Richmond International Raceway Sprint Cup Race Results: Kevin Harvick Dominates Through Chaos to Claim Fourth Victory of 2011

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Kevin Harvick dominated Saturday night’s wreck filled race at Richmond, leading 202 of the 400 laps to secure his fourth win of the season. Harvick’s win ties him with rival Kyle Busch heading into the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup as the top seeds.

“We had a really good car on the short runs,” said Harvick. “All-in-all the pit crew guys did a great job on the last pit stop and got us the track position that we needed. You know last week we had a good car, this week we had a good car and were able to capitalize there at the end.”

Harvick edged Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon off pit road during the final caution on lap 385, a lead which he would never surrender. Edwards closed in on Harvick’s bumper with 3 to go but was unable to make the pass, trailing at the line by a narrow margin of 0.139 seconds.

Gordon’s third place finish gives him three straight top five finishes heading into the Chase. David Ragan finished fourth with a very testy Kurt Busch in fifth. Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Mark Martin rounded out the top 10.

Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin, all on the Chase bubble entering Richmond, held on to their respective spots and clinched their 2011 Chase berths.

Junior Nation suffered a scare on lap nine when Clint Bowyer spun after contact with David Reutimann, starting a chain reaction resulting in a pileup of 13 drivers. Earnhardt Jr. was shoved into a stalled Bowyer, heavily damaging his No. 88 Chevrolet.

Several repairs and three Lucky Dog free passes later, Earnhardt Jr. finished 16th, good enough to earn a 10th place seed in the Chase.

“Tonight didn’t start off too good,” said an elated Earnhardt Jr. “We got in a little bit of a crash there. The 33 (Bowyer) spun out early, and I think everybody back there behind him was alerted of the accident except for one or two guys, and they come through there and drove a few of us into it. Bent up a bunch of stuff on my car.

“We got lucky, got the lucky dog a bunch, and ended up finishing 16th somehow. I felt like I was disappointed we didn’t get to show how good a car we had because I thought we had a good one yesterday in practice, and it’s all over with now. We’ll just go see how we can do in the Chase.”

Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway Race Results:
1. Kevin Harvick
2. Carl Edwards
3. Jeff Gordon
4. David Ragan
5. Kurt Busch
6. Kyle Busch
7. Tony Stewart
8. Ryan Newman
9. Denny Hamlin
10. Mark Martin
11. A.J. Allmendinger
12. Brad Keselowski
13. Greg Biffle
14. Jamie McMurray
15. Juan Pablo Montoya
16. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
17. Casey Mears
18. Regan Smith
19. Dave Blaney
20. Bobby Labonte
21. Marcos Ambrose
22. Clint Bowyer
23. Matt Kenseth
24. Stephen Leicht
25. Landon Cassill
26. David Reutimann
27. David Gilliland
28. Travis Kvapil
29. Jeff Burton
30. Martin Truex Jr.
31. Jimmie Johnson
32. Andy Lally
33. Brian Vickers
34. Paul Menard
35. Joey Logano
36. Mike Bliss
37. Robby Gordon
38. Kasey Kahne
39. Michael McDowell
40. David Stremme
41. Joe Nemechek
42. J.J. Yeley
43. Scott Speed

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