FONTANA, Calif. — NASCAR bad boy Kevin Harvick outdueled Bobby Labonte for a victory Saturday in the International Race of Champions Series event at California Speedway.
Harvick, invited to take part in the four-race all-star series as the 2001 Busch Series champion, earned his first IROC victory in only his second start.
Controversy has swirled around the 26-year-old Harvick, who also was last year's Winston Cup rookie of the year. NASCAR barred the hard-driving youngster from racing in the Cup event in Martinsville, Va., earlier this month after run-ins, both on and off the track, at other races.
Harvick, who remains on probation in NASCAR, was on his best behavior Saturday, leading all but four of the 50 laps on the 2-mile California oval and racing fellow stock-car driver Labonte to the finish.
"I don't have anything to prove," Harvick said. "I just want to be out there to race like I always do and try to win."