BUSCH: Harvick finishes second at Rockingham

Kevin Harvick qualified 22nd for Saturday's Alltel 200 at Rockingham, but wouldn't stay there for long once the action got under way. Harvick methodically picked his way through traffic early in the race despite a slight tight condition.

Kevin Harvick qualified 22nd for Saturday's Alltel 200 at Rockingham, but wouldn't stay there for long once the action got under way. Harvick methodically picked his way through traffic early in the race despite a slight tight condition.

Harvick continued to move his way forward as he checked in 17th in the running order on lap 36, 16th on lap 53 and 14th by lap 62. The ACDelco Chevrolet began to loosen up during the run which found Harvick in 13th by lap 69 and 12th one lap later. He reached eighth place by lap 90 and it became apparent that the 2000 Rookie of the Year was charging to the front.

Harvick went one lap down to the leaders as he pitted under green for four tires on lap 92 as the rest of the leaders remained out on the track during the long green flag run. Amazingly, he was able to race his way back onto the lead lap by lap 115 with fresher tires.

On long green flag runs, Harvick was the fastest on the track as the tires began to wear. He charged to fourth place by lap 178, but he was one half of a lap behind the leader at the time, Jeff Green. What Harvick desperately needed was a caution to close the gap on the leaders. He would then rely on his superior handling car to make a run at the top position.

Harvick pitted one final time for tires on lap 188 and restarted the race in fourth position with an excellent shot at passing the leaders, Todd Bodine, Kenny Wallace and Green. Harvick got by two of the three cars but ran out of laps trying to catch Bodine during the green, white, checkered flag finish.

The second place finish moves Harvick into the top position in the Busch points, the first time in his career he has led the points in one of NASCAR's top three series.

"The ACDelco Chevrolet was really strong on long runs," Harvick said. "We're really happy with a second place finish, but we thought we had a shot at the win. The car took a while to get going. We just ran out of laps."

"We're focusing on the big picture now. We're leading the points and I guess we're where we want to be after the second race of the year."

The next Busch Series race is next weekend, March 3rd at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

-T. Kirk Lowry

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Todd Bodine , Kevin Harvick , Kenny Wallace , Jeff Green