Harvick makes the most of late sprint
Kevin Harvick won Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway by plowing through traffic on a two-lap sprint to the finish.
Juan Pablo Montoya was trying to hold off Harvick for his first win since 2010 when the caution came out with four laps remaining. It sent the race into two laps of overtime, and most of the field gave up track position to pit for tires.
Montoya came off pit road in sixth and Harvick was seventh for the restart. But Harvick rocketed through the field to snatch away the win.
Clint Bowyer was second, Joey Logano third, and Montoya settled for fourth.
Tony Stewart restarted in fifth, but was bumped out of the way by Kurt Busch and wound up 18th.
A parts review by Toyota after Matt Kenseth’s penalty led the manufacturer to pull three engines from Michael Waltrip Racing’s inventory as a precautionary move.
All three engines recalled were earmarked for Clint Bowyer. One was his engine for Saturday night’s race at Richmond; the other two were his primary and backup engines for Talladega.
“We took every connecting rod in our inventory and removed anything that was too close for comfort,” Toyota Racing Development vice president David Wilson told The Associated Press.
The review found that there was at least one connecting rod in each of the three Bowyer engines that left TRD uncomfortable in the wake of Kenseth’s issue.
NASCAR found this week that one of the eight connecting rods in Kenseth’s race-winning engine from Kansas did not meet the minimum weight requirement. The engines are made by TRD out of Costa Mesa, Calif., and then shipped to Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing in North Carolina.
The teams unpack the engines and install them in the cars, and have no access to the parts or pieces inside.
Still, NASCAR levied harsh penalties against Kenseth and JGR that essentially stripped the team of everything but the trophy.
Kenseth was docked 50 points, as well as the three bonus points he earned in last Sunday’s win. Crew chief Jason Ratcliff was fined $200,000 and suspended six races, and team owner Joe Gibbs had his license on the No. 20 Toyota suspended for six races.
Toyota was docked five manufacturer points.