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Kevin Harvick Transfers To Eliminator Round With Charlotte Win

Kevin Harvick Transfers To Eliminator Round With Charlotte Win

by October 12, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas

CONCORD, N.C. – Kevin Harvick locked himself into the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup after winning the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night.

The win is the 26th of Harvick’s career, tying NASCAR Hall of Famer inductee, Fred Lorenzen for the 25th spot on the all-time win list in the series. Harvick led on six occasions for 162 laps, most of any driver on Saturday night. He has three wins (Phoenix International Raceway, Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway) so far during the 2014 season.

“Oh, we came here and tested thinking that this was going to be the hardest round to get through because of Talladega,” Harvick said. “There’s so much that you can’t control there. We wanted to try to control the things that we could control. We felt like Kansas and here (Charlotte) were playing to our strengths; and just see where it fell after that once we get to the next round. So I’m really proud of everybody at SHR. I’m really proud of all my guys on this team. I just can’t thank everybody enough.”

The Bank of America 500 saw eight cautions, and only one was for a multi-car accident. Joey Logano got into the back of Danica Patrick in turn three to bring out the caution on lap 247. Ryan Newman spun through turn four to miss Patrick. Newman drove away with no damage and finished seventh, but Patrick finished 26th after pounding the outside wall.

“It was such a bummer for the GoDaddy team,” Patrick said. “We were having such a good night, and I really think we had a car that was capable of a top-10 finish tonight, and that got taken away from us for really no reason. It’s just really frustrating. Charlotte has not been good to me.”

Jeff Gordon finished second on Saturday night after leading 74 laps in the Bank of America 500. With the runner-up finish, Gordon jumps up one spot to sixth in the Contender Round point standings. He’s now 17 points ahead of Kasey Kahne who holds the eighth and final transfer spot heading into the last race of the round at Talladega Superspeedway. Gordon’s finish on Saturday night marks his 20th top-10 finish of the season.

“But yeah, the format is definitely creating a lot of drama, a lot of intensity, a lot of pressure, and each round seems to intensify that much more,” Gordon said. “Today’s performance by us was huge and crucial, I think, because we do at least have a much bigger buffer than some other guys do. There’s going to be some guys that really have to win at that race and that have to maybe get a top 5 or make up a lot of points. Certainly these last two weeks have shaken things up quite a bit. I like our chances. I think we’ve got an excellent race team, and I really hope we can make it through Talladega because I think the next round suits us very, very well.”

Jamie McMurray posted his 11th top-10 finish of the season after brining his No.1 McDonald’s Monopoly Chevrolet home in the third position. Finding success at Charlotte Motor Speedway is nothing new to McMurray. He won the Sprint All-Star race earlier this year back in May, however, the entire Chip Ganassi Racing team has been the one organization to challenge the other teams competing in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. McMurray’s teammate, Kyle Larson also captured a top-10 finish as he crossed the line in sixth.

“Yeah, it was a really good night for our whole group,” McMurray said. “When I got to second place at one point I looked at my mirror and Kyle (Larson) was catching me. We certainly went through a couple of really tough years as our group at Chip Ganassi Racing, and it’s so great right now to have both cars run that well every single week at a lot of different type racetracks. I was not only thrilled for our group but also for the 42 car and just everybody. This is a big weekend for all the race teams. There’s a lot of crew guys that get to bring their kids here to watch their dads or their moms work that sit in the stands, so that’s pretty special I think for Kyle and I to have a good showing.”

Once the race was over, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth confronted Brad Keselowski in the garage after multiple on-track run-ins. Hamlin’s crew held him back, but the encounter between Kenseth and Keselowski quickly escalated into an all-out brawl with the two drivers and their teams. Read more about confrontations here: Tempers Boil Over In Garage Between Keselowski and Kenseth.

Up next on the schedule for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, October 19. The event is the final race in the Contender Round, and it will be live on ESPN and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 2 p.m. ET.

Bank of America 500 Results:
1.) #4 Kevin Harvick
2.) #24 Jeff Gordon
3.) #1 Jamie McMurray
4.) #22 Joey Logano
5.) #18 Kyle Busch
6.) #42 Kyle Larson
7.) #31 Ryan Newman
8.) #99 Carl Edwards
9.) #11 Denny Hamlin
10.) #5 Kasey Kahne
11.) #41 Kurt Busch
12.) #47 AJ Allmendinger
13.) #3 Austin Dillon
14.) #78 Martin Truex Jr.
15.) #51 Justin Allgaier
16.) #2 Brad Keselowski
17.) #48 Jimmie Johnson
18.) #16 Greg Biffle
19.) #20 Matt Kenseth
20.) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
21.) #14 Tony Stewart
22.) #43 Aric Almirola
23.) #40 Landon Cassill
24.) #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
25.) #9 Marcos Ambrose
26.) #10 Danica Patrick
27.) #36 Reed Sorenson
28.) #26 Cole Whitt
29.) #95 Michael McDowell
30.) #23 Alex Bowman
31.) #13 Casey Mears
32.) #38 David Gilliland
33.) #7 Michael Annett
34.) #34 David Ragan
35.) #77 Corey LaJoie
36.) #33 Timmy Hill
37.) #55 Brian Vickers
38.) #83 JJ Yeley
39.) #32 Blake Koch
40.) #66 Brett Moffitt
41.) #98 Josh Wise
42.) #27 Paul Menard
43.) #15 Clint Bowyer

Contender Round Point Standings:
1.) #22 Joey Logano (Transfer)
2.) #18 Kyle Busch -6
3.) #4 Kevin Harvick -7 (Transfer)
4.) #31 Ryan Newman -11
5.) #99 Carl Edwards -12
6.) #24 Jeff Gordon -14
7.) #11 Denny Hamlin -15
8.) #5 Kasey Kahne -31

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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