Kevin Harvick dominated the Bojangles’ Southern 500 Sunday night but walked away with a second-place finish.
It was a result of an unfortunate night on pit road.
Harvick led 214 of 367 laps, but a malfunctioning air gun not only cost him the race lead but the race. Crew chief Rodney Childers pointed to that pit stop, one of a few slow ones, as the turning point of the No. 4 team’s race during an interview with Marty Snider on Wednesday’s episode of NASCAR America.
“We definitely had a gun problem on that one stop, that’s really the one that cost us the race,” said Childers. “Overall we’re working hard this week to fix some of that stuff and to try and make things better.”
Harvick expressed his frustration with his pit crew after the race while some called for them to be replaced. But as Childers explained, it’s not that simple.
“I can’t tell you how many messages I got, oh, just fire the pit crew and start over,” Childers said. “It doesn’t work that way in this stuff. Every good pit crew member all up and down pit road is all under long-term contracts, and nobody is going anywhere, so all of us at SHR are working hard to see what our options are and what we can do to make things better.
“But we’ve got three cars in the Chase, and we’ve got to make all three of those cars the best they can be. Like I said, we’re trying to do the best we can, and hopefully, we’ll have something right by Chicago.”
Harvick, the 2014 Sprint Cup Series champion, is locked into the Chase on the strength of two wins.