Harvick Wins Atlanta

JR Motorsports | 2/28/2015

Atlanta Chase Elliott Kevin Harvick News Race Report Regan Smith Victory Lane XFINITY Series

Harvick led 101 of 163 laps en route to his third consecutive win at Atlanta and the 22nd overall NASCAR XFINITY Series win for JR Motorsports.

Race 2 of 33: Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Track Specs: 1.54-mile quad-oval / 163 laps

Weather: Mostly sunny; 52 deg.

Race Winner: Kevin Harvick

Harvick’s finish: 1st 

Elliott’s finish: 5th

Smith’s finish: 9th 

Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick again proved his mastery of Atlanta Motor Speedway with a win in Saturday’s Hisense 250.  Harvick, driving the No. 88 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, led the most laps en route to his third-consecutive NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) victory at the facility and his fourth overall. In his last nine races at Atlanta, the two-time NXS champion has never finished worse than fourth. Saturday’s win is Harvick’s fifth for JR Motorsports in only 16 races, and both the driver and team’s first of 2015.

Harvick didn’t waste any time improving his eighth-place starting position, working his way to fourth by lap seven. The No. 88 pit crew was unstoppable all day, ensuring that their driver beat his competitors, including polesitter Joey Logano, off pit road following each of three pit stops during the 163-lap event.

On lap 139, Harvick led the field to the green flag on the final restart and never looked back, scoring his 45th career NXS win.  He is now one victory away from tying Brad Keselowski for most wins by a JRM driver. The victory is also the first for Dave Elenz as a crew chief and the 22nd overall for JRM. The win propels the No. 88 up to fourth in the NXS owner’s standings, just one point removed from a three-way tie for the top spot.

Harvick was followed to the stripe by Logano, Ty Dillon, Chris Buescher and JRM teammate Chase Elliott.

Kevin Harvick, driver No. 88 Bad Boy Buggies team

“Everybody on our Bad Boy Buggies team did a great job. We were able to have a great pit stop there at the end of the race and beat the 22 off of pit road to take control on that restart on the bottom and get out in clean air. I felt like the 22 had a little bit better car and that was the key to going to victory lane today.

“It’s pretty special. There’s a lot of new guys on this team and to be able to see them celebrate in victory lane and to get a taste of what that’s like, it’s contagious. Everybody wants to do whatever you have to do to get to victory lane because everybody works hard and this is the ultimate result you want to see. Just a great day for everyone at JR Motorsports and this Bad Boy team.”

Dave Elenz, crew chief No. 88 Bad Boy Buggies team

“It’s amazing to be in this position right now. Kevin (Harvick) was able to manage the race very well for us and allow us to make the right adjustments. We had a really good day and everybody on the Bad Boy Buggies team did a great job.”

Chase Elliot

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, finished fifth in Saturday’s Hisense 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  It was Elliott’s first top-five effort of the season and brings him within 28 points of Chris Buescher in the driver points standings.  JR Motorsports driver Kevin Harvick led a race-high 101 laps en route to his 45th XFINITY Series victory and first of the 2015 season.

After qualifying in the ninth position, Elliott maintained a steady pace inside the top-10 early in the going.  While running in third position, crew chief Ernie Cope brought Elliott in for a scheduled pit stop under green-flag conditions, changing four tires and making a chassis adjustment.  Once up to speed, Elliott reported the NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet fired off better and he began a surge forward.

For much of the race’s second half, the 19-year-old Dawsonville, Ga. native battled inside the top-five.  Elliott could match the leaders lap times late in the race, but it was track position that came at a premium.  The final pit stop for the NAPA team was on lap 131 with Elliott scored in third.  With another solid pit stop from the No. 9 team, Elliott restarted third with 24 laps to go.  Unfortunately, he was shuffled out of the inside line and dropped to eighth.  After the shuffle, Elliott maneuvered his way through traffic for a hard-fought fifth-place finish.  

Harvick bested Joey Logano, Ty Dillon, Chris Buescher and Elliott to score JRM’s first XFINITY Series victory of the season.

Chase Elliott, driver No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS team

“Overall I feel like there was a lot of positives about today.  The pit stops were really good.  The changes on the car that Ernie and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team made really had a difference throughout the day.  We went too far and then we came back and I feel like those were positives to know that Ernie (Ernie Cope, crew chief) was making good changes time and time again on the NAPA Chevrolet.  I just didn’t fulfill my part there at the end.  We just have to put ourselves in position to give Kevin (Harvick) a run.  (The 88) team would have been tough to beat, but we’ll try again next week at Vegas.”

Regan Smith

A day that began so well in qualifying turned out to be less than expected Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway for driver Regan Smith and the No. 7 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet team. A sterling third-place run in qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 became a solid ninth-place finish at the end of the race.

Smith started out fairly loose when the green flag dropped on Saturday. It continued that way until lap 48, when Smith brought the No. 7 Taxslayer.com Chevrolet Camaro to pit road for a four-tire stop and adjustments. The change brought the car to life, as Smith charged to eighth from 14th over the next 30 laps, but while the car was tighter, it turned too tight. A fast pit stop on lap 87 gave the team another chance, restarting sixth, but the handling settled on the tight side the rest of the way, and Smith hung on for a gritty top-10 finish.

Smith’s JRM teammate Kevin Harvick won the race and was followed to the line by Joey Logano, Ty Dillon, Chris Buescher and JRM teammate Chase Elliott.

Regan Smith, driver No. 7 TaxSlayer.com team

“I thought it was going to be a really good day, but it never got there. Qualifying was kind of the highlight of our day. The car seemed like it was where it needed to be, but we fired off loose. We made an adjustment, not a big one, to get back to where we were, and it just never really came in. We went from really loose to really tight, and it kept getting tighter as we freed it back up. We’ll go to work and be good for Las Vegas.” 

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • May 23 01:00 PM ET
    Alsco 300 at CharlotteCharlotte Motor Speedway
  • May 30 01:00 PM ET
    Mid-Ohio 170Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • June 6 01:30 PM ET
    LTi Printing 250Michigan International Speedway
  • June 13 08:30 PM ET
    Iowa 250Iowa Speedway
  • June 20 04:00 PM ET
    Chicagoland 300Chicagoland Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After LS Tractor 200

Phoenix Raceway | 3/7/2020
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Harrison Burton #1760
2Chase Briscoe173-3
3Austin Cindric155-21
4Brandon Jones148-28
5Ross Chastain146-30
6Noah Gragson143-33
7Ryan Sieg143-33
8Justin Haley140-36
9Justin Allgaier138-38
10Michael Annett119-57