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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)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 7th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Earnhardt Jr. is 4th, Gordon is 1st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammate Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won. (Photo Credit: HHP/Alan Marler for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished 1st, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS finished 37th Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick  is 22nd, Kahne is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd.(Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Saturday, April 12, 2014 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS finished 2nd and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished 3rd. (Photo Credit: HHP/Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford tangle during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS won the Pole position Friday, April 11, 2014 for Saturday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington South Carolina. Harvick is 26th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Tami Kelly-Pope for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, crashes early in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Ford EcoBoost Ford, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop Toyota, at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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