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Harvick Cruises Through Atlanta

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, February 24 2018

Kevin Harvick dominated the field in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Andrew Coppley)

RacinToday.com

Kevin Harvick led 141-of-163 laps, won both stages and took the checkered flag 4.183 seconds ahead of runner-up Joey Logano in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Harvick’s win was his fifth in the series at the 1.5-mile Atlanta oval and the 47th of his career.

“It’s just been a really good place for me, obviously getting my first Cup win here,” Harvick, who won that first race in 2001 after taking the ride of Dale Earnhardt Sr. who had died the race before in Daytona, said. “We’ve run good cars throughout the years, and the race track has stayed very similar to what it’s been for a number of years.

“And I think, as you look at the techniques and the things that I do in the car – and they give me what I want in the car, as far as the feel – it just applies here.”

Harvick got good effort from his pit crew, working under the new pit road rules.

“The good thing is they’ve had a lot of reps,” Harvick said. “We’ve had Clash reps, reps in the qualifying race, the Daytona 500, and they pitted on Saturday last week. They pitted on Saturday this week, and they’re just doing a really good job.

“Those guys are pretty athletic, and they practice hard and have done a great job over the last couple years of getting this car off pit road. As long as I don’t screw it up going too fast, they do really well making the pit stops.”

Logano said it was apparent early on who had the best car on Saturday.

“I don’t think we were even close,” Logano said. “Kevin played with us all day long. He ran a few hard laps when he needed to. It doesn’t matter what car he’s driving, Kevin’s just really good at Atlanta.

“Second always stings a little bit.”

Pole-sitter Christopher Bell, a rookie in Xfinity after winning last year’s Camping World Truck Series championship, led 11 laps and ended up third. His rear tire tagged the wall with five laps to go, and the No. 20 car lost a spot to Logano.

“I just got really loose there the last run,” Bell said. “I don’t know. I wish I would have been able to hold off a little longer and been second instead of third, but overall a really good points day for us to start out the 2018 season. This place is a ton of fun.”

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NASCAR XFINITY Series Race – Rinnai 250

Atlanta Motor Speedway

Hampton, Georgia

Saturday, February 24, 2018

  1. (5) Kevin Harvick(i), Ford, 163.
  2. (2) Joey Logano(i), Ford, 163.
  3. (1) Christopher Bell #, Toyota, 163.
  4. (3) John H. Nemechek, Chevrolet, 163.
  5. (10) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 163.
  6. (17) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 163.
  7. (9) Austin Cindric #, Ford, 163.
  8. (8) Kyle Benjamin, Toyota, 162.
  9. (15) Ryan Truex, Chevrolet, 162.
  10. (12) Ryan Reed, Ford, 162.
  11. (6) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 162.
  12. (14) Matt Tifft, Chevrolet, 162.
  13. (16) Ty Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 162.
  14. (13) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, 162.
  15. (18) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 162.
  16. (24) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 162.
  17. (7) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 161.
  18. (33) Alex Labbe #, Chevrolet, 161.
  19. (11) Tyler Reddick #, Chevrolet, 161.
  20. (21) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 161.
  21. (28) Dylan Lupton, Ford, 160.
  22. (25) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 160.
  23. (20) Kaz Grala #, Ford, 159.
  24. (37) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 159.
  25. (32) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 159.
  26. (30) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 159.
  27. (22) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 158.
  28. (36) David Starr, Chevrolet, 158.
  29. (35) Spencer Boyd #, Chevrolet, 158.
  30. (23) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 158.
  31. (39) Vinnie Miller #, Chevrolet, 158.
  32. (38) Stephen Leicht, Toyota, 157.
  33. (26) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 156.
  34. (29) Timmy Hill, Dodge, 156.
  35. (34) Chad Finchum #, Toyota, 155.
  36. (40) Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 154.
  37. (19) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, Engine, 92.
  38. (31) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Brakes, 49.
  39. (4) Cole Custer, Ford, Accident, 10.
  40. (27) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, Vibration, 5.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  129.67 mph.

Time of Race:  01 Hrs, 56 Mins, 09 Secs. Margin of Victory:  4.183 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  4 for 21 laps.

Lead Changes:  9 among 3 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   C. Bell # 0; J. Logano(i) 1-4; C. Bell # 5-16; K. Harvick(i) 17-36; J. Logano(i) 37-39; K. Harvick(i) 40-82; J. Logano(i) 83; K. Harvick(i) 84-127; J. Logano(i) 128-129; K. Harvick(i) 130-163.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  K. Harvick(i) 4 times for 141 laps; C. Bell # 1 time for 12 laps; J. Logano(i) 4 times for 10 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 98,20,16,22,9,18,1,12,3,7

Stage #2 Top Ten: 98,20,22,1,9,7,12,3,21,16

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, February 24 2018
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