Sunday, August 21, 2016

Harvick Wins Wet Bristol "Night" Race

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Kevin Harvick won the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race from Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

The race was postponed until Sunday afternoon following a rain storm that soaked the track on Saturday night.  Rain again caused the race to start later than expected on Sunday, and it was pushed back three hours.  
Rainier Ehrhardt (Getty Images)
When the race finally restarted on Sunday, Harvick showed that he had a dominant car.  After qualifying 24th, Harvick worked his way through the field, and led 128 laps on his way to victory.

Harvick said he and his team knew the win was coming.

“We knew we had the performance we needed to have in these cars pretty much every week,” Harvick said.  “To have the win now and to get the momentum before we get into the Chase, and to get things rolling, is really what we needed.”

Following the race, Harvick did a double-burnout with his team owner Tony Stewart, who is retiring at the end of the year.  Harvick said he originally wanted Stewart to get into his car and ride around the track to salute the fans.

“I wanted him to go on a victory lap with me and say goodbye to all the fans one last time here at Bristol,” Harvick said.  “That was pretty cool, doing double-burnouts with him.”

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished second to Harvick, and was strong over the final run of the race.  Stenhouse said he wanted to get to victory lane to celebrate his friend Bryan Clauson, who passed away in a Sprint Car accident two weeks ago.

“Starting sixth on that last restart with [Harvick] starting on the front row was tough, and I knew we were going to have to hit everything perfect,” Stenhouse said.  “I remembered we had Bryan Clauson’s tribute car here and his favorite helmet, and I just dug deep…to make our Fastenal Ford a lot better.”

Unofficial Results:
1. Kevin Harvick
2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
3. Denny Hamlin
4. Austin Dillon
5. Chris Buescher
6. Carl Edwards
7. Jimmie Johnson
8. Jamie McMurray
9. AJ Allmendinger
10. Joey Logano
11. Jeff Gordon
12. Trevor Bayne
13. Kasey Kahne
14. Aric Almirola
15. Chase Elliott
16. Greg Biffle
17. Matt DiBenedetto
18. Brian Scott
19. Michael McDowell
20. Landon Cassill
21. David Ragan
22. Danica Patrick
23. Martin Truex Jr.
24. Kyle Larson
25. Casey Mears
26. Regan Smith
27. Reed Sorenson
28. Ryan Newman
29. Jeffrey Earnhardt
30. Tony Stewart
31. Clint Bowyer
32. Paul Menard
33. Brad Keselowski
34. Cole Whitt
35. Ryan Blaney
36. Josh Wise
37. Matt Kenseth
38. Kurt Busch
39. Kyle Busch
40. Justin Allgaier

Jeff Curry (Getty Images)

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