Harvick wins at Nashville with two-tire stop

 Nashville NNS Harvick VL
LEBANON, Tenn. — Kevin Harvick found out that two tires were enough as he outlasted cars with four fresh tires over the final 35 green-flag laps as he captured the NASCAR Nationwide Series' Nashville 300 on Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway.

Harvick won for the second time this year and the 36th time in his career. He also picked up a $25,000 bonus for winning the first of Nationwide's four "Dash 4 Cash" races this season.

"I knew we had 25-30 laps to hold them off and (the car) got tighter than we would have wanted it to," said Harvick, who was competing at the track for the first time in four years and took home his second guitar trophy from Nashville.

"But we had the track position and it worked out. … It was definitely fun. It's a lot more fun when you win."
The driver/owner beat Reed Sorenson by 0.199 seconds with Kyle Busch finishing third, Justin Allgaier in fourth and Brad Keselowski in fifth.

"We were a little bit better than (Harvick) the whole time and I was catching him," Sorenson said. "When we got caught in lapped traffic, he was able to hold his own through a couple of those corners. At the end, I was catching him. We needed about five more laps to get to him."

Joey Logano, who led 122 of the 250 laps, and Keselowski were the only two lead-lap cars not to pit when the caution came out with 82 laps remaining. Both had to pit later under green, lost a lap and then the caution came out with 38 laps remaining, leaving Keselowski 18th and Logano 19th on the restart with 35 remaining.
Nashville NNS Edwards WimmerLogano got stalled on the inside lane on that restart and ended up eighth.

"We had a winning car," Logano said. "There's no reason why we couldn't have won. We gave it away."

The accident where Logano and Keselowski stayed out wasn't really an accident—Jason Leffler tagged James Buescher in retaliation for an incident earlier in the race when Buescher got loose underneath Leffler, turning Leffler into the outside wall.

NASCAR parked Leffler for the remainder of the race.
Nashville NNS Harvick stopIt was at that time that Harvick decided to pit. He took four tires and was about a dozen laps short on fuel, as he went into a fuel-conservation mode in case the race went green the rest of the way. Because he hadn't been pushing his car, he made the decision for two tires when the caution came out with 38 laps left.

"I really thought a lot more people would put two tires on because the tires really  didn't fall off that much," Harvick said. "Ours didn't fall off that much. I hate putting two tires on. Tonight, we put two tires on and it worked out for us. … Track position was more important than the handling of the car."

Carl Edwards, who finished sixth, retained the points lead, 16 points ahead of Brad Keselowski and 21 points ahead of Keselowski's Penske Racing teammate, Justin Allgaier.

1. Kevin Harvick    
2. Reed Sorenson    
3. Kyle Busch    
4. Justin Allgaier    
5. Brad Keselowski    
6. Carl Edwards    
7. Scott Wimmer    
8. Joey Logano
9. Michael Annett    
10. Brendan Gaughan    
11. Paul Menard    
12. Trevor Bayne    
13. Johnny Sauter    
14. Kelly Bires    
15. Brian Scott *    
16. Shelby Howard    
17. Mike Wallace    
18. John Wes Townley    
19. Scott Riggs    
20. Josh Wise    
21. Scott Lagasse Jr.    
22. Jeremy Clements    
23. Robert Richardson Jr.    
24. Brian Keselowski    
25. Kenny Wallace    
26. Derrike Cope
27. Mike Bliss     Chevrolet   
28. Joe Nemechek    
29. Eric McClure    
30. Colin Braun *    
31. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. *    
32. Tony Raines    
33. Mikey Kile    
34. James Buescher *    
35. Willie Allen    
36. Steve Wallace    
37. Michael McDowell    
38. Jason Keller    
39. Jason Leffler    
40. Morgan Shepherd    
41. Mark Green        
42. Kevin Lepage    
43. Danny O'Quinn Jr.
Harvick wins at Nashville with two-tire stop Harvick wins at Nashville with two-tire stop Reviewed by Rebecca Kivak on Sunday, April 04, 2010 Rating: 5