Kevin Harvick was back to being Happy on Saturday night.
The Stewart-Haas Racing pit crew for Harvick — with a front-tire changer and front-tire carrier from Danica Patrick’s team — had solid pit stops all night in the regular-season finale at Richmond International Raceway.
Harvick had ripped his pit crew publicly six days earlier for bad pit stops, and SHR opted to make a change.
The 2014 Sprint Cup champion credited the pit crew for carrying him to a fifth-place finish, calling it a “championship weekend” for grinding out the finish after he was penalized for speeding on pit road.
“The results speak for themselves,” Harvick said after Richmond. “It was a little bit of a chaotic week.
“As you look at everything that happened on pit road tonight, they did a phenomenal job and they don’t ever have to worry about knowing they can do it because they competed and beat the best of them on pit road.”
Considering his penalty, did he feel the crew guys should get the chance to vent publicly about his error?
“I’m going to be the first one to call myself out on mistakes or things that are happening — if I have a bad restart,” said Harvick.
Harvick has always been vocal on his in-car radio. He is known for demanding crew changes, including crew chiefs.
He knows it might not be the best thing, but it’s his personality.
“This is just honesty,” Harvick said. “Sometimes that’s one of my downfalls and probably don’t approach things the right way. But all in all, we just want to win.
“I just want to win. The team wants to win. I tell them all the time, ‘You can be mad at each other and you can argue and fight because that’s healthy.’ You have to challenge each other to get the most out of it.”
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September 09: Richmond ace Busch tops opening Sprint Cup practice
September 09: Tony Stewart remembering first career win at Richmond
September 05: Martin Truex Jr. came close to NASCAR’s ‘Triple Crown’
September 04: Sadler on boss Dale Jr.: I’m ‘honored … to win for him’
September 02: Dale Earnhardt Jr. to miss rest of 2016 season