Kevin Harvick dominates Nationwide race at Texas

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #33 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 3, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

FORT WORTH, Tex. — Kevin Harvick had a lock on the front of the field in Saturday night’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway, but there was plenty of action behind him.

The class of the field in the 200-lap, 300-mile Nationwide Series race, Harvick won handily, crossing the finish line 1.628 seconds ahead of 18-year-old Ryan Blaney, who made the most of a pit stop for tires on Lap 178.

Polesitter Kyle Busch ran third, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who erased the six-point series lead Elliott Sadler held when the race began. Stenhouse, the defending Nationwide champion, is tied with Sadler with two races left in the season.

The victory was Harvick’s second of the season and the 39th of his career, third most all-time. Harvick, who led 127 laps, notched his fifth Nationwide victory at Texas, tied with Busch for the track record.

Denny Hamlin ran fifth, with Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish Jr., Justin Allgaier, Kevin Swindell and Joey Logano completing the top 10. Swindell was making his first NNS start of the season.

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