NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Sprint All-Star Race
May 18, 2013 – Charlotte Motor Speedway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem/Budweiser Chevrolet SS team earned a hard fought 11th-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race under the lights of Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night. The California native started the non-points paying event from the 19th position, but dropped to the back of the field because the team changed a motor following practice on Friday. During the early laps of the race, Harvick reported he was battling a tight-handling black, red and white Chevrolet causing the team to pit under caution on lap eight for fuel, four tires and multiple chassis adjustments. Back on track, the handling issues persisted leaving Harvick to finish 18th after the first of five segments. Only laps into the second segment, the Richard Childress Racing driver informed crew chief Gil Martin the car had transitioned from tight to loose. Despite the handling issues, Harvick managed to gain track position finishing the second segment 12th. Harvick continued to work his way toward the front of the field during the third segment, settling into the ninth spot by the time caution flag waved. Between segments, the pit crew went to work changing right-side tires and adding fuel to the No. 29 machine. The quick pit stop positioned their driver in second for the fourth segment restart. After battling competitors with four fresh tires, Harvick lost ground falling back to sixth by the end of segment four. Following a mandatory four-tire pit stop during the final scheduled caution period of the night, Harvick returned to the track in 13th for a 10-lap shootout. The 2007 Sprint All-Star Race champion worked his way up to 11th, where he ultimately crossed the finish line.
This was a long, tough weekend for the Rheem/Budweiser team. Between switching engines after practice on Friday and making a bunch of changes to the car during the race, these guys really worked hard. We didn't get the finish we would have liked tonight, but we did learn a few things about the car that will hopefully be useful for us during the Coca-Cola 600 next weekend. - Kevin Harvick