2010-08-19 / Sports

Happy Harvick Gets Third Win

By Gerald Hodges
THE RACING REPORTER

Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick BROOKLYN, Mich. – Kevin Harvick powered past Denny Hamlin late in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Carfax 400 to capture his third win of the season.

“This has been a very bad track for us,” said Harvick. “We had a good car in practice, and a lot of work by the team got us here. The car just kept getting better and better. It was fun being able to pass and beat all those other guys.”

Hamlin’s runner-up finish moved him up from sixth to third in Chase points.

“This team needed to get back in the swing of things,” said Hamlin. “The 29 car was stroking down the backstretch, no way I could keep up with him. We’ve just got to continue fixing little things as they happen to get back into our real form.”

Carl Edwards finished third, followed by Greg Biffle, who led the most laps.

“It was a pretty good race for us,” said Biffle. “I got a weird set of tires about midway of the race, and after adjusting, we never got the car back to where it was.”

Matt Kenseth was the fifth-place finisher, followed by Tony Stewart, Juan Montoya, Martin Truex, Elliott Sadler, and Joey Logano.

Logano’s car got loose early in the race and slid up the track into the No. 39 driven by Ryan Newman. After the race ended, Newman was seen talking with Logano, and then giving him a shove.

“I was just taken out,” said Newman. “That’s all it was.”

Mark Martin got into several minor accidents during the race. He finished 28th and dropped from 12th to 13th in points.

“I don’t know what happened to our car a couple times,” said Martin. “I was a little aggressive, and got into some scrapes. We might go down, but we’re going down swinging.”

Top-15 Chase contenders after 23 of 26 races: 1. Harvick 3400, 2. J. Gordon-3107, 3. Hamlin-3047, 4. Stewart- 3020, 5. Johnson-3014, 6. Edwards 2986, 7. Burton-2986, 8. Kyle Busch-2975, 9. Kenseth-2961, 10. Kurt Busch-2935, 11. Biffle-2913, 12. Bowyer-2755, 13. Martin- 2720, 14. Newman-2652, 15. McMurray-2650

Note: Only the top-12 drivers will qualify for the 10- race Chase.

Brad Keselowski won the CARFAX 250 at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday in dominating fashion.

“This one was even harder,” Keselowski said. “We lost our clutch and ruined the burnout.”

He took the lead on a late-race restart with only eight laps to go, and pulled away.

With his win in 2009, Keselowski became the first driver in MIS history to win back-to-back Nationwide Series races at MIS.

It was the fourth Nationwide victory of the season and 10th of his career for Keselowski, who holds a dominant lead in the series points standings.

Edwards took second by inches over Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Justin Allgaier was fourth in a second Penske Dodge, while Edwards’ teammate Paul Menard was fifth.

Danica Patrick finished 27th in her first appearance at MIS since 2007.

“It was really hard to drive in the beginning,” she said. “It was just really, really loose. I don’t know why. It never felt that loose in practice. … It took some significant adjustments to get it back in the ballpark where I could actually maintain pace.

“I’m really disappointed overall.”

Her next scheduled NASCAR event will be September 25 at Dover.

It was the second race for NASCAR’s new Nationwide car, which made its debut at Daytona in July.

Top-10 points leaders after 23 of 35: 1. Keselowski- 3904, 2. Edwards-3357, 3. Kyle Busch-3201, 4. Allgaier- 3059, 5. Harvick-2908, 6. Menard-2892, 7. S. Wallace- 2735, 8. Bayne-2571, 9. Gaughan-2497, 10. Leffler- 2450

Bodine wins, increases point lead

Todd Bodine got his second consecutive Truck series win in Saturday night’s Too Tough To Tame 200 at Darlington Raceway.

“We’ve got it going on,” Bodine said. “We’re fast every week. I wasn’t on a Sunday drive; I knew I had to go with Timmy behind me. He was tough.”

Timothy Peters, Ron Hornaday Jr., Johnny Sauter and rookie Austin Dillon completed the top-five.

Bodine has a 231-point lead over Aric Almirola with 10 races left in the season.

Top-10 points leaders: 1. Bodine-2383, 2. Almirola- 2152, 3. Peters-2136, 4. Sauter-2115, 5. Dillon-2060, 6. Hornaday-2045, 7. Carfaton 2044, 8. Skinner-1951, 9. Starr-1900, 10. White-1788

NASCAR team owner Jack Roush was at the Michigan track Friday, having permanently lost vision in his left eye, but otherwise feeling lucky to have survived.

Roush, who crashed his jet just over two weeks ago while trying to land at an air show in Wisconsin, said he ruptured his left eyeball in the crash and doesn’t expect to ever be able to see out of it again. “Everything will come back, except for the eye,” he told reporters at Michigan International Speedway. Roush then joked that he uses his right eye to examine spark plugs anyway.

“It was basically a landing accident, based on a conflict in airspace with another airplane, after I’d been given clearance to land at Oshkosh, Wis.,” continued Roush.

Roush said he was not comfortable with the traffic when he was instructed to land.

In addition to his eye injury, Roush said he broke his jaw, sustained a compression fracture in his back and hurt his left cheek.

Three of his drivers are in the hunt for this year’s Chase for the Championship.

Carl Edwards is sixth, followed by Matt Kenseth (ninth) and Greg Biffle (11th).

Weekend racing: With only three races to go before the Chase begins, the Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Series’ will be at the .54-mile Bristol Speedway.

Wednesday, August 18, Camping World Trucks, race 16 of 25; Starting time: 7:30 p.m. ET; TV: Speed.

Friday, August 20, Nationwide Series, race 24 of 35; starting time: 7 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN.

Saturday, August 21, Sprint Cup Irwin Tools 500, race 24 of 36; starting time: 7:30 p.m. ET; TV: ABC.

Racing trivia question: Richard Petty leads all drivers with 200 career Cup wins. Who has the second most wins?

Last week’s question: Ken Schrader continues to race in the Truck series at the age of 55. What year did he win the Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year? Answer. He earned Rookie of the Year honors in 1985.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at: hodgesnews@ earthlink.net

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