Kevin Harvick rallied from two slow pit stops to win Saturday’s Sam’s Town 300 Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Results Sam's Town 300
Harvick had the day’s fastest car but fell deep in the pack after his crew performed poorly on a pair of pit stops. After the second sub-par stop, Harvick told his crew via radio they “looked like a bunch of idiots.”
After the race, he called his car “really fast. We definitely have some work to do on pit road. I get mad. They know how I am and know what I expect of them.”
Harvick sliced through the field to return to the lead and beat second-place Denny Hamlin to the finish line by 1.3 seconds. Following in the top five were Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Brian Vickers.
Kyle Busch was among the contenders until his car popped the wall with 20 laps to go, eventually dropping him to 16th.
Danica Patrick’s third Nationwide race ended near the halfway point of the event when she and Michael McDowell tried to put two cars into a space that could contain only one. They collided, and both cars slammed into the outside wall.
McDowell had crashed earlier in the race, causing the second caution of the day.
Patrick, who will take a four-month break from stock car racing while she concentrates on her IndyCar ride, finished 36th.
She blamed McDowell for turning down the track and causing the crash. “We had a good car, we really did,” Patrick said. “Unfortunately, we got caught in a bad situation with a driver who wasn’t looking and a spotter who wasn’t calling.”
McDowell said the wreck was “100 percent my fault. She was coming up on new tires and the closing rate was so fast. I closed the door.”
The start of the race was delayed 1:35 because of wet weather, and showers slowed the field under caution five laps after the halfway point. At that point, Busch had a 3.2-second lead over Vickers.
After a brief delay, green-flag racing returned five laps later.
Several more cautions bunched the field again and again, but the outcome of the race eventually hinged on whether Harvick’s car was strong enough to make up the deficit his crew created. With 25 laps to go, he passed Hamlin for the lead and wasn’t challenged the rest of the way.
Results Sam's Town 300
Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEEDtv.com and has been covering motorsports for 28 years. He has written several books on NASCAR, including "NASCAR: The Definitive History of America's Sport" and "Then Tony Said To Junior: The Best NASCAR Stories Ever Told". He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.