Harvick Persevers Through Onslaught of Cautions for Kansas Win

Photo- Getty Images
Photo- Getty Images

On paper may have seemed as a clean-cut day for Kevin Harvick on Sunday at Kansas Speedway, but it was anything but that. Harvick started the race out front and he finished there too, but he had to remain on his game throughout the many restarts which could have brought trouble for the No.29 team. Harvick may have earned the win, but he wasn’t the biggest story of the day. Kansas was filled with chaos and to top all of that off, one of the top championship contenders, Kyle Busch, was caught up in a wreck that may have wiped his shot at the title away.

The craziness that went on throughout the day didn’t wait one lap to ensue. On lap 1 in turn 1, a multi-car wreck tore up the cars of Danica Patrick and David Reutimann. Patrick was loose heading into the turn and she slid down into Reutimann and then back up into Cole Whitt. Patrick then went nose-first into the outside wall on a hard impact which destroyed her car. Kyle Busch saw this mess unfold in front of him and he had to spin through the grass to avoid having his day ended before it even really got started.

Jimmie Johnson was able to get around the dominant Harvick to take the lead on lap 83. A debris caution came out four laps later and it was Dale Earnhardt Jr. getting off of pit road first to take the lead. Like Johnson’s time out front, Earnhardt Jr.’s didn’t last long either with Matt Kenseth taking over the top spot on the restart.

Kansas claimed its first Chase victim during the sixth caution of the afternoon on lap 136 when Justin Allgaier over corrected his car off of turn 2 and took a hard impact into the outside wall and then slid down the track and collected Chaser, Ryan Newman. The side of Newman’s car had sustained heavy damage which put him back in the garage.

Trouble struck for points leader Matt Kenseth under the yellow when he was caught speeding on his exit from pit road. His teammate, Kyle Busch, along with Kevin Harvick stayed out under the caution and the two took over the top two spots. Harvick was able to hold the lead from the drivers who pitted.

One of the strangest cautions of the day came out on lap 155 when heavy smoke was coming from atop the hill in turn 1. A brush fire apparently started and its smoke was limiting the drivers’ vision heading off into the first turn. Once the smoke settled, Logano became the new leader on the restart.

Kyle Busch’s day took a turn for the worse once the race entered its final 100 circuits. He had been doing a good job of staying out of trouble all day, but trouble found him twice in less than twenty laps. The first incident occurred with 81 laps to go when Juan Pablo Montoya turned Busch when the two were racing on the frontstretch. Busch slid down and then back up the track and a swerve by Mark Martin kept Busch’s car damage-free. Martin made slight contact with the wall.

Then with 68 laps to go, the 13th caution of the day was for Busch yet again. He was racing three-wide going down into turn 1 and a Carl Edwards bobble sent Busch down into Brian Vickers and then back up into the outside wall with a hard impact. The No.18 car was destroyed and so was his shot at the championship for the most part. Busch wasn’t pleased as he fell victim to Kansas once again.

Harvick found his way back to the front with 44 laps to go. He led until the 14th caution of the day brought everyone down pit road and Jeff Burton made it off first. Harvick didn’t wait long to take the spot back as he did so soon after the restart. The 15th and final yellow flag of the day came with 24 laps to go when Brian Vickers got loose in turn 2 and went nose first into the outside wall. The impact lifted the No.55 off of the ground and destroyed the race car.

The action settled down following that wreck and it was clean sailing to the finish for Harvick. He faced no challenge in the closing laps as he made his name in the championship hunt clear when he crossed the finish line first.

In a day where one contender basically had his name taken out of the hunt, another emerged. Kevin Harvick had been consistent through the first three Chase races, but this win showed he is serious about contending for the title in his last go around with Richard Childress Racing. Keeping an eye on Harvick over the next few weeks may not be such a bad idea since he is fired up about chasing down points leader Kenseth and second-place Jimmie Johnson.

Results via ESPN.com

POS DRIVER MANUFACTURER

LAPS

MONEY

START

LED

PTS

BONUS

PENALTY

1 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet

267

 

1

138

48

5

0

2 Kurt Busch Chevrolet

267

 

19

0

42

0

0

3 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet

267

 

14

0

41

0

0

4 Joey Logano Ford

267

 

5

33

41

1

0

5 Carl Edwards Ford

267

 

9

0

39

0

0

6 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet

267

 

3

6

39

1

0

7 Paul Menard Chevrolet

267

 

8

0

37

0

0

8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet

267

 

6

10

37

1

0

9 Marcos Ambrose Ford

267

 

25

0

35

0

0

10 Aric Almirola Ford

267

 

20

0

34

0

0

11 Matt Kenseth Toyota

267

 

7

21

34

1

0

12 Jeff Burton Chevrolet

267

 

16

1

33

1

0

13 Greg Biffle Ford

267

 

26

0

31

0

0

14 Clint Bowyer Toyota

267

 

22

0

30

0

0

15 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet

267

 

15

0

29

0

0

16 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet

267

 

24

0

28

0

0

17 Brad Keselowski Ford

267

 

4

52

28

1

0

18 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet

267

 

12

0

26

0

0

19 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota

267

 

13

0

25

0

0

20 AJ Allmendinger Toyota

267

 

28

0

24

0

0

21 Casey Mears Ford

267

 

37

1

24

1

0

22 Mark Martin Chevrolet

267

 

23

0

22

0

0

23 Denny Hamlin Toyota

267

 

10

0

21

0

0

24 David Gilliland Ford

267

 

34

0

20

0

0

25 Dave Blaney Chevrolet

267

 

41

0

19

0

0

26 Travis Kvapil Toyota

267

 

36

1

19

1

0

27 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet

267

 

33

1

18

1

0

28 Timmy Hill Ford

267

 

35

0

16

0

0

29 Tony Raines Chevrolet

267

 

42

0

0

0

0

30 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford

266

 

2

0

14

0

0

31 Cole Whitt Toyota

260

 

30

0

0

0

0

32 Brian Vickers Toyota

242

 

11

0

0

0

0

33 Landon Cassill Chevrolet

235

 

43

0

0

0

0

34 Kyle Busch Toyota

199

 

18

1

11

1

0

35 Ryan Newman Chevrolet

188

 

17

0

9

0

0

36 David Ragan Ford

168

 

32

2

9

1

0

37 David Reutimann Toyota

157

 

27

0

7

0

0

38 Michael McDowell Ford

144

 

31

0

6

0

0

39 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet

135

 

21

0

0

0

0

40 Josh Wise Ford

108

 

38

0

0

0

0

41 Joe Nemechek Toyota

107

 

39

0

0

0

0

42 Reed Sorenson Ford

103

 

40

0

0

0

0

43 Danica Patrick Chevrolet

0

 

29

0

1

0

0

 

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