Harvick wins Kentucky Nationwide race

June 27, 2014 No Comments
Credit: MRN

Credit: MRN

Brian Wiggins, Senior Writer 

Kevin Harvick referred to Kentucky Speedway as a “frustrating place to race” in his post-race interview after Friday night’s Nationwide race.

Maybe that’s because he hasn’t won at the track since the inaugural Nationwide race at the track in June,2001 or maybe it was because of the long night he had during the 200-lap event at the track.

More than likely, it was the later.

Harvick started the night in the seventh position and moved his way up the running order. However, before the halfway mark, Harvick fell all the way to eighteenth, struggling with his No.5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.

On the Sprint Cup side with his Stewart-Haas Racing team, one of the many hinderances for Harvick in 2014 has been the pit crew. Friday night, his team made a wrong adjustment, and the driver was none too happy about it.

“I was frustrated at one point and chewed them all out,” Harvick said about his pit crew after they went the wrong way on an adjustment. “I got into them pretty good.”

When push came to shove, though, Harvick was in the mix, fighting for the win in the late stages.

One driver that had to fight his way back to the front as well was Brad Keselowski.

Keselowski dominated the 200-lap race, leading a race-high 138 laps on the night. A pit road speeding penalty late in the going put the No.22 to the back of the field, forcing him to make a charge to the front.

Thanks to a rash of cautions late, Keselowski was able to get within striking distance of the lead for the final restart.

One driver that was not happy about the late-race cautions was Harvick, who’s car was not suited for the short-stints.

On the final restart, though, Harvick was able to bypass race leader Kyle Busch heading into turn one. A charging Keselowski made his way up to second, but never challenged Harvick as he went on to win the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300.

“We had a good restart, we made the car better there at the end,” Harvick said in victory lane. “We were kind of on a different strategy there and it kind of worked out where we had fresher tires there at the end.”

The win was Harvick’s second of 2014 in the Nationwide Series and the fifth for JR Motorsports.

JR Motorsports driver, Regan Smith, was caught up in a late-race caution and finished twenty-sixth, ultimately costing him the series point lead.

With a tenth-place effort, Elliott Sadler now takes command of the standings heading into the July 4 race at Daytona International Speedway.

John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 Unofficial Results 

1: Kevin Harvick

2: Brad Keselowski

3: Kyle Busch

4: Paul Menard

5: Ryan Blaney

6: Brendan Gaughan

7: Ty Dillon

8: Brian Scott

9: Kyle Larson

10: Elliott Sadler

11: Dylan Kwasniewski

12: Chase Elliott

13: Landon Cassill

14: James Buescher

15: Trevor Bayne

16: Corey Lajoie

17: Ryan Reed

18: Chris Buescher

19: Blake Koch

20: Dakoda Armstrong

21: Ryan Sieg

22: JJ Yeley

23: Jeffery Earnhardt

24: Eric McClure

25: Mike Wallace

26: Jamie Dick

27: Jake Crum

28: Regan Smith

29: Josh Wise

30: Jeremy Clements

31: Martin Roy

32: Joey Gase

33: Ruben Garcia Mateos

34: Mike Bliss

35: Josh Reaume

36: Matt Kenseth

37: Derrike Cope

38: Tanner Berryhill

39: Jeff Green

40: Matt DiBenedetto

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