Some may call Kevin Harvick’s dominating performance Saturday night bad.
For Harvick, it was “bad fast.”
Harvick passed Chase Elliott then led the final 159 of 195 laps and cruised to victory to the Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his third win this season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
In 11 starts with JR Motorsports in the series this year, Harvick hasn’t finished any worse than seventh in his No. 5 Chevrolet.
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“This was just a bad-fast, bad-to-the-bone Chevrolet,” said Harvick, who earned his 43rd career victory. He also will start from the pole in Sunday night’s Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta.
“We’ve been to Victory Lane a lot with all of our JR Motorsports teammates this year,” he said. “I’m really proud of the race cars we’ve been bringing to the race track.”
Asked if he felt like he could sweep the weekend at Atlanta, Harvick sounded hopeful.
“Our car is good but you just never know what’s going to happen when they drop the green flag,” he said. “Hopefully, it will be as good as it was in both practices and we can put it all together Sunday night.”
By the end of the race, Joey Logano had moved into second behind Harvick but couldn’t seem to make up any time on Harvick on the track.
“I took off that last run and started to catch Kevin a little bit, fell back and then started catching him at the end of the race,” Logano said. “It was just too little, too late.”
Elliott started from the pole and led the first 36 laps and said he planned to spend some time behind Harvick, learning from his line around the track. On the final pit stop, Elliott overshot his pit box, costing him valuable time on the track.
“That was completely unacceptable on my part,” said Elliott, who leads the series points standings. “I messed up. I need to have that corrected by next week.”
Elliott holds a 15-point lead over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith heading into next weekend’s race at Richmond, Va.
Kyle Busch finished fourth and Elliott was fifth.