Though Kevin Harvick won Saturday’s Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he spent the vast majority of the afternoon annoyed with slow pit stops and frustrated by other drivers’ strategies. Harvick (Bakersfield) passed Denny Hamlin for the lead with 25 laps to go in the race. The trip to Victory Lane was Harvick’s first of the 2010 season and the 35th of his career, ranking him as the second best of all-time in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series.
Polesitter, Brad Keselowski, finished fourth behind Carl Edwards while Brian Vickers rounded out the top five in the rain delayed event.
No. 33 Rheem Chevy was able to make up for what Ernie Cope, the team’s crew chief, claimed was the team’s “worst day ever” on pit road. Harvick lost spots on every exchange of pit stops. The KHI team received a tongue lashing from the team owner and endured the close scrutiny of television cameras throughout their struggles.
“We’ve definitely got some work to do on pit road, but, fortunately, the car was fast enough.” Harvick explained his take on the crew situation. “I get mad, and they know how I am and what I expect of them. … But you can only gripe about it so long, and then you have to go back and drive the car.”
Light rain, wind and cold made for an uncomfortable viewing experience for the fans as they watched the cars of Brian Scott and Danica Patrick leave the track after race-ending damage. On lap 83, Patrick’s No. 7 Chevrolet slammed into the outside wall, after contact with Michael McDowell leading to another fiery driver rant in the eventful Sam’s Town 300. The race marked Patrick’s third Nationwide attempt and last start before returning to the wheel of her IRL ride.
Other California drivers in the Las Vegas Nationwide race included a 12th place finish for Jason Leffler (Long Beach). Stanton Barret (Bishop) finished the day in 24th.
Harvick also retains the overall lead in the Nationwide series.
More coverage of events during the NASCAR Las Vegas weekend is available through the Las Vegas NASCAR Examiner.
For more information on Southern California Motorsports, check out:
- Familiar faces of Busch, Biffle and Logano light up Nationwide race at Auto Club Speedway
- NASCAR 2010 preview (part one): Jimmie Johnson and Harvick among contenders for title
- NASCAR 2010 preview (part two): California’s NASCAR drivers represent current state of the sport
Janelle Jalbert is a fan of a variety of racing formats and equally enjoys the history of the sport. Janelle grew up in an auto mechanic’s family and swears that there is carb spray running through her veins. She can be reached via email for both comments and story ideas. You can follow Janelle as the Southern California Motorsports Examiner on Twitter as @SoCalMotorsport.
Janelle also serves as the NASCAR Truck Series Examiner. Feel free to join the discussion about the hard racing in the CWTS at the NASCAR Truck Series Examiner fan page on Facebook.