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2013 Richmond NASCAR: Harvick surges through to steal win

"Something broke in the engine," signed Keselowski of a fruitless hard night's work." I thought I had a tyre going down again and didn't ... Then whatever happened with the engine. It was just one of those deals and a long day but we kept finding a way to get back through all the adversity but there was nothing we could do about the last one.

"We got hit by a lot of freak deals tonight," he added. "I felt like we would have a top ten day at the worst. We were on the same strategy as Kevin and he won the race - it would have been a great battle!"

It looked like Montoya had been given the all-clear to bring the #42 to victory lane for the first time in 94 races; and then disaster struck as Brian Vickers went into the wall in turn 3 with six laps remaining. That would force the race into overtime - a two-lap green-white-chequered sprint to the finish - and moreover meant that everyone needed to make a call about whether to pit beforehand for fresh tyres.

Many considered it a no-brainer. They'd be sitting ducks on tyres with more than 60 laps on them to anyone on a fresh set, so a majority of cars streamed in to pit lane leaving only those with little to lose and possibly everything to gain to stay out: Jeff Burton, Jamie McMurray and AJ Allmendinger led the field round for climactic shootout, with Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya ready to pounce on fresh rubber.

Instead, all six got punk'd by the driver in seventh place. Kevin Harvick got an astonishing run and stormed past all of them, even his RCR team mate Burton, to take the lead by the time the leaders came round and took the white flag.

"That was a heck of a first lap of the restart," grinned the race winner. "I thought that the outside line might have the advantage because it had a couple of guys with new tyres in the second row, and lined up on the outside.

"It all worked out, and here we are," he added. "I just want to thank everybody. It's been a tough start to the season [even though] our cars have been really fast ... It was a great night."

He'd certainly laid to rest speculation that he and the team would be lame ducks in 2013, after the announcement that he is leaving RCR for Tony Stewart's team at the end of the year. "A lot of people thought we might lay down this year," said Harvick as he received a hug in victory lane from team owner Richard Childress. "There ain't no way with that game, is there?"

Everyone else was left scrambling for the leftover scraps, with Bowyer emerging in second place ahead of Joey Logano and the near-winner Montoya having to settle for a disappointing fourth place in the end ahead of Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards.

"We had a good car, we just didn't have a great car," admitted the runner-up, Clint Bowyer. "It really got wild there at the end, I was just lucky enough to be on the bottom. They started making holes up there in front of me and the seas parted, and I just followed suit behind Harvick."




Related Pictures

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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Bell Helicopter Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 27, 2013 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Dover White Chevrolet, and Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, spin in front of Jeff Gordon (#24) after an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 27, 2013 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Bell Helicopter Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 27, 2013 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #29 Bell Helicopter Chevrolet SS celebrates his win with a burnout at the Toyota Owners 400 Saturday, April 27, 2013 at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet SS, finishes in eighth place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident in front of Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota, and Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, as Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Hormel/Menards Toyota, drives away during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, and Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Hormel/Menards Toyota, race into turn one during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, March 27, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. Johnson is seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano (left), driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with Miss Coors Light Rachel Rupert after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Joey Logano (left), driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with Miss Coors Light Rachel Rupert after winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 27, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane with girlfriend Paige White after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, answers questions from media during a press conference before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. Vickers was forced to withdraw from competition due to blood clots. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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