Kevin Harvick sped past Mark Martin and Parker Kligerman on the inside to take the lead, moving into the clear just before the other two drivers brushed against each other, starting a five-car wreck.
”I had cleared them about three quarters of the way through the corner, and by the time I got to the wall, I saw the 32 (Martin) sideways and wrecking,” Harvick said. ”It was just a big plume of smoke in the mirror.”
Harvick stayed out of danger after that, holding off Timothy Peters to win the NASCAR Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday. It was his second consecutive win in the series and the 11th of his career. Harvick, who won at Pocono Raceway earlier this month, has finished in the top five in all four of his 2011 races on this circuit.
Immediately after Harvick passed Martin and Kligerman in his No. 2 Chevrolet, Kligerman made contact with Martin, and Austin Dillon was also caught up in the crash. Moments later, Kligerman apparently had a hard time seeing out of his car because of damage to the front of it, and he rear-ended Dillon.
The wreck led to a caution on lap 91, and there was another after that from laps 98-100 before a green-white checkered finish.
”It’s definitely action packed,” Peters said. ”The fans definitely got their money’s worth. It’s fun coming here.”
Peters earned his seventh top-10 finish of the year. He’s fourth in the points standings. Miguel Paludo finished a career-best third in Saturday’s race.
”I learned a lot running with Harvick the last two restarts,” Paludo said. ”He used the extreme bottom on the first restart, and the second one, I tried to do it. So we’re always learning. It’s a tough series.”
Johnny Sauter finished 13th but took over the points lead from Dillon, who dropped to third after a 22nd-place showing Saturday. James Buescher is in second place.
Pole-sitter Matt Crafton, also involved in the big accident with about 10 laps remaining, took 21st.
Harvick became the first driver with a win at Michigan in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck circuits. He has accomplished the same triple at Martinsville, Phoenix and Atlanta.
”This has always been a fun racetrack for us, but honestly, as a program, we’ve had some struggles here over the years,” Harvick said. ”Today, we were really loose at the beginning of the race and the guys did a great job making huge changes to the truck to get it to where I could drive it.”