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Kevin Harvick wins Nationwide race at Richmond

By Hank Kurz, Jr., AP Sports Writer
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RICHMOND, VA - Kevin Harvick pulled away on a restart with 47 laps to go and ended Chase Elliott's two-race winning streak in NASCAR's Nationwide Series with a dominating victory early Saturday at Richmond International Raceway.

Harvick led 202 of the 250 laps in a race delayed nearly 3 1/2 hours at the start by rain Friday night. The victory was the 41st of his career in the series, and his record-extending seventh at 0.75-mile Richmond.

Elliott, the Georgia high-schooler and son of racing great Bill Elliott, was looking to win his third consecutive race and pad his points lead, but managed to do just the latter when Harvick was too fast.

"I think he just outdrove me a little bit, honestly" Elliott said. "Some of it was me. I kind of let him get too far out in front of me."

The pair finished nearly seven seconds ahead of third-place finisher Kyle Busch, and Harvick said Elliott, a teammate at JR Motorsports, has had a positive impact that helped produce the 1-2 finish.

"He pushes us to be better by trying different things," Harvick said. "He's as good as they get and a lot of fun to be around."

Busch never really contended, but said his team made steady gains all race long.

"The racing was sort of a struggle for us to start with," he said.

Kyle Larson, awarded the pole for Saturday's Sprint Cup race based on practice speeds when qualifying for that race was rained out earlier Friday night, finished fourth, with pole-sitter Brian Scott fifth.

Scott, the pole sitter, led the first 239 laps here last September before getting passed by Brad Keselowski with 11 laps to go. Scott led the first 43 laps Friday night and stayed in the top 10 all night, but with Harvick repeatedly opening up huge margins, second place seemed like the prize at stake.

Elliott took that away as the only car that could challenge Harvick at the end.

The ending was tougher for Elliott Sadler, who had worked his way up to third with some nifty work by his pit crew, but when the race went back to green with 54 to go, he got turned around in Turn 2. It looked like Trevor Bayne nudged Regan Smith, who then nudged Sadler. The Emporia native finished sixth.

Elliott's points lead grew from 13 to 19 over Smith, who finished eighth.

The race also marked the Nationwide Series debut for Daniel Suarez, who has impressed in the K&N Pro Series East Tour. He drove for Joe Gibbs Racing, starting 12th and finishing 19th. Suarez also was schedule to return to race in Saturday reschedule K&N Pro Series East Tour race starting at 9 a.m.

NASCAR Nationwide Series
Richmond International Raceway - Richmond, VA
ToyotaCare 250 - April 25, 2014


(Start position in parentheses)

1. (9) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 250 laps, 150 rating, 0 points.
2. (4) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 250, 122.7, 42.
3. (8) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 250, 108.4, 0.
4. (14) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 250, 102.8, 0.
5. (1) Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 250, 118.7, 40.
6. (13) Elliott Sadler, Toyota, 250, 104.7, 39.
7. (7) Chris Buescher, Ford, 250, 95.2, 37.
8. (6) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 250, 97.3, 36.
9. (3) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 250, 109.8, 0.
10. (15) James Buescher, Toyota, 250, 85.4, 34.
11. (5) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 250, 95.4, 33.
12. (20) Ryan Reed, Ford, 250, 83.8, 32.
13. (10) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 250, 82.9, 31.
14. (11) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 250, 94.2, 30.
15. (17) Cale Conley, Chevrolet, 250, 77.3, 0.
16. (18) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 249, 70.2, 28.
17. (19) Dakoda Armstrong, Ford, 249, 71.1, 27.
18. (33) J.J. Yeley, Dodge, 249, 65.9, 26.
19. (12) Daniel Suarez Garza, Toyota, 249, 75.9, 25.
20. (22) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 249, 68.5, 24.
21. (27) Blake Koch, Toyota, 248, 61.5, 23.
22. (28) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 247, 56.8, 23.
23. (26) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 246, 52.3, 0.
24. (25) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 246, 54.4, 20.
25. (21) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 246, 57.8, 0.
26. (16) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 246, 60.7, 18.
27. (29) Mike Wallace, Dodge, 245, 50.8, 17.
28. (35) Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, 245, 43, 16.
29. (32) Eric McClure, Toyota, 245, 44.2, 15.
30. (37) Josh Reaume, Chevrolet, 244, 40.3, 14.
31. (31) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 239, 38.8, 13.
32. (2) Dylan Kwasniewski, Chevrolet, accident, 187, 75.5, 12.
33. (39) Mike Harmon, Dodge, vibration, 112, 33.7, 11.
34. (38) Derek White, Toyota, rear gear, 58, 35.4, 10.
35. (23) Tanner Berryhill, Dodge, transmission, 27, 32.6, 9.
36. (40) Tommy Joe Martins, Dodge, suspension, 11, 37.3, 8.
37. (24) Matt DiBenedetto, Chevrolet, electrical, 6, 35.8, 7.
38. (36) Jeff Green, Toyota, vibration, 5, 34.1, 6.
39. (30) Kevin Lepage, Chevrolet, accident, 2, 31.3, 5.
40. (34) Jimmy Weller III, Chevrolet, engine, 1, 29.7, 0.

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 94.744 mph.

Time of Race: 1 hour, 58 minutes, 47 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 2.068 seconds.

Caution Flags: 5 for 36 laps.

Lead Changes: 5 among 4 drivers.

Lap Leaders: B.Scott 1-43; J.Clements 44-45; B.Scott 46-47; K.Harvick 48-132; E.Sadler 133; K.Harvick 134-250.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): K.Harvick, 2 times for 202 laps; B.Scott, 2 times for 45 laps; J.Clements, 1 time for 2 laps; E.Sadler, 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: 1. C.Elliott, 313; 2. R.Smith, 294; 3. E.Sadler, 290; 4. T.Dillon, 278; 5. T.Bayne, 274; 6. B.Scott, 265; 7. B.Gaughan, 239; 8. J.Buescher, 229; 9. D.Kwasniewski, 212; 10. R.Reed, 204.
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