Harvick wins Nationwide race at Richmond

Associated Press Modified: September 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm •  Published: September 7, 2012
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Kevin Harvick took the lead by dodging a caution caused by race leader Kurt Busch, then pulled away on a restart with 17 laps to go and won the Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

The victory snapped a 30-race winless streak in the series for Harvick, whose last victory came in this race two years ago. It was his 38th career victory in the series, and sixth on the 0.75-mile D-shaped oval. He is tied with Carl Edwards for third in career victories in the series.

"It's been a long time coming," Harvick said in Victory Lane. "I know the first 37 seemed a whole lot easier than No. 38."

As he had done for much of the race, Harvick pulled away as if he had an extra gear when the race went back to green on lap 234, leaving championship contender Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Busch to battle for second. Stenhouse won that battle easily.

"Kevin and I had a great battle there for a while. I gave it all I had," said Stenhouse, who won last weekend at Atlanta. "If we would have won two in a row, that would have been cool, but second's a great night."

Harvick, meanwhile, has led 396 laps in the last three Nationwide Series races.

"I think we've led more laps in this series in 10 races this year than anybody else who's run all year," Harvick said

Busch, who won at the track in the spring, wound up third, followed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Annett.

The best finish, though, came from back in the field as points leader Elliott Sadler, who had dropped to 29th place and a lap down after crashing while running second late on lap 185, rallied to finish 12th and retained the points lead by one over Stenhouse.

Sadler, who confirmed Friday that he will not be with Richard Childress Racing in the Nationwide Series next season, had been dueling Stenhouse side by side for second place behind Harvick for several laps when Sadler, running on the inside, got loose and spun into the wall. He remained on the track, but eventually went a lap down and went from leading the points race to falling well behind.