KEVIN HARVICK WINS AT KANSAS

House of Horrors for Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch's championship hopes took a big hit on Sunday as he crashed out of the Kansas Speedway race with 68 laps to go in the race (photo courtesy: Todd Pennington, GETTY IMAGES SPORT)

Kevin Harvick took advantage of his first pole since 2006 to win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. The win was his third of the year.

“All in all it was a great weekend and we control our own destiny,” said Harvick. “We’ll keep doing what we’re doing and having fun.”

The win moved Harvick up one position, to third, in the championship standings with six races remaining in the Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup will culminate at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 17.

Two-time Kansas Speedway winner Matt Kenseth continues to lead the point standings by three points over Jimmie Johnson, who has also won two Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway. Harvick halted Kenseth’s recent mastery of Kansas Speedway, rolling to his third victory of the season and climbing back into the championship Chase.  Kenseth, who carried an eight-point lead into the weekend, was bidding for his third straight Sprint Cup Series victory at Kansas.  Instead, he had to settle for 11th place, which reduced his lead to a mere three points over Johnson heading into this weekend’s race at Charlotte. 

Five-time Sprint Cup Series champion Johnson, brought his No. 48 car home in sixth place overall.

Kurt Busch drove to a second-place finish, which also moved him up two positions in the standings. Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jeff Gordon, was third. Gordon now sits just seven points behind Harvick in the Chase standings. The Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup will culminate at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 17.

After the fourth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup 10 race championship playoff, Kenseth leads the series standings by three points over second-place Johnson.  Kyle Busch ranks fifth (-35 points behind first) in the standings and Clint Bowyer is in ninth-place (-55).

“To sit on the pole and win the race is obviously a great weekend, and controlling our own destiny by doing that, putting ourselves closer to where we need to be with the championship race,” said Harvick.

Kyle Busch's championship hopes took a big hit as he crashed out of the Kansas Speedway race with 68 laps to go in the race.

Kansas has long been one of Busch's worst tracks statistically, and Sunday's DNF (did not finish) result was his third consecutive at the 1.5-mile track.

He entered Kansas third in the Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup standings but lost ground to the leaders after tangling with Carl Edwards on a restart. Busch finished 34th and dropped to fifth in the standings, 35 points behind leader Matt Kenseth.

"The racetrack is the worst racetrack I've ever driven on, the tire is the worst tire I've ever driven on and track position is everything," Busch said. "You can't do anything unless you're out front. Kevin Harvick couldn't pass me and he led the first 80 laps of the race. So I'd say it's pretty pathetic."

Next up for the Sprint Cup drivers is the fifth race of the Chase at Charlotte on Saturday, October 12 (7:30 p.m. EDT, ABC, Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 90)—Race 30 of 36 en route to Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 15-17). The Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup will culminate at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 17.

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