Kevin Harvick returned to his hometown to race in the Bakersfield 175 at Kern Raceway but the North High grad finished 4th while 16 year old Derek Kraus picked up his second straight win at the track. The event was the season opener for the NASCAR K&N Pro West Series.
Harvick started in the pole position and led for 132 laps before getting bumped by Kraus and falling back. “I think we accomplished our goal no matter the outcome of the race," Harvick said after. "I think it was a great event and that’s what we have to have. That’s what people want to be apart of.”
K&N PRO Series drivers don't mess around! @derek9kraus takes out @kevinharvick at the #KNwest opener! #ThatsShortTrackRacing #KNproseries #KevinHarvick #DerekKraus #NASCAR #KNfilters pic.twitter.com/Ku12oPyGcQ
— K&N (@knfilters) March 16, 2018
Despite finishing fourth, Harvick says his first race in Bakersfield in almost a decade has to be seen as a success. “I don’t think that you could have had me leave here with a bad taste in my mouth," Harvick said. "There’s thousands of people here tonight that probably haven’t been to a race since Mesa Marin closed so it was a lot of fun.”
Harvick came into the race winner of three straight NASCAR events (Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix) and will try for his fourth straight Sunday in Fontana.
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