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Harvick Gets His First Victory Of The Season

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 27 2013

Kevin Harvick gets the victory in Richmond. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Harold Hinson)


Kevin Harvick broke free shortly after the green/white/checkered restart and went on to win Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

The victory was the first of the season for Harvick.

Finishing second was Clint Bowyer of Michael Waltrip Racing while Joey Logano of Penske Racing was third.

Juan Pablo Montoya, who appeared to have the race won until a caution flag waved with four laps to go, finished fourth. Fifth was Jeff Burton.

Harvick won the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona and then his Budweiser Duel qualifying race in Speedweeks, but has been shut out since. The victory Saturday marked the first top-five finish by Harvick in 2013.

The win was the 20th of Harvick’s career.

Harvick restarted out of the top five on the green/white-checkered but all but one of the cars in front of him – Montoya’s – did not pit during the caution and were on old tires.

When the race went green for the final time, Harvick quickly maneuvered through the crowd and took the lead.  It was a lead that was never challenged.

“That was a heck of a first lap of the restart,” he said. “I thought that the outside line might have the advantage because it had a couple of guys with new tires in the second row, and lined up on the outside. But the two tires – these cars drive a lot off the left rear – and we only took two tires, and they didn’t get that great of restart but my car launched, and I was able to drive it in the first corner and hope for the best down there. I figured four, eight, 12…how many ever tires that were on the outside of me would be better than none. It all worked out, and here we are.”

Bowyer led 113 laps but didn’t have a car that could stay with Harvick at the end.

“We had a good car—we just didn’t have a great car,” Bowyer said. “It seemed like we were just too tight on the throttle. It would quite turn and come up off (the corner). It really got wild there at the end. I was just lucky enough to be on the bottom (for the final restart).

“They started making holes up there in front of me, and the seas parted, and I just followed suit behind Harvick. It was a good run.”

Post-race action grabbed attention away from Harvick’s victory celebration.

Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart whacked away at each other during the cool down lap and then swapped insults in the garages.  Stewart was fifth on the final restart but dropped to 18th at the finish after Busch rubbed him out of the racing groove during a two-lap free-for-all at the end of the race. Busch, who led 36 laps in the race, also was involved in bumping incidents with Matt Kenseth.

“There are cars sliding up with old tires,” Busch aid. “So, I don’t know what the No. 14 (Tony Stewart) was upset about. I got hit from behind. I got hit every which-way. So did he. (Matt) Kenseth moved us up out of the way at the end, so that’s why I was upset with him, but hey; everybody is a free-for-all. We got a top 10. But the biggest thing here is ten laps ago, this car didn’t have a scratch on it and now it’s destroyed.”

Richmond International Raceway

Richmond, Virginia

Saturday, April 27, 2013

1. (17) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 406

2. (5) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 406,

3. (7) Joey Logano, Ford, 406,

4. (6) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 406,

5. (16) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 406,

6. (28) Carl Edwards, Ford, 406,

7. (1) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 406,

8. (34) Aric Almirola, Ford, 406,

9. (14) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 406,

10. (19) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 406,

11. (3) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 406,

12. (26) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 406,

13. (29) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 406,

14. (24) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 406,

15. (15) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 406,

16. (12) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #, Ford, 406,

17. (9) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 406,

18. (21) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 406,

19. (32) Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 406,

20. (20) David Ragan, Ford, 406,

21. (4) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 406,

22. (22) David Reutimann, Toyota, 406,

23. (18) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 406,

24. (8) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 406,

25. (31) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 406,

26. (13) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 406,

27. (37) David Gilliland, Ford, 405,

28. (27) Josh Wise(i), Ford, 404,

29. (30) Danica Patrick #, Chevrolet, 402,

30. (40) Casey Mears, Ford, 402,

31. (25) David Stremme, Toyota, 402,

32. (39) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 401,

33. (23) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 398,

34. (42) Timmy Hill #, Ford, 397,

35. (2) Brian Vickers(i), Toyota, Accident, 392,

36. (33) Greg Biffle, Ford, 391,

37. (36) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 368,

38. (10) Mark Martin, Toyota, 349,

39. (41) Joe Nemechek(i), Toyota, Vibration, 245,

40. (43) Brian Keselowski, Toyota, Brakes, 186,

41. (35) Michael McDowell, Ford, Brakes, 121,

42. (11) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, Engine, 109,

43. (38) Mike Bliss(i), Toyota, Brakes, 17,

Average Speed of Race Winner: 92.141 mph.

Time of Race: 03 Hrs, 18 Mins, 17 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.343 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 11 for 75 laps.

Lead Changes: 10 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders: M. Kenseth 1-36; C. Bowyer 37-42; M. Kenseth 43-111; C. Bowyer 112-218; M. Kenseth 219-253; Kyle Busch 254-293; Kurt Busch 294-329; J. Montoya 330-396; K. Harvick 397; J. Burton 398-404; K. Harvick 405-406.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): M. Kenseth 3 times for 140 laps; C. Bowyer 2 times for 113 laps; J. Montoya 1 time for 67 laps; Kyle Busch 1 time for 40 laps; Kurt Busch 1 time for 36 laps; J. Burton 1 time for 7 laps; K. Harvick 2 times for 3 laps.

Top 12 in Points: J. Johnson – 343; C. Edwards – 300; K. Kahne – 297; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 297; C. Bowyer – 290; Brad Keselowski – 284; Kyle Busch – 278; G. Biffle – 272; K. Harvick – 271; P. Menard – 271; A. Almirola – 258; J. Mcmurray – 245.

(This story will be updated shortly)

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, April 27 2013
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