Harvick Earns O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 Win; Busch, Sadler Tangle
Kevin Harvick claimed the O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway after several wrecks and an on-track confrontation between Elliott Sadler and defending race winner, Kyle Busch.
Harvick’s win, his first truck series win at BMS, allowed him to add his name to the list of drivers who have won races in all three NASCAR national touring series at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile.
“It was just a great night,” Harvick said. “We had a decent truck. Once we got out front we were able to dictate the race…the guys had a smoking pit stop and that was the move of the night. It was the biggest move of the race.”
“Obviously, Kyle has had some success here. Honestly, that is the only reason I ran the race, to minimize the damage.”
Near the midpoint of the race, Busch slid high exiting turn two, clipping the front of Sadler’s machine, sending Busch into the wall, while Sadler slipped by to the inside.
After running slowly around the track for a lap, Busch turned Sadler’s truck as he passed to lap the No. 18.
“Early in the race he ran me high; that time I don’t think his spotter told me I was there,” Sadler explained. “I didn’t have time to check up. He wrecked himself. I hate he thought I wrecked him…he tore up a good truck. I hate he was mad, but I wish he would watch the tape. I hate it for my guys. We sat on the pole and led a lot of laps, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“I wish he would watch and understand before he retaliates,” he continued. “I hate it for his guys because they have a torn up truck. It’s Bristol racing I guess.”
After the incident, Busch walked from his torn-up truck to the team hauler.
“You know where his paycheck comes from,” Busch said of Sadler in a TV interview, referring to Sadler’s job with Kevin Harvick, Inc. in the Nationwide Series.
When told of Busch’s comment, Harvick responded, “…that shows how smart Kyle Busch is. He (Sadler) was driving for Joe Denette tonight.”
Johnny Sauter came home second with a truck he knew would be strong at the end of the race.
“We struggled for fast laps, but I knew in race trim we had a good truck. By the end of the race, it was really good. It was a great day for us. I couldn’t be happier with a second place finish going in to Atlanta. All is well.
“Obviously, I’d really like to win at Bristol. It’d be a feather in my cap, but right now, I’ll take second.”
Todd Bodine ended the evening in third and was pleased to be back near the top of the finishing order.
“It (the truck) wasn’t perfect, but we made some adjustments, and then took two tires, which turned out to be the right call,” he said. “It was a good night. It has been a while since we have been here (near the top of the finishing order). To come out with a third is good. We’re back; we’ll start knocking out top-fives and wins.”
James Buescher and Timothy Peters finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Joey Coulter, the top rookie finished sixth, with Justin Lofton, Nelson Piquet Jr., Elliott Sadler and Parker Kligerman rounding out the top-10.
August race week continues with the Food City 250 and Sharpie Qualifying on Friday, and the most-popular event in NASCAR, the IRWIN Tools Night Race on Saturday. Tickets still are available for both events. For more information, please call (423) - BRISTOL.