NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - NRA 500
April 13, 2013 – Texas Motor Speedway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Rheem Chevrolet SS team finished 13th in the NRA 500 under the lights of Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday evening. Harvick qualified the red and black machine in the 29th position, but was forced to start the 334-lap affair from the back of the field after the team changed engines during the final practice Friday afternoon. The California native was on a mission as soon as the green flag dropped, making a charge toward the front of the field breaking into the top 15 on lap 49. As the race progressed, Harvick informed crew chief Gil Martin that he was battling a tight-handling condition, but continued to work his way closer to the front settling into the top 10 by lap 135. Throughout the course of the race, the Rheem pit crew made chassis and air pressure adjustments during multiple scheduled four-tire pit stops to remedy the handling issues their driver was battling. Harvick continued to race in the top 10 until the caution flag was displayed on lap 282 in the midst of green-flag pit stops, just after the No. 29 team had visited pit road, placing Harvick one lap down to the leader. Harvick took the wave around during the next caution placing the Rheem Chevrolet in the 13th-position for the ensuing restart. The Richard Childress Racing driver remained in the top 15 during the final laps, ultimately crossing the finish line 13th. The top-15 result allowed Harvick to gain two positions, to 12th, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
It seems like we just can't catch a break these days. All the odds were against us this weekend. We had engine issues that forced us to start from the back of the pack and then went a lap down when the caution came out during green-flag pit stops. Hopefully, our luck will change soon and we can start collecting the finishes this team deserves. - Kevin Harvick