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Harvick wins at Texas as tempers flare early

November 05, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service, NASCAR.com

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Dillon extends points lead as Hornaday crashes and Buescher runs out of fuel

Kevin Harvick did his best to take the drama out of Friday night's WinStar World Casino 350K at Texas Motor Speedway, winning a two-lap shootout in his own No. 2 Chevrolet.

Most of the drama already had occurred, however, by the time Harvick took the checkered flag for his fourth Camping World Truck Series victory in nine starts this season, and one of the central figures in the action was Ron Hornaday, who drives Harvick's No. 33 Chevy.

Texas tiff


Kyle Busch got parked and Ron Hornaday lost a shot at the championship when Busch wrecked Hornaday under caution at Texas.

Harvick powered across the finish line .294 seconds ahead of runner-up Austin Dillon, who extended his lead in the series standings to 20 points on second-place Johnny Sauter. Dillon's brother, Ty Dillon, ran third, followed by Nelson Piquet Jr. and Matt Crafton.

James Buescher ran out of fuel under caution with three laps left, fell from second position to 18th and saw his title hopes all but evaporate with a 19th-place finish.

Long before Harvick collected his 13th victory in the series, NASCAR parked Kyle Busch for the rest of the race after a Lap 14 incident that started with Busch and Hornaday racing hard side-by-side and ended with Busch knocking Hornaday into the Turn 4 wall and out of the series championship battle.

Hornaday slid up into Busch as the drivers approached the slower truck of Johnny Chapman, and after the contact, Busch and Hornaday scraped the outside wall. Busch pursued Hornaday into Turn 4 and turned him hard into the outside wall.

"This is just stupid," Hornaday fumed after the wreck. "He knew what I was going for. He knew I was there. He had to lift, too. If I'd have lifted, I would have hit the back of that slower truck and it would have caused a big wreck.

"He just drove me in the fence and ruined a pretty good race car."

Busch was unapologetic.

"If you consider that Ron was in the championship, maybe Ron could have played it a little bit smarter on [Lap 14] and checked up a little bit and given room to everybody around," Busch said. "Obviously, if you make it a three-wide situation, I can't go up in the dirt.

"I'm already on the outside lane. There's not three lanes out there right now. ... If I just lay over and give up everything for Ron Hornaday, that's not Kyle Busch's fashion. I'm out here to win the race as much as anybody else is. When he races up on my inside, gets loose and takes me up to the fence, I ended up losing my cool.

"I've been wrecked four weeks in a row, and finally I just had enough of it. I'm sorry it was Ron Hornaday. He's going for a championship, but the fact of the matter is you can't place all the blame on one person. There was two people that got into it to begin with, and there was two people that ended it."

NASCAR officials met with Busch and Kyle Busch Motorsports general manager Rick Ren for three minutes after the race. Another meeting is planned for Saturday morning, likely before the first scheduled Sprint Cup practice at 9:45 a.m. ET.

"He's going to grow up, or he's going to have some swollen eyes."

--KEVIN HARVICK

"We met with Kyle, and we're going to revisit with him in the morning," NASCAR spokesperson Kerry Tharp said.

Hornaday also visited the NASCAR hauler after the race to express his opinion.

"The last five races before that, we gave each other room," Hornaday said before he met with NASCAR officials. "He caught me -- I let him go. I caught him -- he let me go. All of a sudden, why did it change? I don't know. I didn't wake up on the wrong side of the bed. He did.

"He's got to be parked. They did it to Harvick at Martinsville [in 2002, while Harvick already was on probation]. If they don't park him for the Cup race and the Nationwide race ..."

To Hornaday, the circumstances were markedly different from Carl Edwards' retaliation against Brad Keselowski in a Cup race at Atlanta last year, an incident that earned Edwards a three-race probation.

"This was a whole different points deal," Hornaday said. "This was a yellow flag, [turned] when you're not prepared and your heart's not pumping and you're going down the back straightaway, and all of a sudden you get turned directly into the fence.

"He lives too close to me. We'll see what NASCAR does, and if they don't handle it right, I'll be at his house Monday morning."

Harvick, who has been warned to stay away from Busch after both served probation for a post-race confrontation at Darlington in May, shared Hornaday's sentiment.

"He's going to grow up, or he's going to have some swollen eyes," Harvick said.

Notes-n-Nuggets

• This is Kevin Harvick's 13th career Truck win in his 116th start.
• This is Kevin Harvick's first win at Texas -- the ninth different track he has won on.
• Kevin Harvick earned his fourth win of 2011 -- tying teammate Ron Hornaday for second most in the series.
• Kevin Harvick Inc. has earned its 43rd career win, second all-time in the series.
• This is KHI's 10th win of 2011 -- the most of all organizations.
• KHI's No. 2 truck clinched the team's third Truck Series owners' championship.
• Chevrolet earned its 14th win of 2011 and 11th victory at Texas. The manufacturer swept the top-eight finishing positions.
• Chevrolet clinches the manufacturer's championship -- its seventh Truck Series manufacturer's championship and first since 2005.
• Austin Dillon (second) scored his sixth top-two finish of 2011. He can clinch the 2011 Truck Series championship with a 16th-place finish at Homestead.
• Ty Dillon (third) earned his first top-10 finish in his second Truck Series start.
• Nelson Piquet Jr (fourth) earned his ninth top-10 finish of 2011 and second top-10 finish in three Texas Truck starts.
• Matt Crafton (fifth) scored his fifth top-five finish of 2011 and fourth top-five in the past six Texas Truck races.
• Joey Coulter (sixth) earned his 12th top-10 finish of 2011.
• Johnny Sauter (seventh) earned his 15th top-10 finish of 2011.
• Ricky Carmichael (eighth) scored his seventh top-10 finish of 2011 and third in the past five races.

The victory gave Kevin Harvick Inc. the owners championship and Austin Dillon can clinch the driver's title with a finish of 16th or better in the season finale at Homestead.

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