HAMPTON, Ga. – Kevin Harvick made it look more than easy en route to victory in Saturday’s Great Clips 300 to Benefit Feed The Children at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Harvick dominated the event, leading 159 of the event’s 195 laps around the high-speed 1.5-mile track. It was his third career victory at AMS (and second in a row), and increased his supremacy to eight top-5 and 10 top-10 finishes overall in 13 starts there.
“Kevin’s really got this place figured out,” team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. said after the race. “He just goes out and does his thing.”
There was just one lead change in the entire event: Harvick took the lead on Lap 37 from pole-sitter Chase Elliott (who led the first 36 laps) and never surrendered from that point.
What’s more, there were only two cautions in the race for 18 laps, with the first for debris and the second for rain around the two-thirds part of the event.
In 11 starts in the NNS this season, Harvick now has three wins (in the last six races), along with a pair of runner-up showings and nine overall top-5 finishes.
It also was his 43rd win in NASCAR’s junior series.
“This car was bad-fast from the drop of the green flag,” Harvick told ESPN in victory lane. “It’s just one of those racetracks that I love the challenge of what you get to do here.”
Harvick is hoping to make it back-to-back wins on Sunday in the Sprint Cup’s Oral-B USA 500 race at AMS. He has a great chance, as he’ll start from the pole position.
“I’m real happy with our Jimmy John’s car,” Harvick said of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet that he’ll drive Sunday. “We just have to have it go all your way. These races are hard to win. We’ll just enjoy this one tonight and go from there.”
Joey Logano never led a lap in the race but stayed glued right behind Harvick to finish runner-up.
“I just ran out of time,” Logano said. “I wish we would have had another five, seven laps. Too little, too late. I guess we’ll just have to catch him (Harvick) tomorrow.”
Kyle Larson finished third, followed by Kyle Busch and pole-sitter Elliott.
“It started off real good,” Elliott said. “I made an unacceptable mistake near the end that cost us a couple of spots. My guys deserved better than that. My bad.
“I slid through my box, it’s as simple as that. I was just too far. It’s unacceptable. You can’t be doing that.”
Regan Smith was sixth, followed by Brian Scott, David Ragan, Ty Dillon and Elliott Sadler.
Matt Kenseth was 11th, followed by Trevor Bayne, Chris Buescher, Brendan Gaughan, Landon Cassill, J.J. Yeley, Mike Bliss, Ryan Reed, James Buescher and Ryan Sieg.
Elliott remains atop the NNS standings, leading teammate Regan Smith by 15 points after Saturday night’s race.
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