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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



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Kevin Harvick wins the Budweiser Shootout [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick finishes as the runner-up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for thirteenth position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick will be joined by Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eleventh position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Truex, Jr. will be joined by Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, November 20, 2015 for Sunday`s Championship 4, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon will be joined by Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Sunday will be Gordon`s last race as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, advances to the Championship 4 with his fourteenth place finish Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the final round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Truex, Jr. is joined with Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Pepsi Chevrolet SS, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS to the Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida next Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Pepsi Chevrolet SS, advances to the Championship 4 with his sixth place finish Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the final round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway (renamed Jeff Gordon Raceway for the day to honor the four-time champion) in Avondale, Arizona. Gordon is joined with Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS  and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS to the Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida next Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, November 15, 2015 in the final round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS advances to the Champion 4 with his second place finish. Harvick is joined with Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Pepsi Chevrolet SS to the Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida next Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field onto pit road due to rain during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 15, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chase contender Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position Friday, November 13, 2015 for Sunday`s final round of the Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, wins his second 2015 Texas victory Sunday, November 8, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion delivered another Chevrolet SS milestone with it`s 50th win today at Texas Motor Speedway in 106 starts. Johnson delivered the 6th Gen race car`s first win in it`s 2013 Daytona 500 debut. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet SS finished in third place and Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS finished in seventh place.  The second round of the Eliminator 8 continues next week at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his second 2015 Texas victory with a burnout Sunday, November 8, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion delivered another Chevrolet SS milestone with it`s 50th win today at Texas Motor Speedway in 106 starts. Johnson delivered the 6th Gen race car`s first win in it`s 2013 Daytona 500 debut. The second round of the Eliminator 8 continues next week at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, races to his second 2015 Texas victory Sunday, November 8, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion delivered another Chevrolet SS milestone with it`s 50th win today at Texas Motor Speedway in 106 starts. Johnson delivered the 6th Gen race car`s first win in it`s 2013 Daytona 500 debut. The second round of the Eliminator 8 continues next week at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, celebrates his second 2015 Texas victory Sunday, November 8, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion delivered another Chevrolet SS milestone with it`s 50th win today at Texas Motor Speedway in 106 starts. Johnson delivered the 6th Gen race car`s first win in its 2013 Daytona 500 début. The second round of the Eliminator 8 continues next week at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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