Richard Childress Racing
March 12, 2012
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Team Finish 11th; Moves to Second Place in Championship Point Standings
"Track position is so important at these tracks and once we lost it, we were done and struggled with the handling from there until the end."
Start – 3
Finish – 11
Laps Led – 4
Points – 2
Richard Childress Racing’s Kevin Harvick looked to be a contender for the win in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 until a tight-handling condition developed, forcing the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team to settle for an 11th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Starting from the third position at the 1.5-mile speedway located 20 miles from “Sin City,” Harvick moved up to the second spot in less than 20 laps and overtook the lead on two occasions for a total of four paces. Harvick remained inside the top five until a mid-race visit to pit road under caution-flag conditions for four Goodyear tires and Sunoco E15 relegated the No. 29 machine to the 15th position for the restart as teams opted to change only two tires. Mired in traffic, Harvick reported that the Chevrolet developed a tight-handling condition. Crew chief Shane Wilson called his driver to pit road under caution for four fresh tires in an effort to help the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet charge back toward the front of the 43-car field in the closing laps. When green-flag racing resumed at lap 250, Harvick was in the 20th position. In the final laps, he gained several positions to earn an 11th-place finish and move up to second place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 10 points behind the top position.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
“The Budweiser Chevrolet started off strong today. We ran up front, led a few laps and stayed in the top five for the first half of the race. Then we lost track position and it killed us. Track position is so important at these tracks and once we lost it, we were done and struggled with the handling from there until the end.”