Kevin Harvick and crew chief Rodney Childers had strong words about the NASCAR-mandated pit guns after a rough day at Texas Motor Speedway.
Childers actually used an in-race interview to get his point across.
“It’s frustrating,” Childers told Fox Sports. “The crazy part is the lug nut in the jack, I don’t know if we could do that again if we had to. The loose wheels, at some point we got to get these guns better. I’ve bit my lip all year about this stuff and I’m tired of biting my lip about it.
“We’ve got to get some better stuff out here for these guys to change tires with and hopefully we can do that over the next few weeks. Kevin had problems yesterday in the Xfinity race because of the same issue and here we go again today.”
Harvick said he had four loose wheels in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race.
Among the issues the No. 4 had Sunday were a lug nut flying into the jack, costing Harvick eight spots, and a second pit stop early in the second stage for a loose wheel. Pitting under green, Harvick fell off the lead lap and a timely caution in the third stage put him back in contention.
“We’ve talked to [NASCAR]. Everybody on pit road has talked to them,” said Harvick. “This is four out of seven weeks that we’ve had trouble with the pit guns. Yesterday the rear pit wouldn’t even – we had two lug nuts that were tight in the last two pit stops. You had two lug nuts that had 30 pounds of torque on them. Today, you have another one – the wheel doesn’t even get tight. It’s just a mess.”
All of this came after Harvick dominated the first stage of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, leading 87 laps. He would eventually finish second.
“We did overcome a lot. That was unfortunate,” said Harvick. “We had a pathetic day on pit road, two days on pit road because of pit guns. When you have a pit gun problem like we have multiple times and been able to overcome it, and then today we couldn’t overcome it.
“Time after time you can’t get the lug nuts tight because the pit guns don’t work.”
Lining up second to Kyle Busch on the race’s final restart, Harvick had a shot at his fourth win of the season. However, Busch quickly drove away and Harvick was never able to close enough to mount a serious challenge.
“Kyle’s car was good enough to where he could get out there and run pretty good in clean air,” said Harvick. “It took us the whole run to be able to get everything back together and do everything we needed to do to make up a position.
“We weren’t as good behind him as we were in front of him. His car would run fast enough. There is only so much you can make up.”