Kevin Harvick wins Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol

Dave Ongie • Mar 21, 2009 at 12:00 AM

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch battled for most of Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race, but in the end, Kevin Harvick emerged to pick up a milestone victory in the Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

After Busch lost the lead due to a penalty in the pits, Harvick got around Edwards on a restart on lap 259, holding on to take the No. 33 Chevrolet he owns to Victory Lane for the first time.

“Finally, we got this out of the way,” Harvick said. “It feels really good to get our own car back into Victory Lane. It’s pretty special to have seen something rise from the dirt — DeLana and I built this company basically from dirt.”

Edwards finished second followed by Clint Bowyer in third.

“We almost got a pole, we almost got a win, but we had a good points day,” Edwards said. “We just got a gift when Kyle got that penalty.”

Busch led 150 laps before a tire got away from his pit crew during a stop on lap 254. After a pass-through penalty, Busch restarted 16th and had to settle for a sixth-place finish.

Harvick, who started 13th, spent most of the race riding around in third as Edwards and Busch swapped the lead. But by the end of the day, Harvick got into the lead and checked out on Edwards.

“That last run, I couldn’t go any faster,” Edwards said. “Kevin took off and was real fast. On a longer run, my car was better.”

Harvick consistently struggled on restarts, but some late-race adjustments made all the difference for the No. 33 team.

“I feel like we made our car a lot better on the last pit stop,” he said. “Once we got the get-going part fixed, I felt like it was going to be a good race.”

On the restart with 41 laps remaining, Harvick finally got around Edwards and took the lead for good. Once he found clean air, he pushed his lead to more than a second and won by a comfortable margin.

Matt Kenseth, who was driving in relief of the injured Greg Biffle, finished fourth while rookie Justin Allgaier took home a top five in his first visit to BMS.

“This is probably the funnest track I’ve been on,” Allgaier said. “To get our first top five at Bristol, that means a lot. You have to be able to watch the wrecks and be patient. If you’re about to do that, it’s the most fun you can ever have in a race car.”

Busch’s No. 18 Toyota emerged as the fastest car on the track by the middle stages of the race. He exploded past Edwards on a restart on lap 143 and held on to the lead for the next 93 laps.

“He was just screaming fast on that restart,” Edwards said. “He just got me. No excuses, he just got me.”

But in the end, nobody had anything for Harvick, who drove his No. 33 to his 33rd career Nationwide victory. It was also Harvick’s fifth victory at BMS, making him the winningest Nationwide driver in the history of the track.

Edwards took the points lead with his second-place finish. He holds a 114-point lead over Harvick and a 124-point lead over Busch.

Steve Wallace, Scott Speed, Joey Logano and Jason Leffler rounded out the top 10 Saturday.

Recommended for You