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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Harvick wins rain-delayed Truck Series race

Kevin Harvick conserved enough fuel and held off Kyle Busch during a two-lap overtime finish to win Sunday's rain-delayed Camping World Truck Series race at Pocono Raceway.
Seventeen laps were completed in Saturday's scheduled Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service 125 before heavy rain fell on the 2.5-mile triangular track. NASCAR was forced to postpone the remainder of the race for one day.
Harvick, driving his No.2 Chevrolet, started on the pole and dominated the race by leading 44 of 53 laps. He gambled on fuel in the late going when he remained on the track while most lead-lap drivers came in for a last round of pit stops.
"The truck was so fast that I was able to get out there and really conserve fuel," Harvick said. "It was a great day for everyone on the No.2 truck."
Harvick relinquished the lead when he made his first and only pit stop right before rain halted the race Saturday. Parker Kligerman took over the top position then. Kligerman ran in front for nine laps before Harvick reclaimed the lead on lap 24.
The seventh and final caution for an incident involving Todd Bodine and Ron Hornaday Jr. in the closing laps set up a green-white-checkered finish. Harvick quickly pulled away from the field on the last restart and then beat his fellow Sprint Cup Series competitor Busch to the finish line by 1.14 seconds.
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 2 1/2-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.

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