Harvick Wins Delayed Trucks Race
By Rick Minter | Senior Writer
For the second week in a row, Kevin Harvick wore two hats to a NASCAR Victory Lane.
Monday, week and a couple days after winning a Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway in a Kevin Harvick Inc. entry, he was back on winner’s turf at Martinsville Speedway in a No. 2 KHI truck.
And for the first time in his truck career, he’s a winner at a track other than Phoenix International Raceway, where he’s a three-time victor.
His latest came in typical Martinsville fashion. He and fellow Sprint Cup driver Kyle Busch were the class of the field in the race that was postponed two days because of rain, but they were riding on old tires and carrying a rapidly diminishing, limited quantity of fuel, having made their final pit stops before the 100-lap mark in the Kroger 250.
With 11 laps to go and Busch leading, Harvick put the bumper to Busch’s No. 51 Toyota, eased him up out of the groove and took the lead.
But the race was far from over until Busch tried to fix his fender under caution by scrubbing his truck against the inside wall. Unfortunately for him, he inadvertently crossed the commitment line for pit stops and drew a penalty from NASCAR. Busch had to make a pit stop, wound up 17th and climbed from his truck and sprinted away from the track without comment.
With Busch restarting in the back on the final restart, the end was anti-climactic. Harvick’s teammate and employee, Ron Hornaday Jr., lined up second for the restart but never mounted a challenge before the caution flag flew to end the race.
Mike Skinner wound up third ahead of Johnny Benson and polesitter Rick Crawford, who finished fifth after leading the first 78 laps.
“I think the last four or five times we’ve been here have been top fives, but I really enjoyed leading those laps..” Crawford said. “Congratulations to Kevin. Kevin and [wife] Delana put some really class equipment out here. Kevin is a great driver and so is Ron [Hornaday], so to run fifth against the veterans here is pretty good. This is really special for us because we’ve taken a bruising the first part of the year, so this is a good points day for us.”
Not surprisingly, Harvick spent much of his Victory Lane interview praising the folks back at his shop just down the road in Kernersville, N.C.
“They built this truck in 10 days,” he said, while also offering some insight on the race.
“We got to push and shove a little bit,” he said. “I didn’t know if any of us were going to make it on gas.”No Comment