After a rain delay of almost three-and-a-half house, Kevin Harvick dominated the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Friday night/Saturday morning, leading 202 of the 250 laps that made up the race on his way to his seventh-career win at the track. Chase Elliott, who ran second to Harvick for most of that time, finished second to give JR Motorsports its first-ever one-two finish. It was also a third-straight victory for JRM, as Elliott won the two most recent races.
"He pushes us to be better," Harvick said of Elliott. "He's as good as they get."
Brian Scott started on the pole and led 45 laps early before Harvick took over just before the lap 50 mark and remained up front the rest of the way. Harvick pulled out to a lead of nearly five seconds by lap 100, just before several drivers began a cycle of green-flag pit stops just a few laps later.
The green-flag stops were strung out, with Harvick waiting until lap 132 to pit. Elliott also waiting to make his stop, followed his teammate down pit road. Having such a substantial lead before the cycle began, Harvick was able to maintain his lead, despite running several laps much slower than those who pitted early before making his stop. Elliott, though, dropped back to sixth.
"We got a little off on that one run, there," Harvick said."
Elliott made his way back up to third, though, in just a few laps and then got off pit road second during a debris caution on lap 151. He then ran second to Harvick the rest of the way. This time around, Elliott was able to, for the most part, keep up with Harvick.
"We were just a little tight coming out of the corner," Elliott said. "I think he (Harvick) just out-drove me."
Elliott Sadler was up to third on a restart that followed a lap-190 caution, but on the restart that followed, he and Regan Smith spun to immediately bring out another caution. By the end, though, both drivers were back in the top-10, with Elliott finishing sixth and Smith eighth.
Kyle Busch finished third, and Kayle Larson was fourth. Scott wound up fifth after leading laps early in the race. Chris Buescher finished seventh, Ryan Blaney was ninth and James Buescher rounded out the top-10.