Sunday, August 7, 2011
Kevin Harvick cruises to Pocono win
LONG POND, Pa -- Kevin Harvick needed overtime to take the checkered flag.
Harvick stretched his fuel over extra laps and an extra day, breaking free on the green-white checkered finish to win the Trucks Series race on Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
Rain halted the event after 17 laps Saturday, so the race was squeezed in Sunday morning before the start of the Sprint Cup race. Joey Logano is on the pole for that one.
Harvick started from the pole and his only concern was stretching his fuel two extra laps on the scheduled 50-lap race. He conserved fuel and did what he needed to do in his first Trucks victory of the season.
"You just hope it didn't screw itself up overnight," Harvick said.
Harvick led 44 laps and was one of only two leaders in the second Trucks race on the 2½-mile triangle track. It was his 10th career win in the series and third top-10 finish of the season.
"We figured out a way to screw up pretty much every week," he said. "The truck has been fast every week. You've got to keep doing the things you've been doing."
He held off Kyle Busch and James Buescher on the final restart to win by a comfortable margin. Busch was second and Buescher third. Johnny Sauter and Austin Dillon round out the top five.
Sauter, the points leader, failed the post-race inspection. The right rear was too high and penalties were expected this week.
Busch and Harvick had to quickly scoot off to get ready for the Cup race. They had 500 grueling miles scheduled for later in the day. The rain messed with the weekend schedule, also bumping the ARCA race to Sunday for a racing tripleheader.
Todd Bodine was spun with two laps left to bring out the final caution. Harvick's crew chief, Bruce Cook, voiced his concerns that there may not have been enough fuel in the No. 2 Chevrolet.
The caution helped conserve what was in the tank, and Harvick was on his way toward celebrating in Victory Lane.
Buescher, a Trucks regular, knew he couldn't catch the Cup star on the overtime laps.
"I didn't have anything for Kevin. He was in a league of his own," Buescher said. "I didn't have anything remotely close for him. We knew Kyle was coming fast. Maybe if it went green and not have that green-white checkered, we might have finished second. You hate losing to him, but you hate losing to anybody."