Loudon II: Goodyear Racing race report

Winner: Kevin Harvick, driver of the ...

Winner: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Reese's Chevrolet from Richard Childress Racing

Top-five finishers: Harvick, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Brian Vickers

Race recap: Kevin Harvick started from the pole with a qualifying lap of 132.282 mph and finished in front of the pack in the race on Sunday to lock in the top spot of the Chase to the Nextel Cup.

His dominate run put him in the lead for 196 of the 300 laps, as he earned his fourth Nextel Cup career victory and his second in a row as he watched Tony Stewart in his rearview mirror closing the gap behind him over the final three laps.

New Hampshire International Speedway is the opening shot of the 10-race run to the title for the 10 drivers eligible to participate. Those drivers are now lined up behind Harvick in this order: rookie Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch.

Both Johnson and Busch were caught up in wrecks that pushed them back to 39th and 38th place finishes, respectively, in the race and thus are at the end of the points lineup.

Goodyear quote from Rick Heinrich, sales and marketing manager for stock cars: "Goodyear kicked off the Chase to the Nextel Cup this weekend at New Hampshire with the same combination of Eagles used last week in Richmond. Loudon is particularly challenging to teams and drivers with its tight, flat turns. Our tires proved to be an excellent matchup with this track. Our tires looked great in both the Craftsman Truck and Nextel Cup races. We'll be bringing these same tires when we visit Phoenix in November."

Companion race: Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck race victory went to Johnny Benson after leading four tines for 145 of the race's 200 laps, including the final 33. Polesitter Mike Skinner finished 0.691 seconds behind him. He was followed by Kyle Busch, Todd Bodine and David Starr. The race saw numerous crashes and debris cautions that set a record 12 cautions for 50 laps. Eight drivers swapped the lead four times. Bodine heads the series points contest, with Benson trailing by 124 with seven races remaining.

-credit: goodyear racing

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , David Starr , Kevin Harvick , Johnny Benson , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Brian Vickers , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin