BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 25, 2011)—Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) co-owner Kevin Harvick climbed behind the wheel of the No. 2 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet Silverado for the third-consecutive week of competition as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series made their way to Bristol Motor Speedway. Coming off back-to-back wins, Harvick started the O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 in the sixth position before patiently making his way to the front of the field. The veteran driver worked to conserve fuel during the second half of the 200-lap event allowing him to drive to victory lane for a third-consecutive Truck Series race.
As the green flag waved bringing the field to life, Harvick maintained his starting position until the first caution of the night fell on lap 10 for an accident on the backstretch. Being early in the race, the No. 2 Hunt Brothers Pizza crew opted to stay on track allowing their driver to restart the race in the fifth position on lap 18. On lap 28, Harvick relayed to the KHI team that his Chevrolet was loose on entry of the turns but continued to hold the fifth position as he race around the concrete oval.
The yellow flag was displayed for the second time for a two-truck accident in turn two on lap 32. Crew chief Bruce Cook instructed his driver to remain on track as he felt it was still too early in the race to come in to pit. On lap 37 the field resumed green-flag racing with the No. 2 machine in the fifth position.
Harvick worked his way into the fourth spot when an accident took place in turn three, bringing out the third caution of the night on lap 53. Cook called his driver down pit road for their team’s first scheduled pit stop, taking four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. The No. 2 crew’s speedy pit stop allowed Harvick to be the first truck off of pit road. The green flag was displayed on lap 59 with Harvick running in the sixth position after select teams, who pitted earlier in the race, opted to stay on track during the caution.
The No. 2 settled into the fourth position just as a multi-truck accident erupted on the frontstretch causing NASCAR officials to wave the fourth yellow flag on lap 63. The KHI team opted to remain on track and during the caution laps, Cook and Harvick talked fuel strategy as the team would be close on fuel mileage. Harvick restarted the race on lap 72 in the fourth position and by lap 75 the Bakersfield, Calif., native worked his way into second, setting his sights on the lead.
Caution fell for a fifth time on lap 91 for two trucks colliding in turn four. As the field slowed, Harvick informed the crew that the balance of the No. 2 Chevrolet was very neutral and that he was working to conserve fuel. The crew elected to stay on track leaving Harvick to restart in the second position on lap 97. Harvick didn’t hesitate, and as the green flag waved he moved out front taking over the lead on lap 98.
Once out front, the cautions continued to come. A sixth caution was brought out for an accident in turn two on lap 103, with the seventh quickly following on lap 114 for another multi-truck incident in turn two. With no need to come to pit road, Harvick worked to conserve fuel during the cautions and maintained the lead during the restarts. An eighth caution came on lap 172 for an accident in turn four. The ninth and final caution fell on lap 187 for a truck out of fuel and stopped on the track.
Only 10 laps remained in the race when the green flag was waved for the final time. Harvick, who had worked diligently during the second half of the race to conserve fuel, was able to hold onto the lead and take the No. 2 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet to victory lane for his third consecutive Truck Series victory.
This is the first time in Harvick’s Truck Series career that he has won three consecutive races. With this win, Harvick has now won in all three of NASCAR’s national series (NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Trucks) at Bristol. He has also done this at Michigan International Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. The win also puts the No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado in the lead of the Truck Series Owner’s Point standings.
Clint Bowyer will join the No. 2 Bad Boy Buggies team next Friday evening when the Truck Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Atlanta 200 on September 2. Don’t miss the action live on SPEED at 8:00 p.m. ET and MRN at 7:45 p.m. ET.
Thoughts from the Driver:
“I want to thank the pit crew. They’re the ones who won this race; they had a smoking fast pit stop on this Hunt Brothers Chevrolet. I’ve got to thank all the people form Hunt Brothers Pizza. We’re really excited to get them into victory lane. I’ve got to also thank Rheem, Bad Boy Buggies, OneMain Financial, Budweiser and Chevrolet. Three in a row, that’s pretty cool!”