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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.




Related Pictures

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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)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick finishes as the runner-up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota, looks on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Daniel Suarez, driver of the #51 ARRIS Toyota, and John H. Nemechek, driver of the #8 Chevrolet, lead a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning after winning the series championship after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, talks to Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota Toyota, on the grid during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for thirteenth position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick will be joined by Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eleventh position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Truex, Jr. will be joined by Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon will be joined by Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Sunday will be Gordon`s last race as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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