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Kevin Harvick stakes claim to NASCAR Chase in Michigan

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Taking the win at Michigan International Speedway, clinched a spot for Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield) and the No. 29 team in the 2010 Chase. Harvick was the first driver to lock in a spot among the 12 who will battle for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in the season's final 10 races, which begin at New Hampshire and culminate in Homestead this November.

Harvick led five times for 60 of the 200 laps. Denny Hamlin finished a distant second, followed by Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya, Martin Truex Jr., Elliott Sadler and Joey Logano.

“This has [traditionally] been a bad track for us, so today says a lot about RCR,” Harvick said. “Racing is a lot of fun right now, and I thank the crew for putting up with me. It's almost like being on vacation, but we'll be in the pressure cooker for the last 10 races.”

Harvick took the lead for good on lap 190, when he passed Hamlin and began pulling away. He won by 1.731 seconds in a race that featured only five caution periods, which slowed the event for a mere 25 laps. Other lap leaders included Stewart, Johnson, Hamlin, Truex, and Kvapil.

The win was Harvick's third this year, his first ever at Michigan and the 14th of his Cup career.

Harvick, hasn’t welcomed the notion of being the favorite for the title just yet. "Until you beat that guy [Jimmie Johnson], there's no reason to put that pressure on yourselves," according to Harvick.

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Janelle Jalbert is a fan of a variety of racing formats and equally enjoys the history of the sport. Janelle grew up in an auto mechanic’s family and swears that there is carb spray running through her veins.

You can join the discussion of So Cal Motorsports at the Southern California Motorsports Examiner page on Facebook. Janelle can be reached via email for both comments and story ideas. You can follow Janelle as the Southern California Motorsports Examiner on Twitter as @SoCalMotorsport.

Janelle also serves as the NASCAR Truck Series Examiner. Feel free to join the discussion about the hard racing in the CWTS at the NASCAR Truck Series Examiner fan page on Facebook.

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