NASCAR Season Kicks off at Daytona
Kevin Harvick’s JR Motorsports debut ended one spot short of perfection as the veteran driver wheeled his No. 88 Great Clips Chevrolet to a runner-up finish in the rain-shortened Blue Jeans Go Green 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Harvick wasted little time showcasing the strength of his No. 88 Chevrolet, jumping into the top five in the race’s opening laps. By the race’s first caution at lap 21, he ran fourth despite battling a loose race car. When a lengthy green-flag stint ensued, Harvick began to charge forward, moving as high as second before hitting pit road at lap 78.
Through a cycle of green-flag pit stops, Harvick assumed the lead, bypassing Kyle Busch’s dominant No. 54 car as the No. 88 sat atop the leaderboard for four laps. Busch proved to be the class of the field as he overtook Harvick and maintained the lead before threatening rain clouds finally opened up 32 laps short of the scheduled 200-lap distance.
“We could kind of maintain (with Kyle Busch) but you never know how hard he was running his car and once he gets to a certain point. His car was really fast on restarts and our car was really, really loose on restarts so we’d lose two or three seconds and then kind of maintain from there. We had a good car. We just need to work on a few things on the restarts. Basically, week one here, so I feel really good about where we started."
NASCAR officials made valiant efforts to dry the one-mile facility, but each attempt was once again dampened with another rain shower which eventually led to the race being called official with Harvick second.
About Great Clips Racing
Great Clips has been active in the motorsports medium since 1998 and currently sponsors Hendrick Motorsports' No. 5 entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, driven by Kasey Kahne. Great Clips is an associate sponsor of JR Motorsports’ No. 9 entry, driven by rookie of the year contender Chase Elliot, in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS). Great Clips is primary sponsor for Kasey Kahne Racing’s World of Outlaws team, including the 2013 World of Outlaws Champion No. 9 car, driven by Daryn Pitmann. Great Clips also has a partnership with Shane Hmiel Racing in the POWRi Midget Series, sponsoring the entry driven by Darren Hagen. For information about Great Clips Racing, visit http://www.greatclips.com/racing.
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Long-time Nationwide NASCAR driver, Jason Leffler, died from injuries sustained at a dirt car event in New Jersey on June 12, 2013. Great Clips is proud to have been represented by Jason as our primary driver on the No. 38 for seven years. He represented the Great Clips brand well, on and off the track, and was known for his big heart and kindness to everyone. He will truly be missed.
Our hearts go out to all of Jason's family and friends.
A trust fund is being set up for Charlie Dean, the 5-year-old son of Jason.
This trust will serve as the official Leffler Family fund, with all monies going directly to Charlie's needs. Turner Scott Motorsports co-owner Harry Scott Jr., former Braun Racing owner Todd Braun and Steve Overholser, CFO of Great Clips, will serve as trustees.
Donations can be made to The Charlie Dean Leffler Discretionary Trust at:
The Charlie Dean Leffler Discretionary Trust
c/o SunTrust Bank
232 Williamson Road
Mooresville, NC 28117