Saturday, September 25, 2021

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Kevin Harvick clean sweeps competition in ToyotaCare 250

Following a two hour rain delay, it’d be Kevin Harvick clean sweeping the competition in his No. 5 Tide Chevrolet as he led 202 laps on his way to victory at Richmond International Raceway. It marks Harvick’s first victory of the season and his seventh Nationwide Series win overall at Richmond.

“We got a little off on one set of tires with our adjustments but kept it up there,” Harvick commented following his 41st career Nationwide Series victory. “Thanks to Kroger and Tide. Also thanks to Hendrick engines, JR Motorsports, Ernie Cope and all of these guys. It’s been awesome all year.”

In each race that Harvick has ran for JR Motorsports this year, he has finished inside of the top five.

Harvick started the race in the top 10 after qualifying was rained out and was able to quickly move his way to the front, taking the lead on lap 48 on the restart following the competition caution and leading the rest of the way.

Rookie Chase Elliott would finish second to give JR Motorsports their first ever 1-2 finish as they scored their third straight win in a row following Elliott’s wins at Texas Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway.

“We were just a little tight in the middle of the corner,” Elliott commented. “I feel like he outdrove me a little bit. I let him get out there a little too far from me early on the run. I probably should’ve stepped up on the wheel more there.”

Elliott has finished inside of the top 10 in every race following Daytona (where he finished 15th) and currently leads the points standings, 19 points over teammate Regan Smith.

“Chase is a good kid and pushes us to do better by trying differnet things,” Harvick commented. “He’s as good as they get and fun to be around.”

Kyle Busch finished third after struggling the first run of the race with an ill-handling car, followed by Kyle Larson and Brian Scott. Scott started on the pole and led the opening laps of the race, before falling back the second half with handling issues and problems in the pits.

Elliott Sadler finished sixth despite going for a spin at lap 197 of 250. Sadler spun the tires on the restart, jamming up the field, causing Trevor Bayne to get into Smith and then Smith into Sadler with both Smith and Sadler going around.

Chris Buescher finished seventh, followed by Regan Smith, Ryan Blaney and James Busecher. Trevor Bayne finished 11th, followed by Ryan Reed, Landon Cassill, Ty Dillon and Cale Conley.

Unfortunately, rookie Dylan Kwasniewski suffered another poor finish as a result of making heavy contact with the turn four wall after fellow rookie Ryan Reed got into the back of him.

“First time up in the wall was contact by the 99 (C. Buescher) and then I got flat out dumped and turned around,” Kwasniewski commented. “No respect from the other driver but that’s how he is.”

Ryan Reed commented on his radio after the incident that Kwasniewski should expect that due to blocking. Some people have been critical this year of how Kwasniewski has been racing.

“We were being and trying to get back up there and its a shame but that’s what you expect,” Kwasniewski commented.

Kevin Lepage also found the wall throughout the night, as he made heavy contact with the inside wall after contact while everybody tried to avoid Tanner Barryhill who ran into some mechanical issues.

“Someone came off the wall and got us in the right rear and turned us into the inside,” Lepage commented. “It sucks. We’re just an unfunded team trying to survive in this series. It’s not a track issue with what happened but guys just making mistakes.”

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