Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Lugnut Report: Kevin Harvick Takes Second, Again

It has been a fast start for Kevin Harvick in 2010. After struggling in 2009, Harvick and his team came to Daytona ready to contend each week for wins and for the championship.

After a second-place finish last week at Auto Club Speedway, Harvick has had an up-and-down weekend and on Sunday it was more up than down.

On Friday he hit the wall early in traffic. It sent him to the garage for most of practice and they were unable to get a qualifying run done. For Sunday’s race he started 37th but the team was able to work on the car Saturday.

On Sunday Harvick wasted no time starting in the back. In fact, he had one of the fastest cars on the track early in the race. On the second caution of the day, the team hit pit road, took four new tires and a slight chassis adjustment.

It was a solid pit stop, but they were trapped back in 18th position on the restart. On the caution on lap 87, they planned on raising the track bar one round and leaving the air pressures alone.

He said he had good grip and was a lot more comfortable on the run. He came out 20th on the pit stop.

Harvick seemed to struggle in traffic. On the caution for the caution lights malfunctioning, there was a ton of strategy going on. Harvick and his crew just took two tires and fuel and restarted eighth.

Harvick worked his way up to sixth by lap 120.

Harvick had a fast car but the long green flag run had them making a stop under green. He maintained track position in fifth. He was really tight after they went too far on an adjustment.

After a more than 100 lap green flag run, a caution came out for Kevin Conway hitting the wall. The leaders hit pit road and Harvick and his crew took right sides only. They came off second behind Jeff Gordon.

With just 40 laps to go, Harvick was able to move his way back into third and with 10 to go he was battling Gordon for second place. Harvick finished second for the second consecutive race.

It was an impressive rebound for them after how the weekend began. They really were able to work on the car and make it better as the race went on.

Now they head to Atlanta next week where they hope to finally break that winless streak.

Check out Jen Preston’s Lugnut Report on Kurt Busch.

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