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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)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Both Johnson and Harvick are in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Belkin/Wemo Chevrolet SS finished in fourth place and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished in 2nd place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished in 26th place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Gordon is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, loses control of the car after making contact with Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, drives with damage to his car after crashing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS qualified for sixth position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS qualified for third position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates setting the pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, speaks at a press conference following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, smiles at Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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