Richard Childress Racing teammates finished eighth (Kevin Harvick), 17th (Paul Menard) and 21st (Jeff Burton).
Harvick maintained an average running position of 7.641 during the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 while spending 300 of the 301 laps (99.7 percent) running within the top 15.
Harvick was credited with seven of the Fastest Laps Run according to NASCAR’s post race Loop Data Statistics and Burton was credited with two.
Menard made 61 Green Flag Passes, tying him for fifth in the NASCAR Loop Data category.
Menard ran between the 11th and 23rd positions, maintaining an average running position of 16.39 throughout the 301-lap event.
Burton finished third in the NASCAR Loop Data Statistics category of Closers by gaining three positions over the final 10 percent of the race.
Kasey Kahne captured his second Sprint Cup Series win of the 2012 season and was followed to the finish line by Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski.
The next scheduled Sprint Cup Series race is the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 29. The race is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Paul Menard and the Duracell/Menards Team Finish 17th in Loudon
Paul Menard started the No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet from the 13th position and Paul Menard started the No. 27 Duracell/Menards Chevrolet from the 13th position and battled handling issues throughout the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 before finishing 17th. Plagued with a loose-handling condition on the entry and exit of the turns and a tight-handling condition in the center during the majority of the 301-lap affair, crew chief Slugger Labbe called for air pressure and chassis adjustments during the first three scheduled pit stops to help alleviate the challenges that Menard was facing. The Eau Claire, Wis., native remained a fixture in the top 20 despite the persistent handling issues. During a lengthy green-flag run as the race climbed past the halfway point, the No. 27 RCR machine was passed by the leader, but returned to the lead lap when granted the “Lucky Dog Award” on the lap-190 caution. Labbe took advantage of the opportunity and called Menard to pit road for a variety of adjustments, temporarily offering assistance to Menard who drove up the 14th position. Following the final pit stop and round of changes the handling became incredibly loose, causing Menard to drop in the running order and take the checkered flag in the 17th position.
Start – 13
Finish – 17
Laps Led – 0
Points – 15
PAUL MENARD QUOTE: “New Hampshire Motor Speedway is just one of those tracks that we are still trying to figure out as a team. The No. 27 Duracell/Menards team did a great job in the pits today, especially with the different adjustments we threw at the car. Everyone is looking forward to the break next weekend to recharge our batteries, and all of these guys deserve it.”
Kevin Harvick and the Rheem Team Finish Eighth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
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.
Start – 12
Finish – 8
Laps Led – 0
Points – 6
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.”
Pit Road Incident Relegates Jeff Burton to 21st-Place Finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
An early pit road incident, untimely cautions and long green-flag runs relegated Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team to a 21st-place finish in the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Burton started the 301-lap affair from the 25th position and quickly moved into the top 20 by lap 17. On the first round of green-flag pit stops on lap 65, the No. 31 Chevrolet and another competitor mad contact while exiting the pit box, causing a tire rub on the Caterpillar machine. The minor damage never became a factor with on-track performance, but the Richard Childress Racing driver lost valuable track position and dropped one lap down to the leader due to the delay on pit road. After the first caution-flag period of the day, Burton was determined to battle his way into the “lucky dog” position and get back on the lead lap. A 98-lap green-flag run, however, gave the leader ample time to lap several cars ahead of the 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner which took the Caterpillar Chevrolet out of the ‘lucky dog’ position and pinned Burton one lap down. On the ensuing restart, the South Boston, Va., native immediately drove by three competitors and, once again, settled into the “lucky dog” position in 21st-place. Bad luck struck the No. 31 team again on lap 235 when the caution flag was displayed for debris. While Burton was running in the lucky dog position on the track just before the caution flag was displayed, a handful of top-five contenders pitted, putting those drivers one lap down to the leader and taking away the “lucky dog” pass from the No. 31 team. The remainder of the event finished caution-free while the 45-year-old driver turned top-12 lap times while running in the “lucky dog” position for the remainder of the afternoon. Never receiving another caution-flag period to get his lap back, Burton passed three additional competitors on the track and brought home the No. 31 Chevrolet in the 21st position. Burton now sits 19th in Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start – 25
Finish – 21
Laps Led – 0
Points – 19
JEFF BURTON QUOTE: ”We had a pit road incident early in the race that really set us back. We had a top-12 car throughout the day, but couldn’t get a caution when we needed it. The speed was there, but those long green-flag runs hurt us trying to get that lap back. I can’t say I’m not disappointed because the Caterpillar Chevrolet was good in race trim all weekend. We learned a lot.”