Harvick should thank Brad Keselowski for the trophy after
Keselowski was foiled late in the race by of a speeding penalty on
Lap 148, which put him behind and opened the door for a shoot-out
between two former Nationwide Series champions.
"All in all, it was a very strange night," said Harvick. "In the
beginning our car wasn't that bad. We needed some adjustments, had
some things happen on some pit stops, so we pitted and put four
tires on and everything kind of fell our way. We were able to get a
little bit of a tire advantage there at the end, and Ernie (Cope,
crew chief) made a really good adjustment to the race car that
allowed us to really take off and run the best we had all night."
Winning his third pole of the season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
just an hour before race time, Keselowski led the 40-car starting
field to the green flag and quickly walked away from Kyle Busch, who
was on the outside of the front row.
While the top 10 shuffled near the rear of the deck, Keselowski
continued to stretch his lead by Lap 20, and 10 laps later, the Team
Penske driver extended his lead to 2.6 seconds.
Thirteen laps later the caution flag fell for the first time of the
night for debris on the backstretch. Under the yellow, the lead pack
elected to come to pit road for tires, fuel and adjustments. Quick
work by Richard Childress Racing surged Paul Menard from third to
first, leading Keselowski, Matt Kenseth and Harvick off pit road.
Kyle Busch entered second, but lost several positions after
overshooting his pit stall.
Menard was able to hold the lead on the initial restart, but
Keselowski throttled forward a lap later and reassumed control on
Twelve laps later, Keselowski had grown his lead to 1.7 seconds over
Menard. He remained in control until Lap 83 when the caution flew
for debris in Turn 4. Under the yellow, Shane Sieg turned Jeremy
Clements in Turn 1, and emotions boiled over, apparently stemming
from some alleged light contact exiting Turn 4 the lap before.
Meanwhile, the leaders pitted with teams utilizing varying
strategies. A two-tire stop for Elliott Sadler and Regan Smith moved
them ahead of Keselowski, Road America winner Brendan Gaughan and
Kyle Busch as they came off pit road.
Sadler would be overtaken by Smith on the restart, but his time at
the front was short-lived as he would prove to be no match for a
thundering Keselowski, who reclaimed first on Lap 90.
The Rochester Hills, Mich., native would continue to lead through
the halfway point, until Kenseth crashed on Lap 102, bringing out
the event's third caution. A majority of the leaders decided to stay
out under the yellow.
On the restart, Keselowski, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
champion, continued his race dominance, and by Lap 135 was able to
maneuver a 1.9-second gap.
Green flag pit stops began on Lap 138 with Keselowski bringing his
No. 22 Ford Mustang to pit road on Lap 148. But after a solid stop,
the Team Penske pilot would be tagged with a speeding ticket and
have to serve a pass-thru penalty.
Meanwhile, Harvick took the lead when Keselowski pitted on Lap 149
with a 3.1-second margin over Gaughan, until the caution waived on
Lap 156 for debris.
Needing to make a pit stop, the leaders came to pit road with
Harvick leading the parade off pit road. Kyle Busch, Menard and Ryan
Blaney remained on the racetrack, holding the top three spots.
Harvick found himself fourth for the impending restart.
With 39 Laps to go, Busch led the Nationwide train back to the green
flag, and Busch held a steady lead ahead of Harvick. But Keselowski,
who took a waive-around under the prior yellow flag, had roared from
17th to ninth in just five green flag laps and set his sights
Keselowski needed a caution to close the gap and that came on Lap
168 when Ryan Reed and Regan Smith made contact on the backstretch,
which sent Smith's No. 7 into the wall.
When racing resumed, Harvick attempted to take the lead from Busch,
with Keselowski lurking from behind in fifth, but Dakoda Armstrong
wrecked on the backstretch on Lap 176, which stacked the field back
With 21 laps to go, racing resumed with intense side-by-side racing
between Busch and Harvick, with Menard, Gaughan and Keselowski
stalking from behind. With 16 laps to go, Busch cleared Harvick and
built a small cushion.
A late-race caution on Lap 192 for an incident involving Trevor
Bayne and Chase Elliott bunched the field back together for a
On the restart, Harvick used the low line to pass Busch for the
lead, with Keselowski moving into second and setting his sights on
the No. 5 Chevrolet of Harvick.
Keselowski, though, would run out of time, and Harvick soared to his
second NASCAR Nationwide Series win of the season. It was the fifth
win of the year for JR Motorsports.
JR Motorsports co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. spoke about how proud he
was of his Mooresville, North Carolina-based team.
"Kevin (Harvick) just had enough opportunity on the restart,"
Earnhardt said. "I was real surprised it worked out. We're having a
lot of fun winning some races and it's definitely going to benefit
our company in the long run and I can't thank Kevin enough for
coming to be a part of it."
