Harvick wins at Texas; Hornaday Jr., Busch clash
Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - The Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway had a little bit of everything. Kyle Busch lost his cool and knocked title contender Ron Hornaday Jr out of the event in the early going. Kevin Harvick held off points leader Austin Dillon in a green-white checkered finish to win the WinStar World Casino 350k and clinch the owner's championship, in what will be Kevin Harvick Inc's last year of competition in the series.
On lap 14, Hornaday Jr. bumped into Busch while they were battling hard for position and passing the slower truck of Johnny Chapman. Hornaday and Busch then made contact with the wall, forcing the first caution.
Busch chased down Hornaday on the following lap and punted the 53-year-old driver hard into the wall. Hornaday wound up finishing 34th and saw his hopes of winning a series record-extending fifth championship come to an end.
"He knows I'm going for the points [championship], so I don't know why he did it," a frustrated Hornaday said. "This is just stupid. He knew what I was going for, and he knew I was there. He had to lift too. If I would have lifted, I would have hit the back of the slower truck, and it would have created a bigger wreck. He just drove me into the fence and ruined a perfectly good race car."
Busch also hit the wall and severely damaged his truck after taking action against Hornaday. NASCAR officials immediately parked him for the remainder of the race. Busch and his crew chief, Eric Phillips, were also summoned to the NASCAR hauler following the race for a discussion with officials.
"Considering Ron is in the championship, maybe Ron could have played it a little bit smarter," Busch said. "Obviously, if you make it a three-wide situation I can't go up in the dirt. I'm already on the outside lane. There's not that many lanes out there.
"It's a truck race, and it's the first race here this weekend. So if I just lay over and give up everything for Ron Hornaday, that's not Kyle Busch's fashion. I'm out here to win a race just as much as anybody else. When he raced up on my inside, gets loose and takes me up to the fence, I ended up losing my cool."
Busch could be facing additional penalties from NASCAR, including a chance of being parked for Saturday's Nationwide event and Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race. Busch is one of the 12 drivers in the championship Chase field. He is presently 57 points behind leader Carl Edwards.
"Sorry, it was Ron Hornaday, and he's going after a championship, but the fact of the matter is, you can't place all blame on one person," Busch noted. "There's two people that got into it to begin with, and there's two people that ended it."
With one race to go, Hornaday has been eliminated from championship contention. He now trails leader Austin Dillon by 48 points. Hornaday had been on a late-season surge, finishing either first or second in the last four races, and came into this event 15 points behind Dillon.
"I think Kyle definitely showed his immaturity, and why he's one of those guys who just can't stand to lose - just a poor loser," said Harvick, who is Hornaday's team owner. "It's unfortunate for Ron, and it's too bad that a guy over here trying to win races got in the middle of the championship fight. At some point, [Busch] will feel the pain."
Harvick, driving the No.2 Chevrolet, claimed his fourth win of the season and the 13th of his truck career.
"We've had a lot of momentum in the '2' truck with the owner's championship, and with everything that was going on, I just wanted to be in it when we were able to clinch the championship, being that we're getting out of [the series at season's end]," he said.
An incident involving David Starr in the closing laps set up the two-lap overtime finish. Dillon challenged Harvick for the lead just after restart, but Harvick pulled away and crossed the finish line 0.3 seconds ahead of Dillon.
"I spun the tires and didn't get going, but I had my brother [Ty] behind to help me out," Dillon said. "He was doing a good job out there. I was hoping he could push me down the backstretch to clear Harvick, but I got a little loose on the right-front and had to turn back under Harvick. I had a run at him at the end. Our truck was really good."
Dillon now holds a 20-point lead over Johnny Sauter, who finished seventh. If Dillon finishes 16th or better in the November 18 season-finale at Homestead, FL, he will clinch the championship, regardless of any other driver's performance.
Ty Dillon, in just his second start, finished an impressive third.
Nelson Piquet Jr. took the fourth spot, while Matt Crafton completed the top- five.
Texas-native James Buescher came to his home track trailing Dillon by 11 points. Buescher started on the pole and led 56 laps, but he ran out of fuel during the final caution and wound up finishing two laps behind in 19th. He is now 28 points out of the lead.
11/05 00:00:13 ET