RICHMOND, Va. – Kevin Harvick didn’t mind staying up late Friday night.
Harvick dominated the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Int’l Raceway for his first Nationwide win of the year.
Heavy rain throughout the evening caused the start of the 250-lap event to be postponed until after 10 p.m. It didn’t end until early Saturday morning, but Harvick, who starts fifth in Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup race, made sure he left with the trophy.
He led 202 laps in what was his seventh career Nationwide win at Richmond.
Chase Elliott, Harvick’s JR Motorsports teammate, finished second to mark JRM’s first-ever 1-2 finish. Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson and polesitter Brian Scott rounded out the top five.
Elliott apologized to his crew after the race for being outdriven.
“We were just a little tight in the middle of the corner,” Elliott said. “(Harvick) just outdrove me. Honestly, I need to get up a little harder on the wheel next week.”
Harvick had nothing but praise for his teammate, who at 18 years old is less than half Harvick’s age (38). He’s also the series points leader by 19 markers over teammate Regan Smith.
“Honestly, Chase is just a good kid,” Harvick said. “He knows how to drive a racecar. He pushes us to try different things that we haven’t tried in years. He’s as good as they get.”
Elliott narrowly missed out on his third win in a row, but he had no hard feelings toward Harvick.
“It’s pretty cool to have JRM cars finish 1-2,” he said.