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Harvick Remembers Way To Victory Circle

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 3 2010

Kevin Harvick celebrates victory in Nashville on Saturday. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Larry Woody | Senior Writer

Gladeville, Tenn. – It had been four years since Kevin Harvick’s last visit to Nashville Superspeedway, and he said he had a little trouble finding his way through the garage area.

But Harvick remembered the way to Victory Circle – last visited by him here in 2006 – after sailing to a win in Saturday’s Nashville 300 Nationwide Series race.

“I’ve always liked this place, even though it had been awhile since I raced here,” said Harvick, who crossed the line 0.199 seconds ahead of Reed Sorenson, with Kyle Busch claiming third.

Harvick started his Chevy on the outside of the front row and led three times for 52 laps of the 225-lapper around the 1.3 mile concrete oval.

After a late caution Harvick opted for only two tires on his final pit stop – grudgingly, he admitted later – and stayed out front for the final 34 laps after the restart.

“I’m usually not a two-tire guy, but track position was important and that was the right all,” Harvick said after notching his 36th Nationwide career victory.

Brad Keselowski made a late charge from 18th to claim fifth behind Justin Allgaier.

Carl Edwards used a 6th-place finish to hold onto the points lead. He has a 16-point advantage over Keselowski after five races.

Pole-sitter Joey Logano came in seventh.

Harvick finished second to Busch in Friday night’s truck race and said he put the experience to use in the next day’s main event.

“It definitely helped,” he said.

Harvick was presented the traditional Gibson guitar trophy, hand-painted by NASCAR artist Sam Bass. Busch also got a guitar for Friday night’s truck victory and unlike last year when he won a Nationwide race here, he didn’t smash it.

Sorenson, back in the Nationwide Series after losing his Sprint Cup ride, said “It’s nice to run good and build some confidence.”

He said he thought he had a shot at catching Harvick toward the end, “but I needed about five more laps.”

Busch said “It was a tough fight all day. The car was challenging all weekend for us. I’m pleased with the effort but a little disappointed with the results.”

The race was slowed by eight cautions for 49 laps, with one five-car pileup sending Steve Wallace limping away from his wrecked racer. He was checked and released at the infield care center.

– Larry Woody can be reached at lwoody@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 3 2010