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BUSCH Harvick pulls out victory in Chicago



Published: Sun, July 10, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



He took the lead when Ryan Newman was slowed by a loose lugnut.

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) -- Kevin Harvick took control in the waning laps Saturday and drove away to a victory in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.

The Nextel Cup regular, who has previously won two Cup races on the 1 1/2-mile oval, got a break when Ryan Newman, who started from the pole and led 118 of the 200 laps in the USG Durock 300, was slowed late in the race by a loose lugnut.

"His car was really strong," Harvick said of Newman. "He probably had the best car for about 20 laps, then our car was better the next 20 laps. It probably would have been a good fight at the end, but I'm glad we didn't have to see it."

Newman, another Cup regular making only his second Busch start of the year, was in the lead and dominating when he pitted on lap 155. His inexperienced Busch crew sent Newman back on track with a loose lugnut on his left front tire, and he was then hit with a drive-through penalty for too many men over the pit wall when he came back in on lap 156.

Settled for third

That left Newman 18th for the restart on lap 159, but he moved all the way to third for the final restart on lap 195. He tried hard to pass Greg Biffle for second, but couldn't get past and settled for a third-place finish.

"It was a pretty good race, but we made a mistake and that's just what we deserved," Newman said.

After fending off Newman, Biffle found himself too far behind Harvick to make a run at the leader, who wound up crossing the finish line 0.715-seconds -- about eight car-lengths -- in front.

"I knew that Biffle was good on the restarts," Harvick said. "I just had to feel my car out and do what I thought was right. It was a good restart.

"We kept adjusting on the car, a little half a pound [of air in the tires] here and there and it was real good at the end," added Harvick, who earned his second Busch victory of the season and the 15th of his career.

Cup drivers in top five

Carl Edwards and Mark Martin finished behind Newman, giving Cup regulars, all of whom will race on the same track in today's USG Sheetrock 400, the top five spots. Clint Bowyer, Harvick's Richard Childress Racing teammate, was sixth, the top finish for a Busch regular.

Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. finished seventh and now leads Bowyer in the season standings by 72 points, with rookie Reed Sorenson, who finished 10th, 106 points behind in third.




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