Kevin Harvick and the No. 2 Kroger/Tide team brought home a third-place finish after leading the most laps during the Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway on Friday evening. Earlier in the day, the Bakersfield, Calif., native posted the fastest time in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying, setting a new track record (158.235 mph) and positioning the No. 2 team in the pole-position for the start of the scheduled 200-lap event.
Harvick brought the field to the green flag and led his fellow competitors around the one-mile concrete oval until lap 29, when he came down pit road for a scheduled stop during the third caution period of the event for right-side tires and fuel. Seven teams opted to stay on track, placing Harvick in the eighth position for the lap-32 restart. The Richard Childress Racing driver worked his way toward the front of the field, regained the lead on lap 55 and remained out front until NASCAR officials displayed the red flag for rain. Prior to the break in the race, Harvick informed the Ernie Cope-led crew that the truck developed a tight-handling condition.
As the skies cleared and the field pulled back on track to resume the race, Harvick made a final visit to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to correct the tight condition. The 36-year-old driver restarted the race in the seventh position on lap 124 and worked his way up to third when the race was paused for rain a second time on lap 144. As the level of precipitation increased, NASCAR officials called the race complete on lap 147, leaving Harvick and the No. 2 Kroger/Tide team to settle for a third-place finish. The top-five finish dropped the No. 2 RCR team one spot, to sixth, in the Camping World Truck Series owner’s point standings.
Start – 1 Finish – 3 Laps Led – 96 Owner Points – 6
Kevin Harvick on his race: “We had a great truck all weekend; we just got beat by the weather and didn’t get to finish the race. The guys did a great job controlling what they could control, and that’s all they could do. The Tide truck got really tight in traffic and it took us a while to get around trucks in the end, but in clean air the truck was really fast.”