No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet
AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest
• Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet team locked a top-10 spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with a seventh-place finish in the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
• The start of the race was postponed two days due to rain from remnants of Tropical Storm Lee and when the field took the green on Tuesday morning, Harvick started from the 21st position.
• On the initial run Harvick reported that the car was too tight as he worked his way up to the 16th position before the caution flag waved for the first time at lap 11. Crew chief Gil Martin called for the team to not pit, as NASCAR had announced a competition caution at lap 30 and teams couldn’t take fuel until that point.
• Harvick restarted from the sixth position at lap 16 and ran inside the top seven until a restart on lap 134. As the field came to the green flag, the No. 18 car appeared to jump the restart and then check up to correct his position, bunching up the field behind him. As a result, the No. 43 car made contact with the No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet, knocking it sideways. Harvick made an impressive save, but fell back to 10th with minor damage to the left-rear bumper.
• Harvick worked his way back up to fourth before rain brought out the caution at lap 200. Martin called the No. 29 Chevrolet down pit road for tires and fuel two laps later. The field ran under yellow for eight more laps before NASCAR threw the red flag to work on drying the track. Once the track was ready, the green flag waved at lap 219 with Harvick in the third position. He went three wide for the lead, but missed a shift and dropped back to third.
• The caution flag waved yet again just two laps later as rain continued to plague the race. When the green flag waved at lap 231, Harvick had trouble with the transmission again, missed a shift and fell to fifth. He dropped one more spot as he battled a tight-handling car and was running sixth when the caution flag waved at lap 241. When the team pitted two laps later, Martin called for track bar and air pressure adjustments to help free the car up for Harvick.
• When the caution flag waved again at lap 250, Harvick reported that the car took off better, turning-wise, after the adjustments. On the subsequent restart he fell back to ninth and reported that splitter damage was killing the car’s handling.
• Harvick worked his way up to seventh before the team pitted under green at lap 283. He narrowed in on the top five in the closing laps, but remained in the seventh position as he took the checkered flag at lap 325.
• Jeff Gordon scored the win at Atlanta, which marked his 85th-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) victory and placed him third on NASCAR’s all-time win list. Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five finishing positions.
• Johnson took over the lead in the NSCS driver point standings. Kyle Busch is second and Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Gordon complete the top five. Harvick is ranked sixth, 54 markers back from the lead. The point standings will be reset following Saturday’s race at Richmond International Raceway for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
• 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 run at Atlanta: “The No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet team had a solid race today. We had damage to the splitter that got the car too tight for the last 100 laps or so, but we were a top-five car before that. The guys did a great job on pit road, too.”
The following is the finish position of the other beverage-sponsored cars participating in the AdvoCare 500:
• Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, finished sixth.
• Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford team finished ninth.
• Brian Vickers and the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota team finished 11th.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 National Guard Military Intelligence Chevrolet team finished 19th.
• J.J. Yeley and the No. 38 Vampt Ford team finished 25th.
• Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, finished 34th.
• Robby Gordon and the No. 7 SPEED Energy Dodge team finished 39th.
• Dave Blaney and the No. 60 Big Red Chevrolet team finished 43rd.
The following is the finish position of the other Richard Childress Racing teams participating in the AdvoCare 500:
• Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished 13th.
• Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet, finished 18th.
• Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet finished 36th.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will travel to Richmond, Va., for the final race before the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 10. ABC will provide the live television broadcast of the race starting with the pre-race show at 7 p.m. ET. MRN Radio affiliates and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio will provide the radio coverage of the race.