Kevin Harvick uses Strategy to Win the Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland

Kevin Harvick uses Strategy to Win the Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland

Kevin Harvick won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway by better pit strategy than Kyle Busch.

Brian Scott won the Coors Light Pole Award and led the field to the green flag in Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast 300 Powered by Coca-Cola. He only led the first five laps then it became the Kyle Busch show.

From the fifth lap until lap 154 of 200 Kyle Busch controlled the race only giving up the lead during pit stops. Each and every restart he held off the challengers including Kevin Harvick from taking the lead.

On lap 153 the number 51 of Jeremy Clements lost an engine and put oil down on the track. Everyone pitted for tires and fuel. Busch’s team opted for four tires while some cars stayed out and other took two tires. Busch found himself sixteenth at the restart on lap 159.

The rest of the field battled on the restart with Kevin Harvick driver of the No. 5 Jimmy John’s car prevailed two laps later and never lost the lead.

On lap 166 Kyle Busch’s teammate, Denny Hamlin lost an engine and put down lots of oil on the track. Busch had already driver up to eighth and appeared to be on his way to taking back the race that would most surely be his to win. It didn’t happen. Busch lead 141 laps of 200.

The race restarted on lap 173 with Kevin Harvick staying out. Kyle Busch drove his No. 54 car hard up to third place but could not pass Kyle Larson in the No. 42 when he finally got to him.

Harvick said, “This Guy (Ernie Cope No. 5 Crew Chief) is the one who won the race today. He made a great call with two tires and the 54 got buried in the field and it felt like at that particular point it was our race to lose and our car ran faster on two tires than it did on four. Just really excited and I feel like I learned a lot today just looking forward to tomorrow as well.

Kyle Larson was second followed by Kyle Bush, Ryan Blaney and Trevor Bayne.

The highest finishing rookie was Ty Dillon. Chase Elliott finished tenth and retains the series points lead over Regan Smith by 18 points.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit:  301538 Nick Laham/Getty Images