Making his second start of the season for NTS Motorsports, Kevin Harvick entered the weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway hoping to score the team's first-career win in Saturday's Kroger 200. Securing the 21st starting position, Harvick and the No. 14 Anderson's Maple Syrup team set their sites on the front of the field and began their charge forward early in the 200-lap event.
By lap 50 of the race, Harvick had raced his way in to the top 10 and showed no signs of slowing down until he reached the lead position.
The race was slowed for the second time on lap 68 for a spin in turn four. Harvick pitted for four tires and fuel, restarting the race in the sixth position. Quickly after the race returned to green-flag conditions, Harvick moved up to fifth with NTS teammate Ron Hornaday in sixth.
The caution was again displayed on lap 91 and the team opted to stay on track. Under the caution, Harvick updated the team that his truck felt "great, just cruising." When the race restarted, Harvick was listed in the fifth position.
With 80 laps remaining in the Kroger 200, Harvick was quietly making his move toward the front, taking over the second spot before the caution waved on lap 128. The team called Harvick to pit road for their final stop of the race, changing four tires and adding fuel. The race restarted with Harvick third.
Harvick continued to run in the third position as the race was slowed four more times over the next 50 laps, waiting for the best time to make his final moves to the front.
Unfortunately for the No. 14 Anderson's Maple Syrup team, Harvick was involved in a multi-truck incident on lap 188 while running in the top five. With too much damage to continue, the team was forced to retire to the garage leaving Harvick with a disappointing 30th-place finish.
Kevin Harvick Post Race Thoughts:
"I just have to thank all the Anderson's (Maple Syrup) guys for everything they do in this sport. We were biding our time in the top five, waiting for the right time to make our move, and unfortunately we didn't get a chance to race for it at the end. Thanks again to Bob (Newberry) and all the guys at NTS for having me drive their trucks this season at Martinsville. I really wanted to give them their first NCWTS win."