DARLINGTON, S.C. — The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season has been one of feast or famine for Kevin Harvick— and on Saturday night at Darlington Raceway, Harvick enjoyed the delectable taste of victory.
Passing Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the next-to-last lap of the second attempt at a green-white-checkered-flag finish, Harvick won Sunday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 and all but locked himself into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as the first two-time winner in the series this year (he still needs to finish in the top 30 in points after race No. 26 and attempt to qualify for every race).
In the second race of the season, Harvick dominated in winning at Phoenix, before a spate of mechanical issues waylaid him in four of five subsequent events.
On Saturday at Darlington, he was the class of the field again, leading 238 of 374 laps in a race that went seven circuits past its scheduled distance. Nevertheless, it took a fourtire call in the pits and a late caution to give Harvick a final chance to beat Earnhardt, who had streaked to a 15-carlength lead on two fresh tires in the first attempt at a greenwhite- checker.