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Trucks: Harvick steals Michigan win

20 August 2011

Kevin Harvick took victory in the Camping World Truck Series VFW 200 at Michigan International Speedway, after inheriting the lead following a late race accident that collected many of the cars that had led during the afternoon.

Mark Martin - who had led for 33 laps of the scheduled race distance of 100 - was in the lead for a restart on lap 90 when his rear-end was clipped by Parker Kligerman getting loose, That tipped Kligerman into a spin and he was broadsided by Austin Dillon who had come into the race as the series points leader, the damage putting them both out on the spot. Martin was collected by pole sitter Matt Crafton but the damage to both cars was less serious and they made it to the end.

"The only part that I saw was [Kligerman] trying to get all he could on the bottom," described Timothy Peters, who managed to avoid getting caught up in the wreck himself. "He just stepped out from under me and chased it up the hill, and it looked like he collected [Martin].

Harvick picked his way through the chaos to lead at the next restart which was quickly curtailed for debris on track, leaving the race finishing under a green-white-chequered with Harvick holding off Peters and Miguel Paludo to take the win when Nelson Piquet Jr. brought proceedings to an early close by hitting the wall on the backstretch after the white flag had been waved.

It's Harvick's 11th Camping World Truck Series victory in 111 starts, his fourth of the season and his second consecutive race win after he also won at Pocono two weeks ago. Harvick has now won in all three national-level NASCAR series at Michigan, the first driver to do so and a feat he has also achieved at Atlanta, Phoenix and Martinsville.

Johnny Sauter spun and hit the wall late during the race but was able to continue, and with the high accident rate in the final laps he climbed back up to 13th place to regain the lead of the Truck Series championship that he had lost after being penalised 6pts for a technical infringement after Pocono.

Kyle Busch exited early on lap 63 after debris damaged his radiator, sending him into retirement in the garage. He was classified in 25th position, which coupled with Harvick's win means that the Kyle Busch Motorsports #18 and the Kevin Harvick Inc. #2 are now tied in the lead of the Truck Series owner points, although neither owner-driver scores points in the Truck Series drivers championship.

"It's gratifying, but in a different way," said Harvick, comparing it with his wins in the Sprint Cup competition as a driver. "When you're driving it, it's twice as gratifying, just for the fact that that competitive instinct is fueled by the driver in me. It's not Sunday, but any trophy you can bring home is a good thing."

Full race and qualifying details available.


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