Budweiser Racing Team Notes of Interest
• Kevin Harvick scored a seventh-place finish in Thursday’s first Gatorade Duel at Daytona International Speedway, earning the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team a 13th-place starting position in Sunday’s Daytona 500.
• Harvick started Thursday’s race from the 12th position. He ran as high as second and as low as 13th as he moved around in the pack during the 60-lap qualifying race.
• He was running in the 10th position when the caution flag first waved at lap 8 for a four-car wreck that included his Richard Childress Racing teammate Paul Menard.
• Harvick radioed to the team that the Budweiser Chevrolet was running hot in the pack, so he had tried to back up a bit to get some air in the grille in an effort to help lower the car’s water temperature.
• The team pitted for four tires and fuel at lap 10 and Harvick brought the Budweiser Chevrolet back in for a final stop two laps later to top off with fuel.
• For the second half of the race the leaders ran single file until the caution flag waved again at lap 52. Crew chief Shane Wilson elected for the team to stay out and Harvick restarted in the second position with four laps to go.
• Harvick planned to draft with Tony Stewart in the final laps, but wasn’t able to hook up with the No. 14 Chevrolet and drifted back several spots trying to find someone else to work with. The caution flag waved on the final lap, freezing the field, and Harvick was credited with a seventh-place finish.
• Stewart scored the win in Thursday’s first Duel, while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five. In the second qualifying race, Matt Kenseth went to Victory Lane and Regan Smith, Jimmie Johnson, Elliott Sadler and Greg Biffle completed the top-five.
• NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will have three additional practice sessions prior to Sunday’s Daytona 500. Teams will practice 11 a.m. – noon EST and 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. EST on Friday, and 10:30 a.m. – noon EST on Saturday. SPEED will provide live television coverage of all three sessions.
• 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. Fans can also interact with Harvick on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OfficialKevinHarvick.
Harvick on his run in the first Duel: “The temperatures are just way too hot; you can’t really race. Everybody is just trying to position themselves for the last lap. The grills are so tight that at 240 degrees in the pack you are just sitting there and you can’t really make a move. That’s why everybody was so content to stay single-file. I didn’t really know what to do there at the end. Tony (Stewart) was way out ahead of everybody by himself. I thought he was going to back-up and he didn’t back-up. I just backed up too late.”
The following is the finish position of the other beverage-sponsored cars participating in the twin Gatorade Duel races:
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet team finished second in the first Duel.
• Robby Gordon and the No. 7 MAPEI/Menards/SPEED Energy Dodge team finished ninth in the first Duel.
• Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, finished 13th in the first Duel.
The following is the finish position of the other Richard Childress Racing teams participating in the Gatorade Duels:
• Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished fourth in the first Duel.
• Elliott Sadler and the No. 33 General Mills/Kroger Chevrolet team finished fourth in the second Duel.
• Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Menards/Peak Chevrolet finished 24th in the first Duel.
FOX will provide live television coverage of Sunday’s Daytona 500, starting with the pre-race show at noon EST. MRN Radio and SIRIUS NASCAR Radio will provide the live radio broadcast.