BUSCH: Harvick takes Bristol demolition derby

BUSCH: Harvick takes Bristol demolition derby

BRISTOL, TN - Kevin Harvick, piloting the No. 21 RCR Chevy, scored his third career win at Bristol and ninth of his career. Harvick's break of the race came at lap 97, when Harvick managed to put the No. 21 in the lead. "We worked so hard ...

BRISTOL, TN - Kevin Harvick, piloting the No. 21 RCR Chevy, scored his third career win at Bristol and ninth of his career. Harvick's break of the race came at lap 97, when Harvick managed to put the No. 21 in the lead.

"We worked so hard yesterday on long runs, and we really thought the car was going to be good on them," Harvick said. "But there were so many cautions there in the beginning; we just couldn't catch up to anybody.

"Once we got a couple of long green-flag runs, we started to move up, and the car really settled in."

Kevin Harvick.
Photo by Michael C. Johnson.
Harvick, the 2001 Busch Series champion, was just happy to have this race end on a positive note. It was at this event last year, that Harvick's disciplinary problems with NASCAR begun. After being eliminated from the race due to contact with Greg Biffle, Harvick lurked on pit road waiting for Biffle to exit his car. Harvick then repelled over the roof of the No. 60 Roush Ford and grabbed Biffle by the collar to explain his dissatisfaction with the situation. NASCAR was not amused and placed Harvick on probation.

"We've always wrecked, or got black-flagged or had some sort of controversy in this race," commented Harvick. "Last year I was crawling on top of cars to knock the hell out of Greg Biffle. "Now, this is a great day."

Harvick led the field without incident, until the No. 33 of Tony Raines knocked on his rear bumper with 36 laps remaining on the board. Harvick held Raines off and pulled out to a six car length advantage with five laps left, when the thirteenth caution flag waved.

Kasey Khane and Ron Hornaday caused that caution, after they made contact. Both cars were running in the top-ten at the time. NASCAR red flagged the race, stopping the field and setting up a five lap duel to the checkers.

Raines could not match speed with Harvick on the restart, and Harvick easily sailed to the finish line. Harvick led a race high 97 of 250 laps. Raines finished second, followed by Jason Keller, David Green and Mike Bliss.

"We started to reel Kevin in with about 10 laps to go," Raines said. "I knew that was good for him and bad for me. Second place is not bad, so we'll come back here in the fall and try again."

Attrition was heavy and often during today's event at Bristol. Twenty-one cars were in the garage by race end, with only thirteen cars on the lead lap. There were thirteen cautions (one shy of the record) for 78 laps.

The most significant yellow flag came out at lap 186 when the second and third place cars of Riggs and Wimmer caused caution #12. Riggs tried to make it three wide going into the corner with not much luck. In the process, he wrecked himself and Wimmer.

"I don't think racing three wide at Bristol is a pretty smart idea," said 25th place finisher Wimmer. "I don't know what Scott Riggs was thinking."

Riggs, finishing 23rd, did not try to defend his race-ending decision.

"I'm the one who made it three wide, so I guess it's my fault," said Riggs. "I was the first one up there to have fresher tires. I saw him (Wimmer) get on the outside of the lapped car, I made it three wide got up under the lapped car and thought I could definitely hold him outside. I had a run underneath him.

"I don't know, I tried to stay as low as I could, but you know three wide at Bristol. I had to go for it, had the best car and was trying to go for the front."

Todd Bodine's ninth place effort cements his top position in the championship race for another week now sitting forty-eight points over second place driver Jason Keller. Jamie McMurray, Kevin Harvick and David Green round out the top-five.

All five Busch series events completed this season have been won by Winston Cup regulars.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Todd Bodine , Jason Keller , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Tony Raines , Jamie McMurray , David Green , Scott Riggs