Kevin Harvick and the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) Rheem team entered Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway looking to defend their win in the 2009 Nationwide Series Scott’s Turf Builder 300. After running the majority of the 300-lap event in the top 10, Harvick crossed the finish line in the fifth position to claim his third top-five finish of the season.
“Our Rheem Chevrolet was good, we just couldn’t get the track position we needed,” said Harvick following the race. “We had a little trouble on the restarts and it took the car a while to come around, but once it did, the car was good. Overall, it was a good day for our Rheem Chevy.”
Starting the race from the 13th position, Harvick slipped a few spots at the start, but after a few laps under green, began to make his move toward the front. On lap 23, Harvick moved into the top 10, saying the car was loose all the way through the corners.
Continuing to move forward, Harvick was in seventh on lap 30 when the caution waved. Deciding to stay out, Harvick said the car was coming around and was good off the corners.
Back to racing under green, Harvick maintained his position through several cautions and sat in the seventh position on lap 90 when the race was red flagged for a multi-car incident. Once the cars were rolling again, the team opted to make their first stop of the day to take on four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment to help with the handling of the car. The race restarted on lap 95 with Harvick in the 11th position.
Again sliding a few positions of the restart, Harvick was in the 13th spot during the lap 124 caution when he told crew chief Ernie Cope the car was tight at the beginning of the run, but came around as he ran more laps. Harvick restarted in the 10th position on lap 131.
Moving into the fifth position on lap 145, Harvick made another pit stop for four tires, an air-pressure adjustment and fuel under caution. With teams deciding on various pit strategies, and many staying out, Harvick restarted 18th on lap 150. Patiently moving through the field, Harvick took over 10th on lap 185. Under caution on lap 186, Harvick said the car was not bad, but just took time to get going on the restarts. The team pitted for four tires and fuel before restarting the race on lap 196 in the 10th position.
Settling into the top 10, Harvick was able to work his way to fifth by lap 262. With a caution on lap 266, Harvick was shuffled to sixth on the restart and battled to get back in the top five. Taking over the fifth position on the final lap, Harvick scored his third top-five finish in four starts this season.
Penske Racing’s Justin Allgaier won the race to score his first career Nationwide Series victory followed by his teammate Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Harvick.