BUSCH: Harvick smokes 'em at RIR on Friday night

Kevin Harvick's stranglehold on the Busch series points standings just got more intimidating. The view from the front is always more advantageous at Richmond, and that is certainly where the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet spent most...

Kevin Harvick's stranglehold on the Busch series points standings just got more intimidating. The view from the front is always more advantageous at Richmond, and that is certainly where the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet spent most of the 250 laps.

Harvick led a race-high 154 laps on his way to his sixth win of the season and 23rd of his career. Harvick started the Emerson 250 from the fifth starting spot but by lap 13 he had wheeled his race car to the front. The lead swapped round between several drivers before Harvick settled in at number one as the race drew to a close.

His progress was slowed numerous times as the event approached its conclusion but Harvick was clearly the class of the field; he had nary a challenge as he easily wheeled to his third consecutive NASCAR win at RIR and the fourth of his career.

"This car was awesome," said Harvick. "I have to thank everybody that is part of our Busch program. Man, this thing was awesome. I hate it for Jeff Burton, there car was really good, but once they had their trouble we were pretty much on it. The Busch series and the Cup series are so tough and everybody runs so well, to have a car like we did tonight was fun to drive but this thing (the car) is 3-3.

"Hasn't lost a race yet, so it is doing its job."

The victory places Harvick fourth on the all-time Busch series win list.

Greg Biffle was second, "Those guys did a great job. I am so glad things are coming together with this team. We have been running so good. We took two tires and we just couldn't catch him. Harvick was so good. We might have been able to catch him on four but not two."

Matt Kenseth, Paul Menard and Reed Sorenson complete the top five.

"The guys did a great job on this car," said Kenseth. "We had a decent car but we couldn't run with the 21 and the 29 but we had a third place car. It was pretty good but our pit stops were pretty bad; in the end we were running OK but when we left pit road for the last time the tires were chattering and I knew we were in trouble."

Jeff Burton garnered the pole for the Emerson Radio 250 but that was the last good thing that happened to the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Burton was running second on lap 105 when a flat right front tire caused by a misdirected brake duct. The team attempted to fix the problem but eventually was forced to retire the car.

As per usual at Richmond, the cautions were plentiful and often; although the 250-mile event was surprisingly not marred with too many multi-car crashes. Single car spins and debris were the pests of the night.

In the end there were 14 cautions for 64 laps and 14 lead changes amongst eight drivers.

Harvick leads Busch series point standings by 619 points over Carl Edwards. Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and JJ Yeley complete the top five in standings.

Notably, with Harvick pretty much a lock to win the 2006 Busch trophy he puts himself in the position to make NASCAR history. If he finishes 39th or better in the Cup series event Saturday night he clinches his spot in the 2006 Chase for the Nextel Cup. If he does so, Harvick will vie for both series trophies; a feat that has never been done in Busch and Cup in the same season.

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