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Harvick wins Bud shootout

For the second season in a row, Kevin Harvick wins NASCAR's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona
A bout with the flu and a lack of practice time didn't seem to bother Kevin Harvick, who won Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway for the second straight year.

In a green-white-chequered-flag finish, Harvick took the lead on lap 75 and earned the win when caution froze the field after a push from Jeff Gordon's Chevrolet spun Greg Biffle's Ford in turn three and ignited a multicar wreck that trashed the car of polesitter Carl Edwards, among others.

"I was sick on Thursday and didn't even get to see a lap in the car, but this thing was a rocket, man," said Harvick, the fourth back-to-back winner in Shootout history.

Kasey Kahne came home second in the non-points NASCAR Sprint Cup event, followed by Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin. Gordon, Joey Logano, Brian Vickers, Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya completed the top ten, as the race ended under caution one lap beyond the scheduled 75 laps.

A lap 70 wreck sent Michael Waltrip's Toyota spinning hard into the backstretch wall after contact from Ryan Newman and brought out the fourth caution of the race. Biffle and Kahne remained on the track to take the top two positions, as the rest of the lead-lap cars came to pit road for tires.

McMurray was first off pit road after a two-tire stop and restarted third on lap 75, followed by Harvick, Kyle Busch and Gordon. After the restart, Harvick quickly surged into the lead past the two cars on older tyres.

The early stages of the race saw minimal change at the front of the field. McMurray wrested the top spot from Edwards on lap 30 - the first lead change of the race - but Edwards, who led 42 of the first 43 laps, regained the point on the following circuit. On lap 32, contact from Mark Martin's Chevy sent Kurt Busch sliding through the infield grass and into the outside wall near the pit road exit.

Busch had wrecked his primary Shootout car in Thursday's practice and went to a backup car for Saturday's race.

"I'm making more laps in the ambulance than I am on the track," Busch said wryly after leaving the infield care centre.

Polesitter Carl Edwards led wire-to-wire in the first 25-lap segment of the race. The segment ran caution-free until lap 25, when Michael Waltrip spun his #51 Toyota off turn 2. During a ten-minute break between segments, crews had the opportunity to work on the handling of their cars.

"That's the most I've ever led at a speedway," Edwards said during the intermission. "I'm having fun with it."

Indeed. In the first segment alone, Edwards more than doubled his combined 12 laps led in three previous Shootout appearances. But the fun didn't last, as Edwards was shuffled back after losing the lead to Stewart on lap 44. He finished 17th in the 24-driver field.

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News



Related Pictures

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Kevin Harvick wins the Budweiser Shootout [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS, captures the pole position Friday, March 18, 2016 for a front row start in Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Dillon will be joined on the front row with Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS who qualified second. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS, with team owner and grandfather Richard Childress after capturing the pole position Friday, March 18, 2016 for a front row start in Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Dillon will be joined on the front row with Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS who qualified second. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS, captures the pole position Friday, March 18, 2016 for a front row start in Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Dillon will be joined on the front row with Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS who qualified second. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his eighth Phoenix win with his crew Sunday, March 13, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. He won by a hundredth of a second, closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup History. This was Harvick`s 500th consecutive series start, a feat accomplished only by 14 others throughout the history of NASCAR.  (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to his eighth Phoenix win with Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevrolet SS who finished in sixth place Sunday, March 13, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Harvick won by a hundredth of a second, closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup History. This was his 500th consecutive series start, a feat accomplished only by 14 others throughout the history of NASCAR. (Photo by Andrew Coppley for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag for his eighth Phoenix win Sunday, March 13, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. He won by a hundredth of a second, closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup History. This was Harvick`s 500th consecutive series start, a feat accomplished only by 14 others throughout the history of NASCAR. (Photo by Andrew Coppley for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his eighth Phoenix win Sunday, March 13, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. He won by a hundredth of a second, closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup History. This was Harvick`s 500th consecutive series start, a feat accomplished only by 14 others throughout the history of NASCAR. (Photo by Gregg Ellman for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy / Haas Automation Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, beats Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, to the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, poses with the winner`s decal on his car in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads Kevin Harvick (driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet) during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 12, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place, Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Energy & Water/Intellifresh Chevrolet SS finishes in fifth place Sunday, March 6, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)

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