Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem team came home with a 25th-place finish in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday afternoon after involvement in a late-race, multi-car incident. The Bakersfield, Calif., native started the 188-lap event from the 16th position before falling back in the pack to protect his Chevrolet from high water and oil temperatures that would create engine issues, which plagued several other cars in the field throughout the course of the event due to the tight pack racing which makes it difficult to cool the engines. With 50 laps complete, Harvick began to work his way toward the front of the pack, but rising temperatures in the Rheem Chevrolet caused the driver to pull out of the pack to find clean air to cool the car. On lap 144, the No. 29 Chevrolet ran out of fuel and Harvick coasted around the track for more than two miles. Just as he was making his way to pit road, the caution flag was displayed for a multi-car incident, allowing Harvick to come down pit road for service, but not before falling one lap down to the race leader. Harvick restarted the race in the 22nd position, one lap down from the leader on lap 150, but was able to gain the lap back as the Lucky Dog in the next caution on lap 177. On the ensuing restart Harvick hooked up with Tony Stewart in the outside lane and the duo charged their way toward the leaders, working his way into the 11th position before another competitor spun on the front stretch, bringing out the caution flag once again. As the field took the green flag for the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, a multi-car accident was triggered in front of the No. 29 Chevrolet which left Harvick with nowhere to go and he was collected in the melee’, ending the day early for the Rheem team. The finish moved Harvick up two positions to fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship driver point standings.
Start - 16 Finish - 25 Laps Led -1 Points - 5
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
“Today was another one of those racing deals, I guess two guys got crossed up there on the restart and just blocked the track. Talladega is fun racing to watch and I enjoy it, but NASCAR has got us in a terrible box here as far as temperatures and things like that. You run around in a pack at 260 (degrees) and the engines just can’t survive those conditions. I love this style racing, just wish we could have secured a better finish for the Rheem Chevrolet team today.”