Saturday Success For Harvick

Kevin Harvick's weekend at California Speedway started off better than it ended with a third place finish in Saturday's 300 but a 29th in Sunday's Winston Cup Series Auto Club 500.

Harvick drove the PayDay Chevrolet to a third-place finish in the NASCAR Busch Series event Saturday at California Speedway

Harvick, who started the day on the pole after breaking the track record for Busch Series qualifying with a lap of 39.143 sec at 183.941 mph led 59 laps. The effort was strong enough to keep the PayDay Racing team on top of the team rankings.

“We had a good car, but it was loose all day long,” Harvick said. “We built on the owner’s points lead, and we’ll look forward to Richmond.”

Harvick’s pole, the first of the season, would set the tone for the weekend: fast, fast fast.

At the drop of the green flag, Harvick wasted no time building a substantial lead on the field. By lap 15 however, a bad set of tires left Harvick’s PayDay machine loose through the corners, and Michael Waltrip was able take the lead. Harvick would then drop back to the third position, where he would ride without pressure until a lap 40 caution flag was waived.

Harvick came onto pit road in third place for four tires, fuel, a track bar adjustment and a spring rubber. Harvick left pit road with the lead once again.

Again, Harvick built up another substantial lead, until his car experienced loose conditions. Stacy Compton interrupted Harvick’s lead for a lap, and then Harvick was able to gather the car back up and lead all the way to lap 87.

The first and only green flag stop of the day came on lap 101. Harvick came in for four tires and fuel and returned to the racing surface in the 23rd position. On lap 118 another caution flag was waived, Harvick returned to pit road for two tires and fuel. After the leaders cycled through pit stops, Harvick sat comfortably in the 10th position.

The final sprint of the day came after the caution flag laps of 141-143 of the 150-lap race. On the restart, Harvick drove the PayDay machine up through the pack to third from his seventh restart position.

The Hardee’s 250, the next race on the schedule, will air live from the Richmond International Raceway on Friday, May 2, at 7 p.m. ET on the FX cable network and the MRN radio network.

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