Harvick wins Kroger 250 at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va.—It was a relatively uneventful day for Kroger 250 winner Kevin Harvick.
The same can’t be said for Harvick’s teammate, Ron Hornaday Jr., who started deep in the field in Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway and survived a late-race dust-up with Johnny Sauter to post a much-needed runner-up finish.
Harvick, who owns his No. 2 Chevrolet and the No. 33 Hornaday drives, led 187 of 250 laps in winning his second truck series race of the season in as many starts and the eighth of his career. He started from the pole after rain washed out Friday’s qualifying. Brian Ickler ran third, with points leader Timothy Peters fourth and Johnny Benson fifth.
Harvick chose the outside lane when he and Hornaday teamed up for a side-by-side restart on Lap 232, after contact from Hornaday turned the No. 13 Chevy of Sauter to cause the 11th and final caution of the race 10 laps earlier. An angry Sauter confronted Hornaday on pit road after the race.
“I don’t know if he got into the curb or checked up or whatever, but I got into him pretty good,” Hornaday said after the exchange. “It was a tough day. I hate to see that, but Johnny’s all mad, and that’s what truck racing’s all about.”
Harvick, working for the first time with new crew chief Butch Hylton, passed Peters for the lead on Lap 190 and held it the rest of the way.
“It was a lot of fun for me, just for the fact that the thing was so dominant to drive,” Harvick said. “I didn’t really have to do a whole lot different—I just drove my line every lap, and we were able to make our way through traffic when we needed to.
“When we passed the 17 (Peters) for the lead there, it looked like his truck started to get a little loose getting into the corner, and we were able to capitalize on that.”
Notes: Peters’ series lead is now 59 points over sixth-place finisher Aric Almirola. Todd Bodine, the points leader coming into Saturday’s race, finished 30th after his truck overheated. … Narain Karthikeyan, a former Formula One driver from India, finished 13th in his truck series debut after taking advantage of two free passes back to the lead lap. … Harvick’s margin of victory was 1.552 seconds. … Hornaday, the defending series champion, gained 16 positions to 12th in the standings. He started the race in 31st position.

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