Realtree All-Star Race Recap
Realtree's "Hunt for the Front" Ends with Top-10 Finish in Sprint All-Star RaceCOLUMBUS, Ga. – With Realtree® on Kevin Harvick’s No. 29 Chevrolet, the team was looking to hunt down the competition for the $1 million dollar prize in the annual 100-lap NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
With no NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) points on the line, just the big payday to the winner of the annual event for the best-of-the-best in the sport, Harvick was hoping to repeat his 2007 feat and celebrate in victory lane with long-time supporter Bill Jordan, president and designer of Realtree.
However, the 16-time NSCS race winner battled handling problems throughout the majority of the race to take the checkered flag in ninth place. Harvick started the four-segment race from the 14th position and, within the first 10 laps, radioed to the team that the car's handling was just "too tight."
Crew chief Gil Martin and the team worked on the car every at every opportunity as the race progressed during the first 50-lap segment and second segment of 20 laps.
When the caution flag waved marking the end of the second segment, Harvick told the team that the car was still not turning well getting into the corners. Martin made the call for the team to stay out and gain track position, putting Harvick in the 11th position for the start of the third segment of 20 laps. The No. 29 Budweiser-Realtree Chevrolet fell back a couple spots, and when the caution flag waved at lap 74, Martin called Harvick in for a four-tire stop to try a big air pressure adjustment before they got to the break before the fourth segment. Harvick restarted in the 16th position with 12 laps to go until the break and was able to pick up a couple spots before the caution flag waved at lap 90.
The teams pulled down pit road for a 10-minute break and Harvick and Martin talked as the team went to work making adjustments on the No. 29 Budweiser-Realtree Chevrolet. Following the break, the teams came back down pit road for a four-tire stop to determine the starting order for the final segment of the race. The No. 29 team got Harvick off pit road in the 14th position, putting him on the outside of the seventh row to start the 10-lap shootout. In the closing laps, Harvick was able to gain a number of spots and took the checkered flag in the ninth position.
"The Budweiser-Realtree Chevrolet was a lot better at the end of the race,” said Harvick. “(The car) was just bad all night getting in the corner and we finally got it to turn and were at least competitive there at the end. So, that was a bright spot in the day."