Harvick holds off Busch for NNS win at Atlanta

1 Comment

Kevin Harvick led 132 of 195 laps, but had to hold off a hard-charging Kyle Busch in order to come away with a NASCAR Nationwide Series victory tonight at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Harvick had kept the lead following pit stops under yellow at Lap 186 and lined up for the subsequent restart alongside Joey Logano. Logano spun his tires, allowing Harvick and Busch to break away and settle the race themselves.

With six laps left, Busch got a good run on the outside of Harvick through Turns 1 and 2 to take a half-length lead on Harvick down the backstretch. But Harvick held firm on the inside and was able to come back and clear Busch off Turn 4 to complete what would be the race-winning pass.

“We did a great job on pit road,” Harvick said to ESPN in Victory Lane. “We were definitely too tight, and I had to change my approach. I knew Kyle was gonna go for it.

“Three years in a row, we’ve had the dominant car [in this race] and you know, you think something’s gonna go wrong. But we just kept digging and these guys did a great job all weekend.”

Busch finished half a second behind Harvick, with NNS points leader Sam Hornish Jr. in third, Kasey Kahne in fourth, and Kyle Larson in fifth. Logano was unable to recover after his poor final restart, and settled for sixth.

In the NNS championship, Hornish increased his lead over Austin Dillon to 10 points after the latter finished eighth in tonight’s race.

Al Unser Jr. to race Pikes Peak Hill Climb for first time in 29 years

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is coming out of retirement to race again.

Unser Jr., who turns 56 on April 19, will compete in the 96th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24. It will be the first time Unser has raced at Pikes Peak in 29 years, since the 1989 event.

Unser won the Hill Climb and was named “King of the Mountain” in the 1983 event.

Unser said in 2007 that he was retiring from racing and had no plans to race in the future. However, he has taken part since then in some selected vintage racing events.

Speaking of vintage cars, Unser is slated to drive a 1936 Chevrolet Sedan in this year’s Hill Climb, according to race organizers.

He’ll compete with a number of luminaries including eight-time Hill Climb winner Paul Dallenbach; Layne Schranz, who will be competing in his 25th “Race to the Clouds”; 23-time champion Clint Vahsholtz; 25-time Hill Climb competitor David Schmidt II and three-time Climb winner Spencer Steele.

Unser recently returned to IndyCar racing as a consultant with Harding Racing, which is beginning its first full season in the series with Gabby Chaves behind the wheel.