Saturday, September 25, 2021

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Harvick dominates, Stenhouse Jr. wins in Atlanta

By the NASCAR Wire Service

There’s an arrest warrant out for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — or perhaps there should be — after the defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion stole Saturday night’s NRA American Warrior 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Stenhouse grabbed the lead from Kevin Harvick on the final lap, after a restart with three laps remaining. Contact between the cars of Danica Patrick and James Buescher caused the eighth and final caution and set up the three-lap run to the finish.

Brad Keselowski, on fresh tires, passed Harvick for the second spot. Harvick ran third, followed by Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier.

Before the final restart, however, Harvick had the race in hand, leading 157 laps and opening an advantage that exceeded 16 seconds at one point.

Emblematic of Harvick’s dominance was a restart on Lap 127. Travis Pastrana had stayed out under caution for Eric McClure’s brush with the Turn 2 wall and led the first laps of his Nationwide career under yellow.

Under green? Another matter. Pastrana led the field to the restart, but before the field cleared Turn 2, Harvick had powered from fifth to first, as Stenhouse tried in vain to keep pace.

Harvick lost the lead briefly during a cycle of green-flag pit stops late in the race, but he was back in front for a restart on Lap 188, after NASCAR called the seventh caution of the night on Lap 182 of 195 for debris in Turn 1.

After the race, Harvick had harsh words for Keselowski, who threw a water bottle from his car before NASCAR called the debris caution. NASCAR officials said the water bottle was not the reason for the caution.

NRA American Warrior 300 Unofficial Results 

1: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

2: Brad Keselowski

3: Kevin Harvick

4: Elliott Sadler

5: Justin Allgaier

6: Austin Dillon

7: Kyle Busch

8: Cole Whitt

9: Sam Hornish Jr.

10: Michael Annett

11: Brian Scott

12: Denny Hamlin

13: Danica Patrick

14: Joe Nemechek

15: Jeremy Clements

16: Jason Bowles

17: Mike Wallace

18: Tayler Malsam

19: Danny Effland

20: Erik Darnell

21: Eric McClure

22: Mike Bliss

23: James Buescher

24: Benny Gordon

25: Kyle Fowler

26: Travis Pastrana

27: David Starr

28: Kasey Kahne

29: Tony Raines

30: Matt Carter

31: Robert Richardson Jr.

32: Reed Sorenson

33: Timmy Hill

34: Morgan Shepard

35: Jeff Green

36: Blake Koch

37: Fain Skinner

38: Chase Miller

39: Mike Harmon

40: Josh Wise

41: Carl Long

42: JJ Yeley

43: Joey Gase


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