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Kevin Harvick far from being happy after Paul Menard wrecks him, costing a chance for win

Sep 1, 2014, 1:10 AM EST

(Photo: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images) Getty Images

HAMPTON, Ga. – Kevin Harvick was happily motoring along Sunday night to what appeared would be a second dominating win in two nights at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

After leading 159 laps in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race, Harvick led 195 laps in Sunday’s Oral-B USA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

But late in the event, Paul Menard slid up the track into Harvick, the two cars made contact – collecting Joey Logano in the process – and Harvick ultimately wound up going from what looked like a sure win from the pole to a disappointing 19th-place finish.

Rather than becoming the sixth driver to win three races this season, Harvick dropped one place in the Sprint Cup standings, falling from seventh to eighth with one regular season race remaining this coming Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.

“We all probably could have given each other more room,” Harvick said. “I knew the No. 27 (Menard) was going to get a bad restart and I tried to time it to where I could get on the outside of him.

“I got on the outside of him and he just kept coming up and I wasn’t going to let off the gas; I knew the No. 22 (Logano) was up there. The No. 27 kept coming up and just came up until we all wrecked.”

 

MORE: Kasey Kahne rallies in last 2 laps to win at Atlanta, makes Chase

 

BOWYER BOONDOGGLE: Clint Bowyer‘s hopes of making this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup appear slim at best following Sunday’s Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Instead of getting closer to locking himself into the Chase in the race, Bowyer instead fell outside the top 16 Chase qualifiers with a disappointing 38th-place finish.

Early in the race, Bowyer suffered a broken shifter in his Toyota, prompting him to go back to the garage and miss more than 20 laps while his team made necessary repairs.

Bowyer is now ranked 17th in the Chase lineup, meaning next Saturday night’s race at Richmond will very likely be a make-or-break situation for him.

He trails Greg Biffle, who remains on the Chase bubble in 16th place, by 23 points – a rather formidable amount to make up in just one race.

Bowyer would have to finish between 19 and 21 positions higher (depending upon how many laps either driver might lead) than Biffle at Richmond.

 

MORE: Tony Stewart’s comeback hopes end with rough 41st-place finish at Atlanta

 

AMBROSE’S CHASE HOPES SINK: Marcos Ambrose came into Sunday night’s race hoping to pull out a Hail Mary win and earn a berth in the upcoming Chase.

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out quite the way Ambrose hoped for when the motor on his Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Fusion blew up on Lap 123, ending his night.

 

 

I AM IRONMAN: NASCAR’s reigning ironman, Jeff Gordon, made the 750th consecutive start Sunday night of his more than two-decade Sprint Cup career.

Ironically, Atlanta Motor Speedway was the site of Gordon’s first career Cup start in the 1992 season finale.

“That is a big number,” Gordon said. “I hadn’t thought about it a whole lot until I saw a decal with it made up. I thought, ‘Man, that is a lot of races, especially in a row.’ I’m really proud of that, it’s been an amazing career in the Cup Series.

“It seems like it was yesterday that it started right here over 20 years ago. I love this track. I love racing here so it’s pretty cool to have 750 happening here.”

Gordon is now in his 22nd full-time season on the Sprint Cup Series. He’s managed to stay behind the wheel for every race of that stretch, even though there have been times he’s been in a great deal of pain resulting from prior crashes or back issues that have beset him the last several years.

Still, Gordon has no regrets.

“Here we are at 750,” he said. “At the time I didn’t really think about that, but now I look back on it and it’s something I’m proud of.”

But don’t expect Gordon to go another 22 seasons.

“I can guarantee there won’t be another 750,” Gordon said with a laugh.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

  1. nula07 - Sep 1, 2014 at 1:50 AM

    Menard should not be in Cup racing, Logano was not a victim…also created this mess. Was a great race, until idiots ensued.

    • ravenscaps48 - Sep 1, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      Agreed. But how many times has Harvick wrecked somebody and motors on like nothing ever happened? Last week at Bristol?

  2. worknman24hours - Sep 1, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Frankly,green white checkered started this whole mess here.

    Harvick got pushed back and had little time to get around Menard to try and win the race so he ran right in the back of Menard hard at the restart.

    So much so that Menard had to regather his car up and when he saw Harvick coming right side he ran him right into the wall stage right.

    That another car was there did’nt matter.

    I think Menard would have ran Harvick as far into the wall as he could after the thinking that Harvick has just tried to wreck him out when all he wanted was a way pass Menard very quickly.

    the bottom line here is that Kevin Harvick drove a great clean race all night long and was passed by Kasey Kahne fair and square late in the race.

    Kevin might have well had enough left in his car to retake the lead but we will never know.

    He was on course for a well earned second place when the NASCAR carnival ride that is Green White Checkered came to town and simply robbed him of a well earned second place finish.

    From then on,it was do anything possible to get to the front and that meant push people in your way,out of your way if you have too.

    Green,White Checkered is a joke and it makes NASCAR races a joke.

    It needs to go.

    If NASCAR like this so much just run five two lap races green white checkered at the start of the races and give the teams a break so they can simply get their stuff and go home early.

  3. dalejunebugfan - Sep 1, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Very Happy that Ex-RCR teammate Menard gave #Yappy Harvick such a great finish!

  4. provguard - Sep 1, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    It could have been better if Harvick wrecked so bad he didn’t have a car for the rest of the year. Harvick, live by the sword, die by the sword! Thank you Menard!!!!

  5. Linda - Sep 1, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    When is Mr. Whiney Butt ever happy. It’s always someone else’s fault. This time it was Menard, Logano and his pit crew.
    Poor pit crew getting chewed for 12 second stops. Hey Whiney Butt keep belittling your crews hard work and they throw out some 16 second stops . . . .

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