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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)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Redd`s Wicked Apple Ale Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning 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, takes the chequered flag to win 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)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, talks with the media following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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)
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)
Kyle Busch. August 20 2014. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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