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Harvick Tops Logano In Atlanta

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, February 28 2015

A week ago in the Daytona 500, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano finished second and first respectively. Saturday, in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Harvick and Logano finished first and second respectively.

Harvick took the lead for the final time with 26 laps to go and held off Logano to win the Hisense 250 for a third straight time.

Harvick led 101 of 163 laps Saturday.

Logano, who claimed poles for both the XFINITY Series and Sprint Cup Series races this weekend, wrestled the lead from Harvick with 37 laps to go, but couldn’t hold off the No. 88 Chevrolet of Havick.

“This is the closest anyone’s been to beating Kevin here in a long time,” Logano said. “We got beat off pit road. We had a decent restart, but the outside lane is so tough. At that point, I was trying to move around to different lanes. Trying to find something for some speed.

“We started to catch him and then I just had this huge vibration. The left rear was just loose. At that point, I was just trying to survive.”

Ty Dillon, one of six drivers in the lineup for both races at AMS on Saturday, was third and Chris Buescher was fourth.

Chase Elliot ran fourth for much of the race and got up to third with 23 laps left. Then the 19-year-old dropped to eighth when his car got loose in heavy traffic.

“I don’t know what it looked like, but I felt like I was about to wreck,” Elliott said. “So I guess it could have been a lot worse, but I hated to lose spots there. I felt like those were very, very valuable.

“Overall, I felt like there were a lot of positives. The pits stops were really good. I think the changes on the car, they made a difference throughout the day. I just didn’t fulfill my part there at the end to try to put ourselves in position to give Kevin a run. He would have been tough to beat, but we’ll try again next week.”

Elliott fought his way back to finish fifth for the second straight time at AMS.

“Everybody was going hard,” Elliott said. “That’s just part of a restart. It was more not being as aware of the people around me, guys behind me being really close. That takes air off the spoiler and you’ve got a guy on the outside taking all your downforce on your right-side door. It just makes it really hard to drive.

“I should have just tried to give a little bit right there and maybe just try to settle in at third and try to pass those guys later on.”

Only Harvick, Logano and Matt Kenseth led laps during the race. Logano was out front for the first 49 laps, but lost the lead to Harvick when he pitted. He didn’t get it back until lap 127 and Harvick jumped right back ahead on lap 136.

“We’re headed down a good road,” Harvick said. “Getting that taste of success and winning a race is something that gets everyone motivated and takes that edge off the nerves and newness that comes. I love to be in the race car and racing. I love racing here at Atlanta. Winning races is what it’s all about and that’s what keeps you coming back.”

The second half of the rare same-day NASCAR doubleheader will feature the Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 this evening. It’s the first time since 2012 the trucks will race at Atlanta, when Ty Dillon, who qualified 14th for this evening’s race, took the checkered flag for his first victory in a national NASCAR race.

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, February 28 2015
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