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Harvick Uproots Busch In Atlanta Nationwide Race

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 1 2013

Kevin Harvick held off Kyle Busch to win Saturday night's Great Clips/Grit Chips 300 Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Brian Lawdermilk)

Kevin Harvick was able to keep Kyle Busch behind him over a seven-lap run to the finish of Saturday night’s Great Clips/Grit Chips 300 Nationwide Series and win the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Harvick beat Busch to the finish line by .580 seconds after clearing the No. 54 Toyota with five laps left. The narrow loss kept Busch winless in the Nationwide Series at the 1.54-mile speedway and broke a streak of wins from the pole by the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.

Busch had been six-for-six this season in converting poles into victories before Saturday’s race.

The win was Harvick’s first of the season in seven starts, his second at Atlanta and the 40th of his career. It came one year after he dominated the race only to end up third.

“That’s two – actually three – years in a row that we had a dominant car,” Harvick said, “and you think something’s going to go wrong, but we just kept digging, and these guys did a great job,” Harvick said. “We brought the same stuff back that we had last year and it worked again.”

“(We) fought hard and came up short,” Busch said. “I had a run on him one time, he blocked my air and put me in the fence, so I had to check up before I got to the fence. It is what it is. Second again.”

Series leader Sam Hornish Jr. ran third, followed by Kasey Kahne and rookie Kyle Larson.

A caution on lap 104 for debris on the backstretch erased a seven-second lead Harvick had built through a cycle of green-flag pit stops around the race’s midpoint. Undeterred, Harvick pulled away after the ensuing restart on lap 109 and owned a lead of more than five seconds when the next cycle of green-flag stops began on Lap 143.

Harvick was the last of the top three to come to pit road (lap 148), and by the time the field cycled through, his advantage over Joey Logano, then running second, had dwindled to .9 seconds.

Stretching his margin to as much as 1.9 seconds, Harvick was comfortably ahead when Jeff Green’s hard crash into the outside wall in the tri-oval on Lap 182 caused the fourth caution of the night.

That set up the final seven-lap green-flag run, after four-tire pit stops for the leaders, with Busch surging into second moments after the restart and battling side-by-side with Harvick before the driver of the No. 33 Chevrolet finally pulled ahead.

NASCAR Nationwide Series Race – Great Clips – Grit Chips 300

Atlanta Motor Speedway

1. (20) Kevin Harvick(i), Chevrolet, 195, $50190.

2. (1) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 195, $36475.

3. (6) Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 195, $30975.

4. (4) Kasey Kahne(i), Chevrolet, 195, $22300.

5. (13) Kyle Larson #, Chevrolet, 195, $27525.

6. (16) Joey Logano(i), Ford, 195, $16575.

7. (3) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 195, $22310.

8. (2) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 195, $23920.

9. (5) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 195, $21025.

10. (12) Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 195, $21350.

11. (14) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 195, $19575.

12. (10) Nelson Piquet Jr. #, Chevrolet, 195, $19300.

13. (19) Chris Buescher, Ford, 195, $18500.

14. (8) Michael Annett, Ford, 195, $17950.

15. (9) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 195, $18450.

16. (17) Parker Kligerman, Toyota, 195, $18200.

17. (11) Travis Pastrana, Ford, 195, $17625.

18. (7) Elliott Sadler, Toyota, 195, $18525.

19. (22) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 194, $17450.

20. (24) Cole Whitt, Toyota, 193, $18025.

21. (25) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 193, $17275.

22. (15) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 193, $17200.

23. (23) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 192, $17125.

24. (21) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 190, $17050.

25. (33) Robert Richardson Jr., Chevrolet, 189, $17475.

26. (30) Kyle Fowler, Ford, 189, $16950.

27. (27) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 188, $16900.

28. (31) Ken Butler, Toyota, 186, $16825.

29. (26) Jeff Green, Toyota, Accident, 176, $16775.

30. (36) Tony Raines, Toyota, Vibration, 102, $16975.

31. (37) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, Overheating, 95, $16625.

32. (28) Jamie Dick, Chevrolet, Ignition, 90, $16580.

33. (38) Matt Dibenedetto, Dodge, Handling, 38, $16510.

34. (18) Alex Bowman #, Toyota, Engine, 32, $16465.

35. (34) Danny Efland, Chevrolet, Vibration, 27, $10413.

36. (39) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Overheating, 18, $9750.

37. (40) Mike Harmon, Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 8, $9715.

38. (35) Chase Miller, Toyota, Vibration, 8, $9661.

39. (29) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, Transmission, 7, $9545.

40. (32) Blake Koch, Toyota, Ignition, 5, $9480.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 140.747 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 08 Mins, 01 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.579 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 4 for 20 laps.

Lead Changes: 11 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders: K. Busch(i) 1-37; J. Clements 38; K. Busch(i) 39-41; A. Dillon 42; K. Busch(i) 43-58; K. Harvick(i) 59-91; K. Larson # 92; K. Busch(i) 93; R. Smith 94; K. Harvick(i) 95-148; M. Annett 149-150; K. Harvick(i) 151-195.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Harvick(i) 3 times for 132 laps; K. Busch(i) 4 times for 57 laps; M. Annett 1 time for 2 laps; J. Clements 1 time for 1 lap; A. Dillon 1 time for 1 lap; K. Larson # 1 time for 1 lap; R. Smith 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: S. Hornish Jr. – 842; A. Dillon – 832; E. Sadler – 816; R. Smith – 813; J. Allgaier – 795; B. Vickers – 790; K. Larson # – 775; B. Scott – 775; T. Bayne – 771; P. Kligerman – 724.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 1 2013
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