Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch go one-up

August, 8, 2010
08/08/10
12:06
PM ET

Kevin Harvick could've left him. But he didn't.

Last weekend, Kyle Busch carpooled with Harvick as the pair made the 2,000-mile round-trip between the NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Pocono Raceway and Saturday night's Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway.

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Kyle Busch
Walter G. Arce/Icon SMIKyle Busch got the last laugh on Kevin Harvick, winning the Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway as Harvick finished second.

On Saturday morning, the two finished Happy Hour practice, then jetted west to Iowa on Harvick's plane, using the magic of satellite radio to listen in on the Camping World Truck Series race back at Pocono while cruising at 35,000 feet. What should have been a relaxing time on Harvick's plane ended up being a smack-talk session, as Elliott Sadler, driving the Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevy, battled with Kasey Kahne, driving the Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota, for the win.

As you already know, Sadler pulled away from Kahne during a frantic final lap to earn the win. What's more, KHI leapfrogged KBM for first place in the Truck series owners standings. Busch screamed in frustration, "Why can I never beat you guys?!"

Harvick simply smiled and said, "Finishing second sucks, doesn't it?"

That night at Iowa, Busch skunked the field, leading 209 of 250 laps and earning his sixth Nationwide win in seven tries. The runner-up? Harvick.

During his postrace TV interview, Harvick predicted that it would be a long flight back to Pennsylvania. He was right. After not-so-patiently sitting on his plane and waiting for Busch to finish all the race winner's obligations, from the hat dance to the media center, Harvick braced himself for Busch's arrival.

Some suggested that Harvick should have gone wheels up and left his rival high and dry. It's been done before. After Dale Earnhardt Jr. passed his father to win at Richmond in 2000, The Intimidator dispatched a messenger to Victory Lane. "Congratulations. You'll need to find a ride home." But Harvick, to his credit, elected to take the high road.

Sometime around midnight Busch finally climbed aboard the jet, still smelling like champagne. He chose his words carefully.

"Finishing second sucks, doesn't it?"

Ryan McGee | email

ESPN The Magazine, NASCAR

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