Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 10/4/14
Kevin Harvick had a lock on the front of the field in Saturday night’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway, but there was plenty of action behind him. The class of the field in the 200-lap, 300-mile Nationwide Series race, Harvick won handily, crossing the finish line 1.628 seconds ahead of 18-year-old Ryan Blaney, who made the most of a pit stop for tires on Lap 178. Pole-sitter Kyle Busch ran third, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who erased the six-point lead Elliott Sadler held when the race began. Stenhouse, the defending Nationwide champion, is tied with Sadler with two races left in the season and holds the tiebreaker, most wins. The victory was Harvick’s second of the season and 39th of his career, third most all-time. Harvick, who led 127 laps, notched his fifth Nationwide victory at Texas, tied with Busch for the track record. Harvick and Busch battled for the lead after the last restart on Lap 182. Busch crossed the stripe with the nose of his car ahead of Harvick’s at the end of that lap, but Harvick’s No. 33 Chevrolet cleared the No. 54 Toyota through Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 183 and began to pull away. Harvick’s real worry, however, wasn’t Busch but the cars behind him on fresh tires. “I didn’t want to make a big mistake and give up a big chunk of time there because I knew somebody was going to be faster coming through the field,” Harvick said. “But it all timed itself out pretty good, and everything worked out.” Stenhouse, fighting a loose-handling car, trailed Sadler for the majority of the race, but a restart on Lap 160 began a dramatic reversal of fortune for the two drivers fighting for the title. Stenhouse took the green flag in 14th place and began a charge to the front. On Lap 175, he passed Logano for the fourth spot. The real turnaround occurred after Joe Nemechek brushed the Turn 4 wall on Lap 177 to cause the fifth and final caution of the race. Stenhouse and Sadler remained on track while many in the field behind them, including Blaney, came to pit road for tires. Stenhouse was able to hold the fourth position after the Lap 182 restart, but Sadler, who restarted sixth, lost ground to the drivers with fresh rubber and faded to 11th. “When the cautions came out, we were able to make some adjustments to it,” said Stenhouse, whose crew used liberal changes to the track bar, air pressure and wedge (weight distribution) to try to tighten up the No. 6 Ford. “We just took advantage of that second-to-last restart there with 40 [laps] to go and got our track position. “It was a great night for us, but definitely disappointing — we wanted to win.” Denny Hamlin ran fifth, with Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish Jr., Justin Allgaier, Kevin Swindell and Joey Logano completing the top 10. Swindell was making his first Nationwide start of the season. Busch congratulated Blaney after the race and had high praise for the talented teenager. The runner-up finish was a career best for Blaney in 12 Nationwide starts this season. “He’s really showing what he can do,” Busch said. “He’s done a good job of doing it and being clean while doing it. He’s got a lot respect for everybody out there, and he can finish top two, three, four, five week in, week out, and he does it without making a big deal out of it. “I just congratulated him and told him he did a great job.” Race results 1. Kevin Harvick 2. Ryan Blaney 3. Kyle Busch 4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 5. Denny Hamlin 6. Austin Dillon (R) 7. Sam Hornish Jr. 8. Justin Allgaier 9. Kevin Swindell 10. Joey Logano 11. Elliott Sadler 12. Cole Whitt (R) 13. Brad Sweet (R) 14. Danica Patrick 15. Kenny Wallace 16. Jeremy Clements 17. Michael Annett 18. Mike Bliss 19. Ryan Newman 20. Joe Nemecheck Nationwide standings T1. Elliott Sadler T1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 3. Austin Dillon (R), -21 4. Sam Hornish Jr., -95 5. Michael Annett, -157 6. Justin Allgaier, -160 7. Cole Whitt (R), -225 8. Mike Bliss, -324 9. Brian Scott, -390 10. Danica Patrick, -398 NASCAR Wire Service, photo courtesy of NASCARmedia.com The post Kevin Harvick dominates at Texas for Nationwide win appeared first on Race Review Online.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Patriots used Dolphins' Week 1 quotes as motivation

Broncos critical of Philip Rivers' attitude on the field

Auburn football player Jakell Mitchell shot and killed

Mariota wins Heisman Trophy

Report: Melky Cabrera, White Sox agree to 3-year deal

WATCH: Penguins commentator makes poor 'I can't breathe' joke

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Would Percy Harvin take pay cut to return to Jets?

Nationals GM disappointed Bryce Harper missed NatsFest

Broncos to place Montee Ball on season-ending IR

Johnny Manziel could have made $8-10 million in college?

Will Muschamp says his only offer came from Auburn

NFL relocation to Los Angeles is gaining steam

WATCH: Rey Maualuga flagged for taunting Johnny Manziel

WATCH: Jeremy Hill rejected by Browns fan on leap

WATCH: Patriots return blocked kick for a TD

Pirates unveil alternate camo jerseys for 2015 season

LeBron expected to attend Johnny Manziel's first start

Twitter cracks jokes over Tim Bradley's disfigured face

WATCH: Brewer gets away with ridiculously long travel

Melvin Gordon wishes he played more in record game

Prospective Las Vegas NHL owner would let fans name team

Will Muschamp already recruiting for Auburn

WATCH: Mavs play keep-away with Marreese Speights' shoe

WATCH: OSU's Sam Thompson throws down awesome dunk

NASCAR News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Maualuga flagged for taunting Manziel

Jeremy Hill rejected by Browns fan

Broncos critical of Philip Rivers

SEE: Announcer's 'I can't breathe' joke

Marcus Mariota wins Heisman Trophy

Muschamp already recruiting at new job

Nats GM 'disappointed' in Bryce Harper

The five best rookie receivers of 2014

NFL relocation to LA looks likely

Peterson thinking about Olympics?

Brett Lawrie makes little girl's day

Braxton Miller returning to OSU?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.