Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Jimmy John’s team brought home a second-place finish in the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Harvick battled a loose-handling Chevrolet and overcame a pit road mishap on his way to collecting a career-best finish at the one-mile concrete oval. The Bakersfield, Calif., native started the 400-lap event from the sixth position and reported to the Shane Wilson-led crew that the Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was too loose during the initial run.
Over the course of several scheduled pit stops, the No. 29 crew made adjustments attempting to combat the issue. Despite the handling issue, the Richard Childress Racing driver maintained a position within the top 10, until lap 228 when Harvick overshot his pit stall during a scheduled pit stop under caution. The pit road mishap positioned the No. 29 Chevrolet as the last car on the lead lap in the 19th position for the lap-231 restart. As green-flag racing resumed, Harvick began to work his way toward the front of the field, landing in the top 10 by lap 250. As the laps ticked away, Harvick relayed to the crew that the car was still too loose, as he continued to make up ground on the field. The team made two more visits to pit road as they continued to work on the car’s handling.
Solid pit stops allowed the 36-year old driver to continue his move toward the front of the pack, taking over the second position with 47 laps remaining in the race. Harvick remained in the second position until the checkered flag fell, marking his third top-five finish of the 2012 season. Harvick remains seventh in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings after the event at the “Monster Mile”, 46 markers out of the lead.
Start – 6 Finish – 2 Laps Led – 0 Points – 7
Kevin Harvick on his race: “This was a great day for the No. 29 crew, it was the best finish we have ever had at Dover (International Speedway). I’m just glad we had a Jimmy John’s Chevrolet that was capable of keeping up. To be able to make up that much track position says a lot about the distance that we have made on these cars. The driver made the biggest mistake today, but we fixed a lot of problems during the race and made up a lot of ground, and that’s what we need to put ourselves in a position to win races.”