CLERMONT, Ind. -- Points leader Kevin Harvick raced to his
fourth Busch Series victory of the year, holding off Greg Biffle in
the crash-filled Kroger 200 on Saturday night.
There were eight cautions for 55 laps and the race was halted
for about seven minutes with 10 laps left in the 200-lap race.
Harvick, elevated to a full-time Winston Cup ride a year ahead
of schedule after Dale Earnhardt's death in the Daytona 500, also
has two victories this season on NASCAR's top series. He will start
11th in the Brickyard 400 on Sunday.
The 25-year-old star led only the final 29 laps in his Richard
Childress Racing Chevrolet, and averaged 72.785 mph on the
0.686-mile Indianapolis Raceway Park oval.
He survived challenges from Biffle, the runner-up in the points
race who led the first 107 laps, and Chad Little on the final five
laps. Biffle finished second, 1.246 seconds back. Little was third,
followed by Elton Sawyer and Jason Keller.
"Chad and everybody raced us hard," Harvick said. "I don't
know if we even have a scratch on the car. I passed him for the
lead and it was pretty good racing from there."
The victory boosted Harvick's points total to 3,368. Biffle is
second with 3,205, and Keller third with 3,165.
"I was really good on cold tires and that red flag helped us
get second," Biffle said. "I don't know what happened on the
second set of tires. We weren't going to be beat tonight, and
somehow the No. 2 car beat us. "We're getting used to it, we just
have to keep working on our stuff and get better."
Harvick credited crew chief Todd Berrier for the victory.
"Todd made some awesome calls in the pits," Harvick said. "We
practiced a two-tire thing in practice because we knew how
important track position was," Harvick said. "That paid off for
us and the yellow flags worked in our favor. We made some great
wedge, air pressure and track bar adjustments."
Sawyer took the lead when Biffle and pole-sitter Kenny Wallace
pitted during a caution period on lap 108.
Sawyer, who has only two victories in 378 Busch starts, moved
into first on lap 108. The 41-year-old Sawyer and Little exchanged
the lead on lap 166 and then Harvick took over.
Wallace, who won his second consecutive Busch pole in two weeks
earlier in the day, was passed by Biffle on the opening lap. He
held on to second for the first 100 laps, fell back as far as 17th
and managed to finish in 11th.
Only 19 of the 43 cars were on the lead lap when the race ended.
Twelve cars dropped out, including five by accidents.