CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – Kevin Harvick earned an automatic berth into the third round of NASCAR’s championship race by winning Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Harvick had the strongest car for most of the race – as he does almost every week, only to have some sort of problem keep him out of Victory Lane.
It almost happened again Saturday night as a caution with seven laps to go forced Harvick to win it in a two-lap sprint to the finish.
The win was his first since Darlington in April and came on a night Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffered a serious blow to his championship hopes.
The shifter broke in the Chevrolet of NASCAR’s most popular driver and he’s last in the 12-driver Chase field headed into next Sunday’s elimination race at Talladega.