BUSCH: Richmond II: Harvick/Sauter race report

Harvick second in Richmond thriller; Teammate Sauter wins RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 5) - Kevin Harvick drove the Honey Roasted Reese's/PayDay Chevrolet to a second-place finish in one of the most exciting Busch Series events of the season. Harvick,...

Harvick second in Richmond thriller; Teammate Sauter wins

RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 5) - Kevin Harvick drove the Honey Roasted Reese's/PayDay Chevrolet to a second-place finish in one of the most exciting Busch Series events of the season. Harvick, fellow PayDay and RCR teammate Johnny Sauter and fellow Winston Cup driver Matt Kenseth battled for the lead during the last 20 laps of the event. Sauter was able to win his first race of the season with a thrilling bump-and-run move to pass Kenseth in turn four for the win. Harvick was able to capitalize from the move and drove from third to second and cheered on teammate Sauter.

The race, which was halted because of an accident on lap 245 of 250, was restarted with four laps to go. Like the previous 15 laps, the fans were treated to some of the best Busch Series racing of the season. Harvick, Sauter and Kenseth all battled for the lead, with plenty of paint trading and fender smashing. In the end, Sauter drove by Kenseth with Harvick to follow as Kenseth drifted to sixth.

"I'm so proud of Johnny Sauter I can hardly stand it," commented Harvick after the event. "We had a strong car at the beginning and all night long. We really just kept ourselves in contention."

The PayDay Racing team was able to build on its lead in the team standings, 214 points ahead of the second-place No. 37 team (David Green).

After a day of showers on Thursday, qualifying was rained out and the field was aligned according to owner's points. Harvick was granted the pole thanks to the hard work the team has done this season to keep the PayDay Chevy atop the standings.

When the green flag dropped on Friday night, Harvick wasted no time breaking away from the field and racing out front. Harvick told the crew on lap 35 that the car was "a little free," but Harvick continued to lead. Harvick would go on to lead until lap 92, when Sauter passed him. Harvick began to experience a loose-handling racecar and drifted back to seventh.

When the caution flag waved on lap 103, Harvick and the rest of the field came down pit road for adjustments. Harvick took on four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. The PayDay team returned Harvick to the racing surface in the fourth position.

By lap 120, Harvick was back to third and charging to the front. He would continue his charge all the way until lap 180 when the caution flag waved, and he returned to pit road for his final stop of the night. Once again the PayDay crew serviced Harvick's Chevy and returned him to the racing surface in second place.

Harvick battled with Kenseth for the lead for the next 40 laps, and Sauter would join the action and pass both Kenseth and Harvick for the lead.

The last 20 laps of the night contained some of the most exciting racing of the season. Sauter and Kenseth beat fenders while Harvick sat patiently waiting for them both to slip up and drive by for the lead.

The caution flag came out on lap 244, and the field was red-flagged. On the restart, it was a three-car battle for the win. When the dust settled, Harvick crossed the stripe in second, followed by Bobby Hamilton Jr.

The NASCAR Busch Series will not compete again until Sept. 20 at Dover International Speedway. Harvick will be in the PayDay Chevrolet again.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Johnny Sauter