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The Pit Stop


September 9, 2009 11:37 PM

Post race interviews from Nationwide Series Race from Atlanta...

Nationwide Report - Atlanta.mp3

Kevin Harvick NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion Interview - Atlanta Motor Speedway

All year long, Joe Gibbs Racing, in particular with Kyle Busch, has dominated the Nationwide Series. At Atlanta Motor Speedway however, it was Busch who got manhandled by Kevin Harvick. No one could stop his march to Victory Lane, not Busch or Dale Earnhardt Jr. who made one less pit stop, trying to steal the win.
 

Kevin Harvick:
Once I got going I knew the Five was trying to stretch it on fuel and I said we were a couple seconds faster than he was. And then I saw the 18 coming from the back, he was better than us for about 10 laps, so it was a lot of things happening there at the end but it all worked out.

Harvick made it sound closer than it really was, as his Jimmy John Chevrolet led 131 of the 195 laps, leaving Busch still scratching his head, as to how Harvick could be so good on long runs.

Kyle Busch:
It was the same thing that I have battled with him in the truck races here. Earlier this year he was so good on the long run, I could beat him for eight to 15 laps in the truck and then he'd just be gone. I don't know that they have that they got that makes them so good. I don't know if it's just a set of shocks or what but I can't imagine there's that much specialness to a set of shocks but they were fast so he deserved to win the truck races here a couple times that I have actually stolen from him. He was really fast tonight, unfortunately I was trying to get there to steal another one from him but couldn't quite make it.

After getting several beat downs by Busch in 2009, Harvick felt pretty good about giving him a taste of the whooping stick.

Harvick:
It's tough when those guys are winning so many races and you're the owner or the race team that you're driving for and you don't feel like you should be getting beat like that every week. Like I said, we've been close but kind of just shot ourselves in the foot a couple times. Tonight was the first time that I felt that we were able to really put it to them.

Dale Jr. wound up third and stretching their fuel mileage turned out to be their only chance to win.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.:

We had a pretty good chance of making it and that was our only real shot of getting a win. It didn't work out in our favor but that was the best call to make for us. The race ended how it should have with the fastest cars winning and the best cars and drivers tonight winning and we finished third where we had been running all night, so I'm pretty happy.

Using the same strategy as his boss Dale Jr., Brad Keselowski came home fourth.

Brad Keselowski:

We were about a fifth or sixth place car and played a real smart strategy on pit road and got forth out of it. Something to be proud of and move on from there to the next race. It was tough tonight, those cars were evil and we earned our money tonight driving these cars. We'll take it, we survived.

Jeff Burton finished fifth with Joey Logano next then it was Carl Edwards in seventh. Even with the foot that he presses down on the gas petal broken in a freak Frisbee accident.

Carl Edwards:

Yes, I'm a little sore but it's not that bad, I'm really fortunate it doesn't hurt that bad and I'm really glad to get that race out of the way. I was a little nervous about that one.

Coming home eighth it was Greg Biffle with David Ragan and Reed Sorenson rounding out the top 10. As for the Nationwide Series Championship standings after two weeks of loosing points to Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch gained back 28 and is now 221 points ahead with nine races to go. Brad Keselowski remains third minus 292. For Kevin Harvick it was his second Nationwide Series win of 2009 and the 34th of his career. It's also safe to say that in winning the Degree V 12 300, he received his biggest trophy ever which included a chair.

Harvick:

Well the first thing we have to do is figure out how to get it home. Hopefully it bolts together but I have to admit that's the most unique Victory Lane I've ever been to. I sat on my butt the whole time and didn't do anything but hold my hand up. I kind of like that, sitting on my butt.

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