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Harvick Wins Again

Second consecutive July race won by the polesitter
Kevin Harvick started up front and finished up front in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, but what happened in between was a maelstrom of frenetic racing after a series of late-race accidents.
Streaking into the lead on the first lap of a green-white-checkered-finish, Harvick held off Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the rain-delayed Cup Series race.
With more than half the field eliminated or hobbled by a series of spectacular accidents, Harvick crossed the finish line a car-length ahead of Kahne and solidified his hold on the top spot in the Cup standings.
Jeff Burton ran fifth, followed by Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, Reed Sorenson, Mike Bliss and Scott Speed.
The victory was Harvick's second of the season and the 13th of his career. Gordon moved to second in the standings, 212 points behind Harvick. Earnhardt's fourth-place result put him back inside the top 12 with eight races left before the Chase field is set Sept. 11 at Richmond.
Contact from Sam Hornish Jr. sent teammate Kurt Busch into the Turn 4 wall on Lap 159 to set up the two-lap dash to the finish.
Even with his sizable points lead, Harvick wasn't ready to say he should be favored to dethrone four-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson.
"I think until somebody beats him -- until we get to Homestead [the season finale] and that happens, he's still the guy to beat," Harvick said. "For us, we've got to keep working hard. We're in a fortunate position with the start to our season, and we've got to keep working on our cars and trying to make things better, and hopefully, when the stress starts with 10 weeks to go, we'll be as ready as we've ever been."
NASCAR red-flagged the race for more than 20 minutes with 12 laps remaining after a colossal 20-car chain-reaction collision in Turn 3 strewed debris all over the race track. Mark Martin's Chevrolet sustained the most spectacular damage, with the driver of the No. 5 bringing his flaming car to pit road before members of Jimmie Johnson's crew helped him escape from the car.
Among those whose winning chances were destroyed in the wreck were Johnson, Tony Stewart, Juan Montoya, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman.


Tagged as: chase , Daytona , cup , Kevin Harvick

Related Pictures

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Harvick in Winners Circle at Daytona in July
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Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS finished in 5th position and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS finished in 12th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Newman, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Kahne, who was also in the Chase, did not advance. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finished in 26th position and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS finished in 13th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Gordon, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS finished in 9th position Sunday, October 19, 2014 in the final Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. Harvick, who was in the Chase, advances to the Eliminator 8 phase of the Chase which begins next week at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, are involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna Chevrolet, spin out into the grass during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The crew of Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Crew members work on the Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, in the garage area during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, leads the field near the end of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, races Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates with an American flag after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Terry Labonte. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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