Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem team finished eighth while battling handling issues throughout the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The new father started the race from the 12th position and reported to the Shane Wilson-led pit crew that the Rheem Chevrolet was loose in the center and exit of the corners during the early laps, yet gained track position moving into the top 10 by lap 56.
The Rheem pit crew made multiple two and four-tire scheduled pit stops which also included air pressure and chassis adjustments to try and alleviate the handling condition Harvick was battling. The Bakersfield, Calif., native maintained a running position in the top 10 while the loose-handling condition turned into a tight-handling condition in the center of the turns.
Wilson called the driver to pit road for one final attempt to improve the handling of the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing machine on lap 234 while under caution-flag conditions. The pit crew changed right-side tires, added fuel and made air pressure and track bar adjustments. The speedy stop allowed Harvick to restart in the third position on lap 239.
As green-flag racing continued, Harvick reported the tight-handling condition in the center of the turn and loose-handling condition on exit was still present and getting worse as the run continued as the RCR veteran driver fell back in the field, ultimately crossing the finish line in the eighth position. Harvick remains sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 85 points behind the leader.
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
"I'm really proud of the entire Rheem crew and the effort they put in today, but we couldn't figure out the right setup to get the Rheem Chevrolet out front. We finished about where we should have. Our car was really tight to the center of the corner and we never could fix that without making it too loose off. I'm looking forward to the off weekend, it couldn't have come at a better time; it will be great to spend time at home with my wife and newborn son Keelan."