Big Night For Harvick

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Kevin Harvick scored the win in Friday night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway, while his regular NCTS driver Ron Hornaday rebounded from a lap 1 crash to pull within three points of the series point lead.

Harvick scored the third straight truck series victory for his KHI team with three different drivers. Ryan Newman won two weeks ago in Atlanta and Ron Hornaday picked up the victory last Friday night in Texas.

But while Harvick stood in victory lane at PIR, the night had to feel like even more of a victory for Hornaday.

After starting from the pole, the defending series champion didn't even make it through lap one.

As Hornaday and Kyle Busch raced side-by-side through turns three and four on the opening lap, Hornaday's truck got loose and tagged the outside retaining wall before being hit by several other trucks in the melee.

Hornaday's truck was severely damaged and he was forced behind the wall for extensive repairs.

But the night was far from over and Hornaday's hopes to stay in the point race with Johnny Benson, who led the standings by six coming into the race, got a major boost when problems struck the point leader.

Benson was involved in a couple of minor scrapes but then got caught in a bigger one near the midway point of the race.

When the checkered flag flew on Harvick's win, Hornaday actually finished a position ahead of Benson - 25th to 26th - to close the gap to three points heading into the final race of the season.

"I don't know what to think," said Benson. "It seems like everybody was out gunning for me and Ron. It was a bad day for the both of us."

"At the end, we kept blowing tires. Something was rubbing on there. We kept spinning out and I said to myself, 'Maybe I just need to get off the race track.'"

The win kicked of a busy weekend for Harvick who will also compete in Saturday's Nationwide Series race and Sunday's Sprint Cup event.

"A lot of emotions," Harvick said in victory lane. "Seeing (Hornaday) getting turned around and then wind up gaining three points and then we win the race. I'm just really proud of everybody at KHI for how things turned out tonight."

The Craftsman Truck Series season comes to a close next Friday night with the Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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