Keselowski took responsibility for the slip in the race, but was
equally proud of the recovery.
"We had a great Discount Tire Ford and I definitely put us behind
and was just one spot away from catching back up," said Keselowski.
"You still have to give credit to Kevin at the end there. He drove
by and took the lead, so he was really good."
Kyle Busch, who saw his second win of the weekend evaporate in the
waning laps, said he shouldn't be disappointed with third, but he
"We didn't have the car to beat so shouldn't be upset with a third,
but there at the end we had the opportunity to win the race and
through the middle part of the race I passed the 5 (Harvick) car and
just didn't have enough on the final restarts unfortunately. Just
not enough there to hold Kevin off. He just flat drove right by me
on the restart."
Kyle Busch finished third with Menard fourth and Team Penske Racing
teammate Blaney in fifth. Richard Childress Racing claimed sixth
through eight, with Gaughan, Ty Dillon and Brian Scott. Larson and
new points leader Elliott Sadler finished the top 10.
[to top of second column]
Sadler has a slim four point lead over Chase Elliott. Regan Smith is
third (-8), Dillon fourth (-29) and Scott fifth (-47).
Next up for the NASCAR Nationwide Series is their final restrictor
plate race of the season from Daytona Speedway on Independence Day
next Friday night for the running of the Subway Firecracker 250.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Race -- John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300
presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
Friday, June 27, 2014
1. (7) Kevin Harvick(i), Chevrolet, 200, $79350.
2. (1) Brad Keselowski(i), Ford, 200, $59600.
3. (2) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 200, $41625.
4. (3) Paul Menard(i), Chevrolet, 200, $28350.
5. (9) Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 200, $22575.
6. (12) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 200, $27750.
7. (8) Ty Dillon #, Chevrolet, 200, $26500.
8. (5) Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 200, $24100.
9. (11) Kyle Larson(i), Chevrolet, 200, $19175.
10. (10) Elliott Sadler, Toyota, 200, $23550.
11. (17) Dylan Kwasniewski #, Chevrolet, 200, $22250.
12. (6) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 200, $21475.
13. (23) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 200, $20925.
14. (19) James Buescher, Toyota, 200, $20375.
15. (13) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 200, $21000.
16. (21) Corey Lajoie(i), Ford, 200, $19925.
17. (15) Ryan Reed #, Ford, 200, $19800.
18. (18) Chris Buescher #, Ford, 200, $19650.
19. (22) Blake Koch, Toyota, 200, $19525.
20. (25) Dakoda Armstrong #, Ford, 199, $20100.
21. (16) Ryan Sieg #, Chevrolet, 198, $19275.
22. (20) JJ Yeley, Dodge, 198, $19145.
23. (26) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 198, $18995.
24. (31) Eric McClure, Toyota, 197, $18845.
25. (35) Mike Wallace, Dodge, 197, $19220.
26. (29) Jamie Dick, Chevrolet, 197, $18595.
27. (32) Jake Crum(i), Chevrolet, 197, $18470.
28. (14) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 197, $19345.
29. (30) Josh Wise(i), Chevrolet, 196, $18195.
30. (27) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 195, $18370.
31. (34) Martin Roy, Chevrolet, 194, $11945.
32. (37) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, Fuel Pump, 188, $17820.
33. (39) Ruben Garcia Jr., Chevrolet, 183, $17710.
34. (24) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 130, $17600.
35. (38) Josh Reaume, Chevrolet, Overheating, 104, $17475.
36. (4) Matt Kenseth(i), Toyota, Accident, 102, $10555.
37. (40) Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, Ignition, 80, $16520.
38. (36) Tanner Berryhill #, Dodge, Brakes, 53, $16486.
39. (33) Jeff Green, Toyota, Vibration, 4, $10350.
40. (28) Matt Dibenedetto, Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 2, $10250.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 132.792 mph.
Time of Race: 02 Hrs, 15 Mins, 33 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.928
Caution Flags: 7 for 30 laps.
Lead Changes: 8 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: B. Keselowski(i) 1-43; P. Menard(i) 44-47; B.
Keselowski(i) 48-83; E. Sadler 84-87; R. Smith 88-89; B.
Keselowski(i) 90-148; K. Harvick(i) 149-157; K. Busch(i) 158-195; K.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): B. Keselowski(i) 3
times for 138 laps; K. Busch(i) 1 time for 38 laps; K. Harvick(i) 2
times for 14 laps; E. Sadler 1 time for 4 laps; P. Menard(i) 1 time
for 4 laps; R. Smith 1 time for 2 laps.
Top 10 in Points: E. Sadler - 541; C. Elliott # - 537; R. Smith -
533; T. Dillon # - 512; B. Scott - 494; T. Bayne - 482; B. Gaughan -
448; J. Buescher - 418; C. Buescher # - 414; L. Cassill - 399.
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