Kevin Harvick and the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) Miracle Whip team rounded out the month of May with a solid sixth-place finish at the ‘Beast of the Southeast,’ Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
“The Miracle Whip Chevy was pretty good,” said Harvick following the race. “We started out the race too loose and made adjustments throughout the entire day. We’d start loose, but by the end of a run, we were too tight. The guys and Ernie (Cope, crew chief) worked on the car all race, making adjustments on each stop. We’ll take another solid top 10 and move on to next week.”
Starting the TECH-NET Auto Service 300 from the 18th position, Harvick patiently began to pick his way through the field with a loose-handling car to move into the top 10 on lap 23. Running lap times similar to the leaders, Harvick was scored in the sixth spot when green-flag pit stops began on lap 52.
Deciding to pit on lap 56 from the sixth position, Harvick took on four fresh tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment to help with the car’s handling. With the stops cycling through the field, Harvick was in the eighth position.
Continuing under green-flag conditions, Harvick radioed crew chief Ernie Cope that the car was too loose on lap 65 from the sixth position.
By lap 91, Harvick moved into fifth only to fall back to sixth on lap 99 when he radioed the team that the car was now too tight, but was so loose at the start of the run that he could hardly drive it. After discussing changes to make to the car, the team was able to make an air-pressure and wedge adjustment, as well as take on four fresh tires and fuel on lap 103 under caution. Harvick restarted the race fifth on lap 108.
Falling one position, Harvick maintained his position in the sixth spot until the caution flag waved again on lap 138. The team opted to bring Harvick to pit road for four tires, fuel and another small air-pressure adjustment. Following the fast stop by the team, Harvick overtook the fifth position on the lap 142 restart before dropping to seventh.
With 14 scheduled laps remaining in the race, Harvick was scored in the eight spot when the caution flag waved. Cope again called Harvick down pit road for four tires, fuel and another air-pressure adjustment. Harvick restarted the race on lap 191 from the 10 spot.
Surviving a rash of late-race cautions and one attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, Harvick earned his 11th top-10 finish of the season with a solid sixth-place finish.
Kyle Busch won the race followed by Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Justin Allgaier and Ryan Newman.
May 29, 2010
Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway
TECH-NET Auto Service 300
Race: 12 of 35
Driver: Kevin Harvick
Owner’s Point Standings: 4th (+/- 0 spots, 94 points out of 1st)
Driver’s Point Standings: 3rd (+/- 0 spots, 94 points out of 1st)
Race length: 200 laps/300 miles
Banking: 24-degrees in turns
5-degrees on straight-a-ways
Track layout: 1.5-miles
Number of Race Cautions: 7 for 28 Laps
First Practice: 25th (31.197 seconds; 173.094 mph)
Final Practice: 11th (30.824 seconds; 175.188 mph)
Qualifying: 18th (29.558 seconds; 182.692 mph)
Next on the Nationwide Series Schedule:
Date: June 5, 2010
Track: Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway
Event Name: Federated Auto Parts 300
Driver: Mike Bliss
Broadcast Time: 7:30 p.m., ET on ESPN and 7:30 p.m., ET on MRN Radio