By admin | September 19, 2010
By Richard Allen
Frustrated. Angry. Impatient. Those are all words that would describe Kevin Harvick’s mood during the first two-thirds of the Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday. Time after time the Bakersfield, California driver admonished his crew for any number of errors he believed they had committed.
During an early race caution, Harvick was asked by his crew if he wanted to pit. “We’re not running fast enough to get the tires hot,” was the driver’s reply from inside the car.
As the early stages of the race played out, it only got worse for Harvick and his Richard Childress Racing team. After one pit stop he radioed, “The car’s pushing!” Then he went on to add that, “We’ve made two of the worst f***ing pit calls we could have made.”
At the time, the driver who had led the ‘regular season’ Sprint Cup Series standings was languishing between positions 15 and 20 on the scoreboard after starting the race from the 27th spot.
Harvick commented further on his car’s handling with the simple phrase, “Terrible, terrible, terrible.”
After yet another pit stop Harvick was still displeased with his car’s performance when the crew informed him that they had added an adjustment beyond what he and they had discussed prior to the stop. “When we talk about something don’t do more,” he blasted.
Even ESPN commentator and former crew chief Andy Petree declared that Harvick was being particularly hard on his crew.
However, all of this frustration was eventually turned around for the RCR #29 team. In the race’s final third Harvick began moving toward the front. As the laps wound down he found himself inside the top-10 and ahead of a number of his fellow Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders who had suffered a number of misfortunes.
At the end of the day Harvick crossed the finish line in the 5th spot as some cars ran out of fuel. Considering the difficulties of the day he had to feel as though that was quite an improvement. And his crew had to be glad they did not have to deal with their driver after a poor finish.
A number of drivers provide noteworthy scanner chatter during races. Without a doubt, Sunday was Kevin Harvick’s day to offer up the entertaining fodder. That is, except for the members of his crew.
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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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