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July 09, 2005 - Kevin Harvick bested a track record with an average speed of 130.340 mph on his way to his first Busch Series win at Chicagoland Speedway in the USG Durock 300 this afternoon. This is Harvick’s third victory at Chicagoland Speedway, including back-to-back NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series wins in 2001 and 2002.
Harvick started in the fifth position and managed to stay in the top five for the majority of the race. His No. 21 Reeses car passed Reed Sorenson’s No. 41 Discount Tire Co. car late in the race and held onto the lead spot for the final 20 laps—though not by much, as Greg Biffle’s No. 66 Royal Office Products car finished just .715 seconds behind.
The battle for positioning between Biffle and Harvick was hard-fought and led to a difference of opinion after the race.
During mid-race green flag pit stops, several of the day's top performers pitted and were one lap down. Sorenson was in the lead with Harvick and Biffle as the first two cars one lap down. Harvick might have been able to secure the lead, but seemingly hung back to get the lap back as the first car not on the lead lap had a caution came out.
"I think Kevin Harvick is a chicken and a punk and I wish he was sitting right here beside me,” Biffle said. “You want to know how I really feel? I'd get points taken away. The circumstance was [Harvick] wanted a caution to come out for those particular 14 laps so that I would be stuck a lap down so he didn't have to race me. He didn't need to do that. He didn't need to do it because he beat me anyway."
Harvick didn't see it that way. "I think the biggest thing he needs to do is remember that we are all out there racing. My car was loose at that point, [Biffle] could take what he wants, but I couldn't hardly get to the No. 41. Sounds to me like he's showing a lot of prima donna. I didn't know there was an issue. So he can sit out there and whine all he wants."
The situation passed and no caution came out. Harvick and Biffle will go head-to-head again tomorrow in the USG Sheetrock 400.
Two-time Chicagoland Speedway pole sitter Ryan Newman, who set a qualifying record at pole day, finished third after leading a race-high 118 laps. His luck went south when a penalty for too many crewmen over the wall during a late pit stop cost his No. 39 Busch Series team crucial time down the stretch.
Carl Edwards, Mark Martin, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex, Jr., Matt Kenseth, Paul Menard and Reed Sorenson rounded out the top 10.
Martin Truex, Jr. remains in the first spot with 2,661 points, followed by Clint Bowyer (-72), Reed Sorenson (-106), Carl Edwards (-205), and Kenny Wallace (-292).