By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
Distributed by The Sports Xchange
HAMPTON, Ga. -- No wonder they call Kevin Harvick "The Closer."
From the moment Harvick's No. 5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet took the lead from polesitter Chase Elliott on Lap 37, Saturday night's Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway was an open-and-shut case.
In posting his third NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of the season and the 43rd of his career, Harvick led the last 159 laps and finished .567 seconds ahead of runner-up Joey Logano.
The only factors preventing Harvick from lapping the field -- or so it seemed -- were a pair of debris cautions, the first of which erased a four-second lead after Harvick had paced the field from Laps 37 through 72.
The second caution flag, which flew on Lap 120, wiped out a Harvick advantage that was close to seven seconds. By then, only 10 of the 40 cars that started the race remained on the lead lap.
A light rain extended that second caution to 13 laps, but after a restart on Lap 134, it was more of the same. Harvick quickly pulled out to a lead of more than four seconds before a cycle of green-flag pit stops trimmed his advantage to two seconds over Logano, the only driver able to keep pace with Harvick over the closing laps.
Kyle Larson ran third, followed by Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott, who extended his series lead to 15 points over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith, who finished sixth.