Indy: Harvick turns pole into victory

Kevin Harvick vaulted to the front of the pack by skipping a pit stop on Lap 146, ambushed leader Jamie McMurray on the restart, and won Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indy: Harvick turns pole into victory

Harvick's first victory of the season was the biggest of his life, with the Speedway's prestige and a half-million-dollar payday. He was the first driver to win the Brickyard from the pole, in the 10th running of the event.

Harvick, driving Richard Childress's GM Goodwrench No. 29, led the first 17 laps before Bill Elliott passed him. Tony Stewart, meanwhile, raced forward from 15th and took the lead on Lap 26. Stewart and McMurray had the fastest cars, with McMurray's probably fastest of all. The rookie, however, needed two fuel stints to get in position for a run at the top.

As usual, track position was paramount, and the second half of the race brought the usual confusion as teams skipped stops, some took two tyres and some took four tyres.

Stewart, his Speedway hopes again bitterly dashed, led the most laps, 60 (of 160), but fell victim to the timing of cautions and the team's adjustments during his last three pit stops. Tony last led on Lap 106, when he pitted under caution for four tyres. Several drivers stayed out, including Robby Gordon, McMurray, Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson.

That stop left those who had pitted still outside the Lap 120 fuel window, and several contenders tried short-pitting, including Stewart, who came in for right-side tyres and fuel on Lap 131. The pressures on the two new tyres left the car out of balance, however, and the team was forced to pit again under the caution on Lap 140 to put on left-sides too match the fresh rubber up. Stewart came out 12th and finished 12th.

McMurray and Harvick skipped the final stop, jumping ahead of points leader Matt Kenseth, who had gained the lead when McMurray short-pitted on Lap 133. Harvick then passed McMurray coming out of Turn 2 of Lap 145 as McMurray got stuck behind a lapped car.

The final caution, for debris, came out on that same lap, and the order again was slightly shuffled. On the final restart, with 10 laps to go, Harvick led team-mate Robby Gordon, McMurray, Kenseth and Jeff Gordon. McMurray ducked inside R Gordon on Lap 154, with Kenseth in his tracks. Kenseth then worked inside McMurray to second on Lap 157. All that was just what Harvick wanted to see, as he pulled away to a 3.5sec lead.

Kenseth finished second, with Jeff Gordon fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr 14th. Kenseth now leads by a stunning 286 points over Earnhardt and 318 over Gordon.


1) Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, 160 laps
2) Matt Kenseth, No. 17 Smirnoff/DeWalt Ford, 160, -2.758sec
3) Jamie McMurray, No. 42 Havoline Dodge, 160
4) Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, 160
5) Bill Elliott, No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge, 160
6) Robby Gordon, No. 31 Cingular Chevrolet, 160
7) Kurt Busch, No. 97 Rubbermaid Ford, 160
8) Jimmy Spencer, No. 7 Sirius Dodge, 160
9) Mark Martin, No. 6 Viagra Ford, 160
10) Rusty Wallace, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, 160

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