BUSCH: Las Vegas: Kevin Harvick race notes

Harvick finishes second, but gains points lead. LAS VEGAS (March 1) - Kevin Harvick drove the PayDay Chevrolet to a second-place finish in Saturday's Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  As a result of the ...

Harvick finishes second, but gains points lead.

LAS VEGAS (March 1) - Kevin Harvick drove the PayDay Chevrolet to a second-place finish in Saturday's Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 

As a result of the second-place finish, Harvick was propelled to the top spot in the driver rankings with a commanding 55-point lead.  Joe Nemechek won the Sam's Town 300. 

Harvick started third in the event after rain showers cancelled qualifying on Friday.  He started third because the starting grid was determined by the 2002 final standings, and the No. 21 team finished third. 

Harvick did not waste any time once the race started, and he passed Stanton Barrett for first place on the first lap.  By lap 35 Harvick had a four-second lead over Jeff Burton.

Unfortunately, around lap 62, the rain showers returned.  NASCAR was forced to put the race under caution until the showers passed.  The caution period didn't last long, and the event resumed. 

On lap 82, Burton closed the gap and began challenging Harvick for the lead.  On lap 90, Burton was able to pass Harvick and become only other driver to lead event up to that point.  

Burton's charge didn't last long.  In fact, by lap 113 Harvick regained the lead and began to put daylight between Burton's car and the PayDay Chevrolet.  

A caution flag was waved on lap 114, and Harvick brought the PayDay Chevrolet into the pits for four tires, a full tank of fuel and a wedge adjustment.  Harvick told crew chief Butch Hylton that the car was a little bit loose, so Hylton elected to make an air pressure adjustment as well.  Harvick left the pits in the third position, behind new race leader Todd Bodine and Michael Waltrip.  

Once again it appeared that the rain showers were about to return.  The fans were then treated to some of the best racing of the day.  With the threat of rain pending, Bodine, Waltrip and Harvick battled for the lead, running three wide at times.  However, by lap 114, the rain beat them all, and the race was stopped until the showers passed. 

After a one-hour rain delay, the event was restarted.  Hylton and the PayDay team elected to bring Harvick into the pits and take on four tires and a full tank of fuel.  A number of the competitors elected to take two tires or fuel only and Harvick's longer pit stop put him in 12th place coming out of the pits. 

Harvick made short work of his track position and quickly piloted the PayDay Chevrolet back to the front of the field.   

In the closing laps of the event, Harvick challenged Nemechek for the win, but Harvick could not pass him on old tires.  

The darlingtonracweay.com 200, the next race on the schedule, will air live from the Darlington Raceway on Saturday, March 15, at 12:30 p.m. ET on the FX cable network and the MRN radio network. 

-rcr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jeff Burton , Michael Waltrip , Todd Bodine , Kevin Harvick , Stanton Barrett