Harvick Powers to Nationwide Victory
By Rick Minter | Senior Writer
Hampton, Ga. – Kevin Harvick’s thorough domination of Saturday’s Degree V12 Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway made one wonder whether he had a V-12 engine under the hood while his competitors ran the standard V-8s.
Harvick, driving the No. 33 Chevrolet that he owns and drives, was so strong that he was able to overcome Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s gas mileage gamble and run him down with two laps to go.
Harvick stopped for fuel and four tires late in the race, then chased down Earnhardt, passing him for the lead with two laps remaining.
Kyle Busch finished second, ahead of Earnhardt, Brad Keselowski and Jeff Burton.
It was Harvick’ s 34th Nationwide win but his first at AMS.
Although Busch appeared to have the best car early in a green-flag run, Harvick was dominant from then on. He led 131 of 195 laps.
“After eight or 10 laps this thing was flat-out awesome,” Harvick said. “I cut it closer than I would have liked at the end.”
Points leader Kyle Busch finished second ahead of Earnhardt, Brad Keselowski and Jeff Burton.
Only the top five finishers were on the lead lap at the end.
Carl Edwards, driving with a broken right foot, finished seventh but dropped to 221 points behind Busch in the championship standings.
Earnhardt, making a relatively rare Nationwide start, said he hopes his strong run will be the boost he needs to ge t his career back on track.
“It gives us a little shot in the arm running good,” he said.
– Rick Minter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgNo Comment