Originally created 11/05/06

Harvick adds to his Busch haul



FORT WORTH, Texas - It would be hard to blame Kevin Harvick if he wanted the NASCAR Busch Series season to go on forever.

Harvick dominated the field again Saturday in the O'Reilly Challenge 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, winning for the second consecutive week and third time in his past four starts. It was the ninth Busch victory of what is already a championship season for the Nextel Cup star.

To cap another great day for Harvick, after being told by his team he was going to be close on gas, he did run out - at the finish.

Harvick chuckled as he took the checkered flag and said on the radio: "Out of gas, boys. Awesome!"

With the title determined a month ago in Charlotte, most of the pre-race attention was on newcomer Juan Pablo Montoya, starting only his second NASCAR race in preparation for a full-time Cup ride next season. He qualified 10th, but finished 41st, two laps behind Harvick.

Harvick has 16 consecutive top 10 finishes in the Busch series.

"It's just been one of those years when everything goes right," added Harvick, within one win of Sam Ard's 1983 season record of 10 with two races remaining.

Harvick beat fellow Cup star Tony Stewart to the finish by 0.862-seconds - about five car-lengths. Jeff Burton was third, followed by pole-winner Mark Martin and Ron Hornaday Jr., the highest-finishing Busch regular. Cup drivers have won 31 of 33 Busch races this season.

Told that Harvick ran out of gas at the end, Stewart shrugged.

"I wouldn't have wanted to win it that way," he said. "It was so much fun running with him. We just had two identical cars today."

Harvick enters today's Dickies 500 sixth in the Cup points and with an outside chance to become the first driver to win NASCAR's top two titles in the same season.

MARTIN'S MISHAP: Mark Martin had nowhere to go, and now he'll have to drive a backup car today.

Martin's primary car was wrecked in the final NASCAR Nextel Cup practice Saturday when he was hit by the car of Tony Raines, who had gotten loose in Turn 4 and was trying to get to the pits. He drove into Martin, who was trying to pass.

"It's unfortunate for Mark, and the last thing we wanted to do was affect a car in the Chase," said Philippe Lopez, competition director for Hall of Fame Racing, the team owned by former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach.

While the extensive cosmetic damage on the left side of Raines' No. 96 Chevrolet can be fixed, the front right of Martin's No. 6 Ford was a mangled mess.

SPARKPLUGS: Mike Bliss was fastest in the final Cup practice Saturday with a lap of 188.180 mph. ... Jeff Gordon is 0-for at the final three tracks on the schedule. The only three active tracks where Gordon hasn't won are Texas (11 races), Phoenix (15) and Homestead (seven).