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2011 Brickyard 400 Photo Gallery
Photos Below By Dan Peters
Kevin Harvick wins second race in a row.. He is “Happy” again
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team scored back-to-back wins by capturing the victory in Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. For the second week in a row, Harvick saved the best for last and passed Dale Earnhardt Jr. with only four laps remaining in the event to pick up his 16th career win in Sprint Cup Series competition.
“It was just a crazy day for us. We started the race and our car was really, really loose. We came in and made a lot of adjustments, made it a little bit better and we kept working on it and then we wrecked it. And, after we wrecked it, it actually got going pretty good. But, then we started changing and making huge swings at it. It's just a huge credit to the organization and the team for keeping me sane. They kept me somewhat grounded, I think, and then we were able to focus on working on our car and getting back to where we needed to be. It was just a great character building day for our team. I don't know how many character building days we can have but we'll keep enjoying them as long as we wind up this way."
Harvick started Sunday's race from the ninth position, but fell back to 25th just 30 laps into the race as he told the team that the car's handling was loose. Crew chief Gil Martin called him to pit road at lap 54 for fresh tires and major adjustments to improve the car's handling. While the changes helped, Harvick was only able to get up to 17th before the red flag waved for officials to make repairs to the track wall following a wreck at lap 220. The field took the green flag at lap 229 and Harvick restarted 16th. Just two laps later, the caution flag waved again, but this time the No. 29 Budweiser sustained damage as the field checked up. Harvick brought the car to pit road for new right-side tires and repairs to the right-front fender. Harvick restarted in the 25th position at lap 238. Two laps later, he narrowly avoided yet another accident in turns one and two, and restarted in the 21st position at lap 247.
Harvick continued to battle the handling on the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet and was running in the 23rd position when the leaders started hitting pit road at lap 315 for green-flag pit stops. Martin had Harvick stay out until he led at lap 335. The caution flag waved again on lap 351, leaving only 11 cars on the lead lap. Harvick and Martin decided to stay out and get waved around with the other lap-down cars, placing the No. 29 team back on the lead lap with 140 laps to go.
After the field went back to green, Harvick worked his way up two spots to 16th and radioed to the team that the car was "pretty good." When he brought the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet back to pit road at lap 372, Martin called for a two-tire stop to gain track position. Harvick restarted 10th at lap 376 and remained inside the top 10 for the rest of the race. He passed Denny Hamlin for fourth at lap 438 and got by Jeff Gordon for third at lap 455. The caution flag waved for the final time at lap 465, setting teams up for the final pit stop of the day. The No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team changed four tires and added fuel to the car and came off pit road in third position.
The No. 48 car was called for speeding when entering pit road, and had to serve a penalty, placing Harvick second on the final restart at lap 471. Harvick got hung up in the outside groove and lost several positions before he could get back down to the bottom. However, once he got back in his rhythm, Harvick quickly started working his way back to the front. The No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet moved into second position at lap 487 and Harvick wasted no time in chasing down the No. 88 Chevrolet of Earnhardt Jr. Harvick made his move at lap 496 and was able to clear the No. 88 to take over the top spot. He extended his lead in the closing laps and took the checkered flag with a 0.727-second margin of victory.
"Well, I think it just shows what we are made of again today. We crashed and fell back to about the last car on the lead lap there on the first run and just everybody here on this RCR/Budweiser/Chevrolet team have done a great job and we just keep fighting. We had something left to race there at the end and, heck, it wound up going .I didn't believe them when they told me how fast it was but when we got towards the front, man, they weren't lying to me so it was pretty cool.
Kevin Harvick Does the Double and Raced at Chicagoland Speedway June 4th, 2011
Photos From Chicagoland Speedway By Dan Peters
Kevin Harvick looks to the skies as dark clouds are on the horizon. Moments later, heavy rain canceled Nationwide qualifying and the field was set by owner points.
Kevin Harvick Carries the Bud Colors in 2011 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Kevin Harvick Carries the Bud Colors for 2011
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