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Harvick uses late move to win NASCAR race in Kansas

16 May 2018

In knockout qualifying on Friday at Kansas Speedway, the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford showed no sign of relinquishing his grip on NASCAR's foremost series.

Everyone else entered the night race looking for answers in some way or another. Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267 11.

"I thought we were going to be all right there", said Truex, who was trying for a third straight win at Kansas.

And those questions were nothing compared to the Chevrolet drivers, who hadn't won a non-restrictor plate race as a group since Richmond last fall. Harvick pulled even several times before dropping back. A spin in qualifying resulted in the team having to change tires, but Larson quickly charged through the field and was inside the top 10 before the race hit the 20-lap mark. But things really shook up a few laps later, when Harvick passed Larson on the restart to assume control, and the No. 42 auto began bumping with Ryan Blaney down the front stretch. "Like three or four laps to go, my auto just got real tight, and I chattered the right front off of Turn 4, and I was like, 'Oh boy, that's not good'".

Fifth in the first stage, Larson won the second stage. Kyle Busch retained the series lead by 12 points over Logano in second place and 19 over Harvick in third.

With Stage 2 looking like it might go green the whole way, green flag pit stops were important.

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Those two got together, sending Blaney into the wall and Larson into the pits.

Harvick edged Ryan Blaney (187.826 mph) for the top spot on the grid by.015 seconds.

It was Larson's first stage win since Homestead last November.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Larson 2 times for 101 laps; K. Harvick 5 times for 79 laps; R. Blaney 2 times for 54 laps; M. Truex Jr. Race distance: 400 miles, 267 laps.

That wasn't the end of the drama.

Seven cars were taken out in a crash nearly immediately after the Larson-Blaney incident.

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(13) William Byron #, Chevrolet, Accident, 252.

(15) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, Accident, 253.

The incident triggered by rookie William Byron collected six cars including Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Chris Buescher, Ty Dillon, Clint Bowyer, and Matt Kenseth.

On the final restart after a series of wrecks, Truex built what looked like an unbeatable lead. He got a nice lead over other cars doing the same, but Harvick was on fresh tires and was coming hard for the win with just a few laps left.

Kevin Harvick surged past Martin Truex Jr. with one lap to go to win Saturday night at Kansas Speedway, his fifth win in what has turned out to be a dominant start to NASCAR's Cup Series season.

It was the ninth time in 12 races this season that Truex has started seventh or better.

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Harvick uses late move to win NASCAR race in Kansas