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Survivor Harvick Runs To Victory In Kansas

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, October 16 2016
Kevin Harvick earned entry into the Round of Eight in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship with a victory at Kansas Speedway on Sunday.(RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

Kevin Harvick earned entry into the Round of Eight in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship with a victory at Kansas Speedway on Sunday.(RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Kevin Harvick needed a victory at Kansas Speedway on Sunday or one at dreaded Talladega next weekend to move into the Round of Eight in NASCAR’s Chase playoffs. He got that win at Kansas.

sprint-logo-08Way down the list in terms of points as a result of suffering electrical problems and a 38th-place finish at Charlotte last weekend, Harvick led 73 laps and won with ease at Kansas.

Credit his Stewart-Haas Racing team, he said.

“These races are so hard to win and these guys are just so good with the details,” the California native and former Sprint Cup champion said. “You put their backs against the wall and they get better.”

The victory was the fourth of the season and second at Kansas for the 2014 champion. It came with a possible assist from NASCAR officials, who opted not to wave a yellow flag when Chase Elliott suffered a tire problem and slowed dangerously on the track with 22 laps to go.

Carl Edwards finished second, 1.1 seconds behind Harvick.

Edwards led 61 laps and was in the lead on the final restart of the day, which came with 30 laps to go. But on that restart, Harvick moved to the lead.

“On that restart, Jimmie (Johnson) got behind Kevin and pushed him just far enough out there where I got into Turn 1 and I just couldn’t hang. It broke the draft there.,” Edwards said. “After that, I ended up racing Kyle (Busch, his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate) and that was real battle and it let Kevin get out ahead.”

Joey Logano finished third, Jimmie Johnson fourth and Kyle Busch fifth.

Matt Kenseth started from the pole and went unpassed on the track until Harvick took the lead from him on Lap 126 of the 267-lap race.

Harvick held the lead until he was passed by rookie Elliott on Lap 169.

Elliott held the lead for four laps. But just after green flag pit stops, Elliott’s care developed a tire rub and he had to return to the pits. That knocked him a lap off the pace.

Taking the lead was Carl Edwards.

With 78 laps to go, the first Chase driver was sent to the garages when Brad Keselowski was tapped from behind by Denny Hamlin. Keselowski’s Team Penske Ford dove into the infield and suffered severe front end damage when it plowed into the grass.

To advance to the Round of 12, Keselowski will need a win at Talladega next weekend. Can do, he said.

“We are going to Talladega,” Keselowski said. “I like Talladega. Talladega has been good to me and I am going to drive my butt off and at the end of the day I have faith that if it is meant to be it is meant to be. We can’t get down. There is a long way to go still.”

Edwards lost his lead during yellow flag pitstops with 45 laps to go when Austin Dillon moved to the front by taking just two tires. Dillon’s lead didn’t last long when the green flag waved as Edwards quickly jumped back to the lead on the restart.

Harvick recaptured the lead when he blew past Edwards on the deciding restart with 30 laps to go. Once out front, Harvick moved to a big lead. An unsurmountable lead.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Hollywood Casino 400

Kansas Speedway

Kansas City, Kansas

Sunday, October 16, 2016

  1. (11) Kevin Harvick (C), Chevrolet, 267.
  2. (3) Carl Edwards (C), Toyota, 267.
  3. (6) Joey Logano (C), Ford, 267.
  4. (21) Jimmie Johnson (C), Chevrolet, 267.
  5. (2) Kyle Busch (C), Toyota, 267.
  6. (12) Austin Dillon (C), Chevrolet, 267.
  7. (5) Alex Bowman(i), Chevrolet, 267.
  8. (10) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 267.
  9. (1) Matt Kenseth (C), Toyota, 267.
  10. (20) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 267.
  11. (4) Martin Truex Jr. (C), Toyota, 267.
  12. (9) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 267.
  13. (15) Kurt Busch (C), Chevrolet, 267.
  14. (17) * Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 267.
  15. (7) Denny Hamlin (C), Toyota, 267.
  16. (14) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 267.
  17. (25) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 267.
  18. (19) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 267.
  19. (18) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 267.
  20. (16) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 267.
  21. (30) Chris Buescher #, Ford, 267.
  22. (33) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 267.
  23. (29) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 267.
  24. (27) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 267.
  25. (22) Greg Biffle, Ford, 266.
  26. (31) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 266.
  27. (34) Landon Cassill, Ford, 266.
  28. (32) Brian Scott #, Ford, 265.
  29. (26) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 265.
  30. (24) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 265.
  31. (13) Chase Elliott # (C), Chevrolet, 264.
  32. (37) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 264.
  33. (36) * Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 262.
  34. (39) * Reed Sorenson, Toyota, 261.
  35. (38) Joey Gase(i), Ford, 260.
  36. (28) David Ragan, Toyota, 258.
  37. (23) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 233.
  38. (8) Brad Keselowski (C), Ford, Accident, 190.
  39. (40) * Josh Wise, Chevrolet, Accident, 108.
  40. (35) Aric Almirola, Ford, Accident, 36.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  133.155 mph.

Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 00 Mins, 28 Secs. Margin of Victory:  1.183 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  8 for 38 laps.

Lead Changes:  16 among 10 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   M. Kenseth (C) 1-27; Kurt Busch (C) 28; M. Kenseth (C) 29-86; J. Logano (C) 87; B. Keselowski (C) 88; D. Hamlin (C) 89; C. Mears 90-94; M. Kenseth (C) 95-125; K. Harvick (C) 126-168; C. Elliott # (C) 169-172; C. Edwards (C) 173; J. Logano (C) 174; C. Edwards (C) 175-221; K. Harvick (C) 222; A. Dillon (C) 223-224; C. Edwards (C) 225-237; K. Harvick (C) 238-267.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  M. Kenseth (C) 3 times for 116 laps; K. Harvick (C) 3 times for 74 laps; C. Edwards (C) 3 times for 61 laps; C. Mears 1 time for 5 laps; C. Elliott # (C) 1 time for 4 laps; A. Dillon (C) 1 time for 2 laps; J. Logano (C) 2 times for 2 laps; D. Hamlin (C) 1 time for 1 lap; B. Keselowski (C) 1 time for 1 lap; Kurt Busch (C) 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 16 in Points: J. Johnson (C) – 3,082; M. Kenseth (C) – 3,074; Kyle Busch (C) – 3,072; C. Edwards (C) – 3,069; Kurt Busch (C) – 3,062; M. Truex Jr. (C) – 3,058; K. Harvick (C) – 3,048; J. Logano (C) – 3,045; A. Dillon (C) – 3,045; D. Hamlin (C) – 3,039; B. Keselowski (C) – 3,038; C. Elliott # (C) – 3,020; T. Stewart – 2,131; K. Larson – 2,120; C. Buescher # – 2,090; J. McMurray – 2,088.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, October 16 2016
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