Kobalt 400 – Kevin Harvick Starts Defending His Title

Kevin Harvick

For the first time in his career, Kevin Harvick wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, making it his first victory of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series, giving the NASCAR champion the lead in the standings, finishing ahead of Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman.

In the third Sprint Cup race of the season, Chevrolet swept the top four spots, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. coming in at fourth. He still hasn’t won a race this season, but has finished in the top 5 three times, just like Harvick, the only two races to do it so far this season. Joey Logano and Truex Jr. have been in the top 10 of all three races.

It was a dominant win for Harvick, who has finished in the top two of his last six races going back to last season. He led in 142 of the 267 laps, handling his car well despite a developing vibration he had to battle beginning after his final pit stop. For whatever reason, we got really, really loose the last run. Tires started vibrating and we were just kind of hanging on. Glad the race is over for our own good.

The race itself was filled with small incidents, derailing challengers one after another. Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne hit each other which resulted in repairs for Edwards who still hasn’t had a top 10 finish this season. Jimmie Johnson, the winner of last week’s race in Atlanta, had two tire failures that took him out of the running.

Jeff Gordon had the pole position, but an accident on Saturday’s practice sent him to the backup car and had his share of problems during the race, including hitting rookie Jeb Burton from behind, resulting in Gordon, with two poles but nothing to show for it so far, finishing 18th in the race.

In the overall points standings, Harvick leads the way with 134 points, followed by Earnhardt with 125, although no wins. Logano is third and also leads the money list ($1.8 million) with his win from the Daytona 500, while Johnson, the third winner of the season, is currently at 7th with 91 points.

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