DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Kevin Harvick has won a wild Saturday night race at Daytona International Speedway.

The Sprint Cup points leader was second on the final restart and wasted no time sliding past teammate Clint Bowyer to grab the lead. Harvick held off Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon over the two-lap sprint to the finish.

It is Harvick’s second win of the season. The other was at Talladega in April.

Kahne was second, followed by Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton.

The start of the race was delayed almost 90 minutes by rain, and a 20-car accident with 12 laps to go stopped the action another 20 minutes.

 

RAIN DELAY: The start of the race was delayed 1 hour, 32 minutes by rain. The real delay? Drying the track.

The early evening showers didn’t last long, but it took considerable time for jet blowers to dry the 21/2-mile, high-banked speedway.

Delays like that happen all the time in auto racing, but if NASCAR Chairman Brian France has his way, they could be things of the past soon.

“People are coming to us with certain ways to dry asphalt faster and better,” France said Friday.

“That would be a welcomed technology advancement. So we’ll always try to do that. If inclement weather happens, it’s out of our control. But to get the track as dry as fast as we can if we can speed that up down the road with technology or anything else, gosh, we’ll be the first ones to do it.”

 

INDYCAR: Will Power won the pole at Watkins Glen International to lead a sweep of the top three spots by Team Penske, which extended its IndyCar Series record of consecutive poles to eight. It also was the fifth straight pole at Watkins Glen for Penske, which has yet to post a series win in five tries at the storied road course.

“I got the car the way I like it for qualifying,” Power said after capturing his fifth pole of the season. “It’s just three quick drivers, three good engineers, and a good group of people working together. We just have to make sure we convert it during the race.”

Power covered the 11-turn, 3.4-mile course in 1 minute, 29.3164 seconds at 135.832 mph and was followed by teammates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe.

“We’re really pumped,” said Castroneves, who barely missed his fourth pole at The Glen. “It’s just a matter of now, make it happen. We have three chances to win this race. Hopefully, one of us will be able to make it.”

Defending series champion Dario Franchitti was fourth, followed by rookie Takuma Sato, who earned his top qualifying spot of the season, and defending race winner Justin Wilson.

Danica Patrick, fresh from a one-week stint in NASCAR, struggled and will start 21st in the 25-car field for today’s Camping World Grand Prix. Adam Carroll, an up-and-coming driver from Northern Ireland, will start 10th in his series debut.

Canada’s Paul Tracy, whose qualifying gaffe cost him a starting spot in the Indy 500, will go off 12th in his first start of the season.

Qualifying on road and street courses is a three-step process. Initially, the drivers are split into two groups for 15-minute segments, with the top six in each group advancing to the next segment. The six fastest in that grouping of 12 then advance to a 10-minute shootout to decide the first three rows.

Castroneves topped the first group followed closely by Marco Andretti, Briscoe, Wilson, Carroll, and Mario Moraes. That relegated Andretti Autosport teammates Tony Kanaan and Patrick to starting spots deep in the field. Kanaan will go off 13th.

Franchitti won the second session, which started slowly. Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won at Watkins Glen two years ago, spun off course braking into turn eight during the first minutes of the session. That brought out a full-course caution, cost Hunter-Reay his two fastest laps, and he was unable to rebound. Dixon also missed making the final six, barely, finishing 0.09 seconds behind Sato for the final slot.

“It was a tough session,” said Dixon, who won the first three IndyCar Series races at Watkins Glen. “The car, speed-wise, should have been in the top six. I didn’t get it all together.”

If anybody was going to knock Power out of the top spot, it was Castroneves. But he slid wildly off course into the gravel pit alongside turn eight as the checkered flag was waving, ending his last chance.

“I wanted that pole position,” Castroneves said. “It was a shame. It would have been very close.”

 

BEECH RIDGE: Brad Babb won the 50 lap NASCAR Pro Series race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Babb took the lead on the final lap and edged Bill Whorff and Dan McKeage for the victory.

In other races, Russ Morse won the 35-lap Sport Series feature race and David Vaughn won for the third time this season in the Wildcat race. Tasha Dyer scored her first win leading all 20 laps of the Road Runner race.