NASCAR & Auto Racing

Harvick's rally huge for Chase

Kevin Harvick’s No. 29 Chevrolet was sent spinning sideways in Turn 2 on the first lap of Sunday’s race after contact from Joe Nemechek’s car.

Harvick kept his car off the wall and spent the rest of the clawing his way back toward a fourth-place finish in what could wind up being a very important rally in terms of his bid to make this year’s Chase.

“This is the same car we raced at Indy last week,” said Harvick, who finished 37th there to fall to 13th – the first spot outside the Chase. “They turned it around and fixed half the body and brought it here.”

Harvick’s comeback lifted him to 11th in the standings, eight points ahead of Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer in 12th and 19 ahead of Matt Kenseth, who slipped to third.

Like Harvick, Bowyer’s team played the fuel strategy right at the end of the race and he finished sixth to maintain his 12th-place spot. RCR teammate Jeff Burton finished 21st after suffering a pit road penalty when a tire got away on his final stop. Burton fell two spots to fifth in the standings but still is in good shape for making the Chase. All three RCR cars made the Chase last year.

- David Poole