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Trucks: Harvick on crushing form at Martinsville

Kevin Harvick dominated the second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race of 2012, Saturday's Kroger 250, leading all but two of the 250 laps.
Kevin Harvick was on untouchable form at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, leading 248 of the 250 laps of Saturday's Kroger 250 ahead of his Richard Childress Racing team mate Ty Dillon.

"It's been a long time since we've dominated like that and actually won," said Harvick. "Not a bad way to make our first truck start for RCR," he added dryly over the team radio as he celebrated one of the most emphatic wins seen in NASCAR at any level in recent times.

Harvick operated his own Truck team until the end of last season before selling the assets and opting for an occasional series outing with RCR instead. Having sat out the series opener at Daytona, this was Harvick's first return to the Trucks fray since winding up Kevin Harvick, Inc.

In the 250-lap race, polesitter Harvick was only out of the lead for two laps - when he courteously eased up to give his Richard Childress Racing team mate Ty Dillon a couple of laps in front in the opening phase in order to give the young rookie the bonus point for leading.

After that, Harvick was quick to resume the lead and then held it for the rest of the day, setting a new series record fo the number of laps led in a single race (beating Mike Skinner's previous Martinsville record of 246 in 2007.) Harvick was so dominant that at one point he radioed to his spotter to let Ty Dillon know that he was only going at 80 per cent of his capacity and not to bother trying to hard to keep up.

Dillon dutifully followed behind in second, adroitly balancing the demands of not doing anything to wreck Harvick's race ahead while also defending his own position from the likes of James Buescher, Justin Lofton, Timothy Peters and Nelson Piquet Jr. who comprised the rest of the top six by the end of the race. Dillon was helped by Harvick ceding the better inside line to the rookie for the restarts to help him out, knowing full well that the teenager was not going to be a threat to him for the lead.

There were seven cautions for incidents during the race, starting with a spin on the front stretch for Ron Hornaday Jr. on lap 22; a cut tyre putting Joey Coulter into the wall out of turn 3 on lap 76; Dusty Davis stalling on the front stretch on lap 112; David Starr spinning in turn 2 on lap 159; and an accident for David Reutimann on lap 228.

The biggest accident of the afternoon came on lap 93 when a multi-car accident broke out in turn 4, after JR Fitzpatrick pinched John Wes Townley (back for the first time after a DUI suspension) onto the kerb resulting in a spin that collected up multiple cars behind them, with Jeff Agnew coming off the worst.

The final caution came on lap 236, just 14 laps shy of the chequered flag, and involved Max Gresham, Miguel Paludo and John King getting caught up when the field compressed through turn 4 after the penultimate restart.




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Kevin Harvick leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va. (Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Doing donuts for fans, Kevin Harvick celebrates after winning the 14th Annual Kroger 250, his 14th victory in 118 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. (Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finished in 5th position and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS finished in 12th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Newman, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Kahne, who was also in the Chase, did not advance. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finished in 26th position and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS finished in 13th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Gordon, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished in 9th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Harvick, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Terry Labonte. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS qualified for 39th position Saturday, October 18, 2014 for Sunday`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Harvick, who is in the Chase, is 3rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Sunday is the final round of the Contender 12 phase of the race. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, poses in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred`s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, hugs Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred`s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Trucks race during the NASCAR Camping World Series Fred`s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCCAR via Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Series Fred`s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, leads the field at the end of the NASCAR Camping World Series Fred`s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Tyler Reddick, driver of the #19 DrawTite Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred`s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tyler Reddick, driver of the #19 DrawTite Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred`s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tyler Reddick at Rockingham. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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