Bakersfield, California native Kevin Harvick enjoyed a successful return to his home state, scoring a dominating victory in Saturday’s Carneros 200 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at Sonoma Raceway.
Harvick, who on Sunday will race in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Series race, led the final 23 laps of the 64-lap race to win in the No. 4 Fields Ford for Jefferson Pitts Racing. It was Harvick’s eighth career victory in the K&N Pro Series West.
In the closing laps, Harvick held off a fierce challenge from rookie pole-winner Will Rodgers, 22, to capture the race at the 1.99-mile Sonoma road course. David Mayhew was third, followed by Michael Self and Derek Kraus.
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“It always feels good to win no matter what it is,” said Harvick. “The main objective was to come have fun, shine a little light on the series and shine a little light on how much talent is in the series. This particular series did a lot for me and to come back and be a part of it, see the health of it and see the young guys racing was the main objective.
“It’s always fun to race in front of your home state fans. It’s been a long time since I raced in this particular series here, so it was a fun weekend,” said Harvick.
“For some funny reason, I had a feeling as far back as four weeks ago that it was going to be me and Kevin coming into Turn 11 on the last lap,” Rodgers said. “And sure enough, there we were. He ran a really good race, I learned a lot from him. We were able to lead some laps there in the beginning. It doesn’t feel too bad to finish second today.”