Kevin Harvick survives late race scare to score dominating win at Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 08: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 08:  Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 08: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Kevin Harvick was the class of the field Sunday leading a race high 142 of 267 laps to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.   Harvick took the lead for the first time on lap 91. From there he became the car to beat, his only issue being a late race scare when he reported a vibration in his Chevy in the final laps.  Martin Truex Jr. staged another impressive performance coming home second; Ryan Newman was third, Dale Earnhardt Jr. fourth and Denny Hamlin fifth.

“It got to be a handful there at the end,” Harvick said.  “For whatever reason we got really, really loose the last run. Tires started vibrating and we were just kind of hanging on. Glad the race is over at that particular point for our own good. “

Joey Logano led the first 47 laps but faded in the second half of the race and was nailed twice on pit road for speeding. He rallied back to finish tenth. Jimmie Johnson who led 45 laps suffered two blown tires, the first on lap 172 that sent his Chevy into the wall; the second occurred on lap 185 again sending him into the wall again and to the garage. He returned but finished 41st.

Jeff Gordon in his final run at Las Vegas had the pole but was forced to a backup car after a practice crash on Saturday and forced to start at the rear of the field.  He was swept up in the Johnson incident on lap 172 and tangled with Jeb Burton. Gordon who ran inside the top five at one point, finished 18th. MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.