Kevin Harvick and Richard Childress Racing’s No. 29 Rheem team finished 14th at Pocono Raceway Sunday afternoon after overcoming a pit road penalty and battling a tight-handling condition. Harvick started the 160-lap affair from the 21st position and soon alerted his crew the Rheem Chevrolet’s handling was too tight. Harvick maintained a position within the top 15 until lap 42 when he was issued a penalty by NASCAR officials during a scheduled green-flag pit stop, for speeding on the exit of pit road.
Per NASCAR rules, the RCR driver brought the Rheem Chevrolet back onto pit road for a “pass through” penalty, dropping the No. 29 Chevrolet back to the 26th position. Back on track, the Bakersfield, Calif., native began to work his way toward the front of the field, settling into the top 10 by lap 84. As the race continued, Harvick informed the crew the Rheem Chevrolet was still tight in all areas of the 2.5-mile triangle-shaped track. Throughout the course of several scheduled pit stops, the Shane Wilson-led team worked to alleviate the challenging handling condition the car developed.
As the laps wound down, Harvick continued to the battle handling issues but was able to maintain a position within the top 15, crossing the finish line 14th. Harvick improved one position, to sixth, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 53 markers out of the lead, after the event at the Long Pond, Pa.-based facility.
Start – 21 Finish – 14 Laps Led – 0 Points – 6
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE: “This was not the finish I was hoping for today. The Rheem crew worked hard all day, we just couldn’t catch a break all week at Pocono Raceway. We may not have done as well as we would have liked, but we need to move forward and begin to focus on next week’s race at Michigan (International Speedway).”