Joliet, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Harvick claimed his fourth victory in the Nationwide Series this season by taking Saturday's Jimmy John's Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Kyle Busch dominated most of this race by leading 141 of 200 laps, but Busch fell back to 16th in the field following a round of pit stops under caution on lap 155 when his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing team opted for a four-tire change. Most of the other frontrunners who pitted made either a two-tire change or took fuel only.
Chris Buescher was one of three drivers who did not pit during that late-race caution. Buescher led the way for the restart on lap 160, but Brian Scott, the pole sitter, passed him for the top position. On the following lap, Harvick moved ahead of Scott to take the lead for good.
Harvick, who drove the No. 5 Jimmy John's-sponsored Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, ran in front for the final 40 laps around this 1.5-mile racetrack. He crossed the finish line 2.1 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Kyle Larson. Harvick scored his 44th career win in Nationwide, including his third victory at Chicagoland. His other wins here occurred in 2005 and '07.
Harvick's team made a two-tire change on his last stop.
"We didn't have many laps on the tires, but that was the call that won us the race," Harvick said. "(Crew chief) Ernie (Cope) won this race for us. The car was fast, but when we got out front and the tires not having many laps and the 54 (Busch) being buried in the field is what won us this race today."
Busch ended up finishing third. Last week, he won the Nationwide race at Richmond after leading all 250 laps.
"I had a really fast car and I know that we needed to come down to get tires, but obviously four (tires) was the wrong call and put us back behind," Busch said. "I fought my butt off there for the last run of the race and could only get to third, because anytime the second-place car got in front of me, all I did was knock the wall down - aero issues."
Ryan Blaney placed fourth, followed by Trevor Bayne, Elliott Sadler and rookie Ty Dillon.
Regan Smith, Scott and rookie Chase Elliott, the current points leader, completed the top-10. Elliott won the first Nationwide race at Chicagoland this season in July. His lead in the championship standings is now 18 points over Smith, his teammate at JR Motorsports.
The Nationwide race was the first of a NASCAR doubleheader at Chicagoland on Saturday. The 150-lap Camping World Truck Series event was scheduled for Friday night but postponed until the following night due to rain. Busch and Blaney are also competing in the truck race.