NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Kevin Harvick Scores XFINITY Series Victory in Atlanta

It had been a while, but Kevin Harvick is back in Victory Lane for the XFINITY Series.

Leading 141 of 163 laps in Saturday’s Rinnai 250 from Atlanta Motor Speedway, Harvick won for the first time since 2015 in the series, scoring his fifth XFINITY win at Atlanta and 47th of his career.

“This is a track that hasn’t changed a whole lot,” Harvick said. “I’m fortunate to know the feel I’m looking for. It was just one of those days.”

Joey Logano was the next best thing, finishing second, 4.183 seconds behind Harvick. The result is the third straight for Logano at Atlanta. Christopher Bell was the leading series regular, finishing third after starting from pole. The Joe Gibbs Racing rookie felt he needed to learn a thing or two to contest the top two veterans.

“The tire fall-off was expected,” Bell said. “But I don’t know. I got to get better as a driver to compete with these guys.”

In what was a fairly clean-and-green race from Stage 2 onward, the race kicked off with a monster hit by Cole Custer, who hit the frontstretch wall head-first after contact from John Hunter Nemechek.

“I just got hit going down the straightaway and got wrecked from there,” Custer said. “It sucks because I thought we had a pretty good car. I just don’t really know what else to do.”

Nemechek rallied on with the slight damage, ending the day in the fourth spot in his series debut for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“I ran up a little bit and got tagged from the right rear by Elliott Sadler,” Nemechek said. “It sent me down into Cole and he spun from there. But I feel comfortable with where we finished. I’m definitely going to keep building comfort with seat time. Experience can only help.”

Point leader Tyler Reddick fell out of seventh place late when his No. 9 Chevrolet suffered a cut right-rear tire. The Daytona winner cruised to 19th.

Elliott Sadler rounded out the top five while Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric, Kyle Benjamin, Ryan Truex and Ryan Reed the top 10.

RINNAI 250 UNOFFICIAL RESULTS

 

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Tom B

Funny, the 98 car never finished that good before.

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