JOLIET, Ill. (September 17, 2011) – Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) co-owner Kevin Harvick joined the No. 2 Bad Boy Buggies team as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series made its way to Chicagoland Speedway for the Fast Five 225. Harvick started the race on the outside pole and led the most laps (99) before developing a tire vibration late in the race leaving the No. 2 machine to cross the finish line second.
As the green flag fell bringing the field to life, Harvick quickly took over the lead, settling into the top position on the first lap. The veteran driver began pulling away from the field when the first caution waved on lap 11 for debris on the track. Being early in the race, the No. 2 team opted to stay off of pit road, allowing Harvick to keep the lead for the restart on lap 13.
As green-flag racing resumed, Harvick continued to run out front, but informed the crew that the No. 2 Chevrolet was becoming loose off of the corners. Crew chief Bruce Cook instructed his driver to utilize his brake fans to help alleviate the loose-handling condition he was facing allowing him to stay out in front of the field. On lap 40, Cook brought Harvick down pit road for the team’s first scheduled green-flag pit stop of the night. The team took four tires and fuel sending their driver back on track in the 17th position. As the field cycled through the round of green-flag stops, Harvick regained position in the top five by lap 46.
After moving back toward the front of the field, Harvick relayed to the team that the No. 2 Chevrolet was still loose. Cook again reminded him to use the brake fans to help combat the loose-handling condition and Harvick continued his march toward the front of the field, moving into second on lap 53. Just as the driver settled into the position, the second caution of the race fell after a truck put down oil on the track on lap 59. Cook used the opportunity to bring the No. 2 machine down pit road for four tires, fuel, air-pressure and chassis adjustments. The KHI team’s stop put Harvick back on track to restart the race in fourth on lap 65.
Back under green-flag conditions, the Bakersfield, Calif., native regained the lead on lap 69. Out front, Harvick pulled away from the field and developed a lead of 3.7 seconds over the second-place truck when the third and final caution came on lap 83 for debris. The No. 2 Chevrolet was brought to pit road during the caution for fuel and a quick chassis adjustment. The speedy stop by the Bad Boy Buggies crew allowed Harvick to restart the race in the first position on lap 87.
The No. 2 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet remained out front but as the laps wound down, Harvick reported he felt a tire vibration. With the final round of green-flag stops on the horizon, Cook brought his driver to pit road on lap 129, four laps earlier than the team had planned. The No. 2 crew bolted on four fresh tires and filled the truck with fuel and Harvick returned to the track in the 10th position as green-flag stops continued to cycle through the field.
With 14 laps remaining in the event, the KHI co-owner moved into the top five and worked to make his way back into the lead before the checkered flag would wave. Harvick settled into second with 10 laps to go and began reeling in the No. 3 truck who had only taken two tires and fuel during the green-flag stop. In the final laps, the driver made ground on the leader, but time ran short leaving him to cross the finish line in the second position.
Harvick will return to the driver’s seat of the No. 2 JEGS Chevrolet on September 24 when the Truck Series makes their way to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the F.W. Webb 175. Don’t miss the action live on SPEED at 3:00 p.m. ET and MRN at 2:45 p.m. ET.
Thoughts from Kevin Harvick:
“As a driver you want to win the race, especially when you had a truck like we did, but at a track like this it all comes down to strategy. The No. 2 Bad Boy Buggies team did a great job tonight, and I’m happy we were able to have such a strong run in Chicago. Unfortunately when I felt the vibration before our final pit stop, it limited our options. Instead of being able to take two tires, we were forced to take four. But, this was still a good night for us with the [Truck Series] Owner’s Champion standings as well, so I can’t be upset about that.”