NASCAR Sonoma; Local boy Harvick sweeps the weekendBy: Bill Sullivan, Associate Publisher
Kevin Harvick won Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event at Sonoma Raceway. After his cameo visit to the lower league of drivers, Harvick continued to school the drivers and fans in the wine country on Sunday afternoon, winning the Toyota/Save Mart 350.
Harvick mastered a long green-flag run that consumed the second half of the race, the Bakersfield native won a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event for the first time this season on the track closest to his hometown.
"I’m so excited," Harvick said in Victory Lane. "I think, as you look at it, getting our first win with Ford, this has been a great journey for us as an organization and team. (Teammate) Kurt (Busch) winning the Daytona 500, and we have run well.
Clint Bowyer, Harvick’s Stewart-Haas teammate, was runner-up for the second time this season. Brad Keselowski ran third, giving Ford drivers a sweep of the podium positions. Denny Hamlin came home fourth, followed by Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who posted his second straight top 10.
"It means a ton to finally check this one off the list," Harvick said. "I feel like we’ve been close a couple times but never put it all together.”
Going into the weekend, Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson looked to be the driver to beat. Larson topped the charts in practice on Friday, earned the pole on Saturday. On Sunday, an unavoidable collision early in the race set the local favorite up for a tough day on the road course. He finished 26th but maintained the series point lead.