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Harmon Wins A Thriller; Tight Racing Highlight Bud Light Front Wheel Drive Challenge

By Ken de la Bastide

(October 26, 2012) – 
Kevin Harmon ran with the top four cars the entire G.W. Pierce Front Wheel Drive Bud Light Challenge taking the lead on the final restart with 12 laps remaining to record the victory.

The top four drivers Harmon, Jerry Dane, Chris Jennings and Nick Warner ran in a tight pack the entire 100 laps, swapping positions on just about every lap. They exchanged the top spot five times.

Pole sitter Nick Warner led the first four laps before Dane used the outside line to gain the top spot.

There were only three caution flags in the first half of the race, with a three-car incident on lap nine in turn four. The red flag waved on lap 30 when the engine of Andy Jennings car erupted. On the restart Ron Phipps, running fifth at the time, failed to start, ending his night.

Dane stayed in front until lap 37 when Jenning used the outside line on a restart to go to the point. On lap 57, Don Gallaher made contact with the outside retaining wall in turn one and rolled to a stop on the backstraight, he was running in the top ten at the time.

Dane retook the lead on the lap 59 restart with an outside pass on the front straight. Lapped traffic had an impact on lap 75 when Dane got trapped on the outside and fell to fourth with Jennings, Harmon and Warner all slipping past on the inside.

The sixth and final caution flag waved on lap 85 when fifth place running Ricky Puckett spun in turn four. With ten laps remaining Dane and Warner passed Jennings.

On the restart Harmon got the jump on Jennings to take the lead and went on to win by almost three-seconds over Dane followed by Jennings, Warner and Elliott McKinney.

“I was hoping there wasn’t another caution,” Harmon said. “I didn’t know how far back they were. I worked hard tonight, I really wanted to get this win.”

Warner was the fast qualifier setting a new track record for the G.W. Pierce Front Wheel Drive oval cars with a time of 15.128-seconds. That broke the mark set by Jeff Williams of 15.286-second set on Oct. 23, 2010.

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