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NNS: Harvick’s “Armour” holds off Keselowski for Nationwide Series win

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Photo credit: Pool

By: Dave Thompson

Polesitter Kevin Harvick held off Brad Keselowski in Friday night’s Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway for his fifth Nationwide series win at Richmond.

The victory was Harvick’s third of the season and 37th overall which places him third all-time in the series. Harvick drove his own Kevin Harvick, Inc. Armour Vienna Sausage/Kroger Chevrolet to his second victory in two attempts with the sponsor. He led 170 of the 250 laps and told the media in his post-race interview that he is pleased with the team’s progress with the new car.

Brad Keselowski battled from two laps down early in the race after problems on pit road in addition to a suspected engine issue to finish second. In finishing second, Keselowski extended his points lead over Carl Edwards to 373 points. Edwards would finish in 10th place. Keselowski was fast all evening and seemed to be the only car that could keep pace with Harvick’s car but came up short crossing the finish line just 0.256 seconds behind Harvick. In his post-race interview, Keselowski said he thought he had Harvick when he had finally reached his bumper with just two laps to go causing Harvick to get a little loose and brush the wall in turn 2.

Trevor Bayne finished third tying a career high for the young driver. Bayne started the race from the eight position and remained in the top-10 most of the race. Rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished in fourth place after starting 23rd. Rounding out the top-5 was Reed Sorenson.

Kyle Busch was the talk of the evening in his Toyota Kimmy/Z-line Designs pink Toyota. You know, the commercial with kittens, bunnies and little baby seals. In addition to Busch wearing a pink firesuit, crew chief Jason Ratcliff also donned a pink firesuit from the pit box. Busch was seeking a record 11th Nationwide victory of the season and appeared to be in position to challenge the leaders. A caution with less than 50 laps to go in the race lead to Busch’s hope of winning to disappear. After his pit stop, Busch was penalized for taking equipment from the pits and forced to return to pit road. Unfortunately for the #18 pit crew, the nozzle had broken off the fuel can and was still in the car as he exited pit road. Busch restarted 21st place but battled back to finish ninth.

The evening was a success for JR Motorsports with both cars finishing in the top 15. Aric Amirola was in the #7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet and finished 11th while his teammate Elliott Sadler in the #88 would come in 13th.

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