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Harvick wins Atlanta truck race over Busch

by Pete McCole
Saturday, March 06, 2010

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Kevin Harvick celebrates
Rhonda McCole/AR1.com
Kevin Harvick claimed his seventh career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory with a dominating victory in Saturday’s E-Z-Go 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Driving for his own Kevin Harvick, Inc. team in a Chevrolet Silverado sponsored by the race sponsor, Harvick led two times for 100 laps – including the final 56 - to beat out Kyle Busch for his third consecutive NCWTS victory dating back to the end of the 2009 season.

Aric Almirola finished third, followed by Steven Wallace and Todd Bodine.

With his win on Saturday, Harvick now has victories at Atlanta in all three of NASCAR’s top three series.

“We had a great truck,” said Harvick. “The thing about truck racing on these big race tracks, the draft comes into effect, so every once in awhile they’d shuffle us back, but if we could keep our track position and get a good restart and get down on the bottom of the track and get a little air on the front of their noses, it seemed like after six or seven laps, we could start pulling away.

“It’s great when you have the sponsor on your truck that’s sponsoring the race as well, that makes like good. Everyone did a good job today, they were flawless on pit road, we didn’t make a whole lot of changes on the truck all weekend, so it was a pretty much a fun weekend.”

While Harvick celebrated in Victory Lane, crewmembers for the other KHI entry of driver Ron Hornaday were busy loading another wrecked truck onto their hauler, as the defending series champion crashed out for the second consecutive race after blowing a left-rear tire on lap 24.

Starting from the pole, Hornaday made contact was Kyle Busch while battling for position just after the start of the race, damaging the tire and ultimately causing it to fail, sending Hornaday sliding into the outside wall.

Busch, winner of four of the last six truck races here, suffered damage to his truck as well, which may have cost him a shot at his first victory for his own Kyle Busch Motorsports team.

“That was about all we had,” said Busch. “We gave it everything there (at the end). That’s a good run for us – a solid run for Kyle Busch Motorsports and these guys, they deserve it. We still had a decent effort. This is a young team, this is good to come out of the box here and run strong,

“It was a good race for us, we weren’t quite as fast as we’d like to have been but were not sure if that came from our damage early in the race on lap one.”

Steven Wallace, driver of former Sprint Cup Champion Rusty Wallace, made his NCWTS debut driving Kyle Busch’s old ride for Billy Ballew Motorsports and finished a respectable fourth.

“These (trucks) draft really, really hard,” said Wallace. “When you get someone on your right-rear quarter panel you tend to get really, really loose. They are definitely a blast to drive.”

Following the fifth caution flag on lap 77, it looked as though the race would turn into a fuel mileage battle, as several teams running in the back of the pack topped off their tanks in the hopes the race would stay green for the final 49 laps.

Those hopes were dashed though after Donny Lia tagged the wall on lap 113, bringing out the sixth and final yellow flag and allowing Harvick and leaders to pit under the caution.

Harvick beat everyone off pit road to hold the top spot for the final restart and left the field behind, easily cruising to the checkered flag by 1.308 seconds over Busch.

Todd Bodine rebounded after tangling with Matt Crafton on lap 62 to finish fifth and assumed the points lead from Timothy Peters, who dropped to second in the standings over Jason White, Almirola and Busch.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 4 2 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet ShopEZGO.com 195/10 130 Running
2 2 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Toyota Tundra 175/5 130 Running
3 7 51 Aric Almirola Toyota AKawareness.com / Graceway Pharmaceuticals 165/0 130 Running
4 6 15 Steve Wallace Toyota Red Top Collector Car Auction 165/5 130 Running
5 10 30 Todd Bodine Toyota The Night Train 160/5 130 Running
6 12 4 Ricky Carmichael Chevrolet Monster Energy 150/0 130 Running
7 30 17 Timothy Peters Toyota K&N Filters 146/0 130 Running
8 9 13 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet EasytoInstall.com / Tim McGraw / Curb Records 142/0 130 Running
9 24 14 Rick Crawford Ford Circle Bar Truck Corral 138/0 130 Running
10 5 3 Austin Dillon * Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 134/0 130 Running
11 14 23 Jason White Dodge GunBroker.com 130/0 130 Running
12 21 90 Brad Sweet Toyota Great Clips 127/0 130 Running
13 11 56 Tayler Malsam Toyota Toyota / One Eighty 124/0 130 Running
14 17 5 Mike Skinner Toyota International Trucks / Monaco RV 121/0 130 Running
15 15 81 David Starr Toyota Zachry 118/0 130 Running
16 16 07 Donny Lia Chevrolet Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Atlanta 115/0 129 Running
17 13 84 Chris Fontaine Chevrolet Glenden Enterprises 112/0 129 Running
18 28 39 Ryan Sieg Chevrolet Waste Pro 109/0 129 Running
19 18 60 Stacy Compton Toyota SafeAuto Insurance Company 106/0 129 Running
20 22 7 Justin Lofton * Toyota VisitPIT.com 103/0 128 Running
21 31 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb * Ford drivenmale.com / DriverBoutique.com 100/0 127 Running
22 25 12 Mario Gosselin Chevrolet TireMonkey.com / James Carter Attorney 97/0 127 Running
23 32 47 Brett Butler * Chevrolet Fuel-Doctor.com 94/0 126 Running
24 36 6 Donnie Neuenberger Chevrolet E-Z Slider 91/0 122 Running
25 34 57 Norm Benning Chevrolet Norm Benning Racing 88/0 113 Running
26 8 95 Geoff Bodine Dodge Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project "Olympic Gold" 85/0 106 Running
27 3 88 Matt Crafton Chevrolet Australian Gold / Menards 87/5 95 Running
28 20 93 Shane Sieg Chevrolet S&W Services 79/0 75 Accident
29 19 46 Dennis Setzer Dodge Dixie Home Crafters 76/0 60 Handling
30 27 76 Ryan Hackett Ford Kentucky Steel Buildings 73/0 42 Clutch
31 35 48 Tim Bainey Jr. Chevrolet DelGrosso 70/0 36 Power Steering
32 33 21 Butch Miller Dodge ASI Limited 67/0 35 Rear End Gear
33 23 85 Brent Raymer Ford Ford. Drive one. 64/0 34 Ignition
34 1 33 Ron Hornaday Chevrolet Longhorn Smokeless Tobacco 66/5 22 Accident
35 26 49 Chad McCumbee Chevrolet 75000000.com 58/0 13 Power Steering
36 29 89 Mike Harmon Ford Marriott / Shula's 347 Grill 55/0 9 Transmission

* Denotes Rookie

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