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Harvick Wins His Second Straight

April 22, 2006|Jim Peltz

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Kevin Harvick avoided a spree of wrecks to win his second consecutive Busch Series race Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway.

Harvick, one of several Nextel Cup regulars who also drive on the Busch circuit, held off Reed Sorenson to win the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 in a two-lap, "green-white-checkered" finish that was brought on by the last of 10 caution flags.

Harvick, a native of Bakersfield, also won the Pepsi 300 last week in Nashville, Tenn., in his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

It was the first time in Harvick's career that he had back-to-back Busch Series victories, and he leads the circuit's points chase.

Harvick had to protect his lead through several caution periods near the end, but on each restart, "I figured that if I could make it through the first turn without getting hit, I was going to be in good shape," he said.

Carl Edwards was third on the one-mile oval track and Kurt Busch, who challenged for the lead until a flat rear tire forced him to pit with 45 laps left, scrambled back to finish fourth.

Pole-sitter Jason Leffler, a native of Long Beach, led the most laps of his career -- 78 -- and ran in the top five for much of the race.

But with 10 laps to go, he was bumped from behind by Clint Bowyer, triggering a multi-car wreck. NASCAR penalized Bowyer for rough driving and sent him to the rear of the field. Leffler finished 22nd and Bowyer was 21st.

-- Jim Peltz

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