
• Harvick restarted in the 14th position at lap 224 and fell back to 16th as he told the team the car’s handling was “too tight,” during the next run. The team elected to pit early for their final stop of the race to try to help the handling of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet and pitted for four tires and fuel at lap 272.
• As green-flag stops cycled through, many of the leaders pitted late and took only fuel or just two tires on their final stops, dropping Harvick back several spots as the No. 29 team had spent more time on pit road for their four-tire stop, costing them considerable track position.
• At the end of the race, Harvick took the checkered flag in 19th position, one lap down to the leaders.
• Kasey Kahne scored the win in Sunday’s race, breaking an 81-race winless streak. Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton and Ryan Newman completed the top-five finishing positions.
• Edwards continues to lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings by three markers over Stewart. Harvick remains third in the standings, but is now 51 points back from the lead and is mathematically out of contention for the championship heading into the final race of the season. Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson complete 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 his finish at Phoenix International Raceway: “It was a tough day for the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team. We didn’t quite know what to expect with the new surface and the weather this weekend. We took some gambles today and it didn’t work out in the end. We’ll head to Homestead next weekend and try to end the season on a better note.”
The following is the finish position of the other beverage-sponsored cars participating in the Kobalt Tools 500:
• Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, finished first.
• Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, finished 18th.
• Brian Vickers and the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota team finished 23rd.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 Retro Diet Mountain Dew National Guard Chevrolet team finished 24th.
• Cole Whitt, driver of the No. 84 Red Bull Racing Toyota, finished 25th.
• J.J. Yeley and the No. 38 Vampt Ford team finished 28th.
• Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford team finished 34th.
• Robby Gordon and the No. 7 SPEED Energy/MAPEI Dodge team finished 35th.
The following is the finish position of the other Richard Childress Racing teams participating in the Kobalt Tools 500:
• Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Global Mining Chevrolet team finished fourth.
• Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Peak/Menards Chevrolet, finished ninth.
• Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 USO/Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet finished 10th.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams head to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the season finale Ford 400. 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.