Harvick wins at Martinsville and for the second week in a row

Harvick celebrates with a burnout. Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR  

Kevin Harvick, who after battling a loose car and falling back to 23rd at one point, worked well with his team to make the right adjustments and pull off a win. Crew chief Gil Martin and Harvick claimed their second victory of the season, coming one week after their last win at Auto Club Speedway.

Jamie McMurray started on pole and lead the first 32 laps until being passed by Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman. Denny Hamlin took the lead on lap 35, a familiar spot for him at Martinsville. Caution came out at lap 51 for David Gilliland (#34) who had a right front flat tire, Jimmie Johnson would lead the field to the green on the restart after assuming the lead from pit road. Lap 108 Dave Blaney stopped on track bringing out the second caution, sending cars back down pit road. Johnson, Busch, Hamlin, Reuitmann and Bowyer were the first five cars off of pit road.  Lap 126, another caution this one involving Marcos Ambrose and Michael McDowell, Ambrose was sent hard into the outside wall. Denny Hamlin restarted in the lead but Clint Bowyer passed him on on lap 134. Bowyer led 43 laps. Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Bowyer all swapped the lead multiple times.
Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images for NASCAR
Lap 222 there was a caution, followed by a 25 minute red flag after a horrible wreck involving Martin Truex Jr. and Kasey Kahne. Truex had a hung throttle, crashed into Kahne and than both drivers hit the SAFER barrier.  After the crash, Truex said “Ten years ago, I wouldn’t be standing here, so I’m thankful for that.” “You can lock the brakes up, but there’s nothing to do (when the throttle sticks). As unfortunate as it was that Kasey was involved, he really helped slow my car down when I hit him. It was probably a blessing. Hate that we took him out.”Repairs had to be made to the wall and SAFER barrier before the race could restart.

The saying in NASCAR is that cautions breed cautions, today that was certainly the case. After the race restarted on Lap 229, the beating and banging ensued. Kurt Busch got into Bobby Labonte, after  it appeared that Brian Vickers had gotten into Kurt Busch. The race restarted on Lap 238, Clint Bowyer still leading at this point. Another caution just 4 laps into the run after Brad Keselowski made contact with Paul Menard. Casey Mears and Michael McDowell also sustained damage in the accident.

Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson all lead a large quantity of laps today and were thought of as contenders for the win. Kevin Harvick had issues with his car but overcame them. This is what a title contender does.

Complete race recap:
  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Juan Pablo Montoya
  5. Jeff Gordon
  6. Matt Kenseth
  7. Jamie McMurray
  8. David Ragan
  9. Clint Bowyer
  10. Mark Martin
  11. Jimmie Johnson
  12. Denny Hamlin
  13. Joey Logano
  14. AJ Allmendinger
  15. David Reutimann
  16. Kurt Busch
  17. Brian Vickers
  18. Carl Edwards
  19. Brad Keselowski
  20. Ryan Newman
  21. Greg Biffle
  22. Ken Schrader
  23. Robby Gordon
  24. Jeff Burton
  25. Tony Raines
  26. Landon Cassill
  27. Bobby Labonte
  28. Hermie Sadler
  29. Marcos Ambrose
  30. Dave Blaney 
  31. Regan Smith
  32. Michael McDowell 
  33. David Gilliland
  34. Tony Stewart
  35. Trevor Bayne
  36. Casey Mears
  37. Travis Kvapil
  38. Paul Menard
  39. Kasey Kahne
  40. Martin Truex Jr.
  41. JJ Yeley
  42. Mike Skinner
  43. Joe Nemechek
Kyle Busch in the new points leader, read more tomorrow in NASCAR By the Numbers!

Harvick wins at Martinsville and for the second week in a row Harvick wins at Martinsville and for the second week in a row Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, April 03, 2011 Rating: 5