Kevin Harvick drove Richard Childress Racing’s No. 33 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet to a runner-up finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday night. The Bakersfield, Calif., native started the 200-lap affair from the fifth position and worked his way to the front of the field, taking the lead on lap 51. Following Harvick’s visit to pit road on lap 54, the two-time Nationwide Series Champion returned to the point position on lap 61 after the field cycled through a round of green-flag pit stops. Harvick alerted crew chief Ernie Cope that the neon yellow machine transitioned from a tight to a loose-handling condition as the run progressed. Cope directed Harvick to pit road during caution periods on laps 84 and 133 for fuel, four tires and chassis adjustments to correct the handling issue the Rheem/Menards Chevrolet developed during the long green-flag runs. Harvick made a final visit to pit road on lap 187 for fuel only under green-flag conditions, returning to the track in the seventh spot. During the final laps of the race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular charged toward to the front of the field and crossed the finish line in the second position, marking Harvick’s record-setting, 150th top-five Nationwide Series finish.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
“This was such a fun race to be a part of. There were so many different grooves to run in, I don’t think I’ve ever seen racing like this at Charlotte (Motor Speedway). The Rheem/Menards Chevrolet just got too loose during the long green-flag runs, and we ran out of time at the end to regain the lead and get the win. We know what we need to work on for the next race, so we’ll take this runner-up finish and move forward.”