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2013 Richmond NASCAR: Harvick surges through to steal win

"P***ed off," replied Montoya when asked how he was feeling. "We made the right calls when we pitted and when we stayed out and everything, but we got that caution at the end and it was a no-brainer to take tyres. I think what hurt us is we restarted on the outside and when you restart on the outside and people got really bad tires, everything packs up. And when you're on the outside, you can't; where are you going to jump?"

As for Burton, he explained his decision to stay out under that final yellow despite knowing full well that he's pay for it at the restart: "We were seventh there," he said. "The caution came out and what the heck, we might as well try something. ... Obviously new tyres a lot better, but [it was] worth a shot. We were going to maybe finish sixth without the caution so to pick up a spot from it was worth a shot."

Longtime leader Matt Kenseth completed the race in seventh place just in front of Aric Almirola. "It was up and down," said Kenseth of his evening. "In the beginning of the race, we were real strong and in the middle of the race we probably had a fifth to sixth-place car or something like that."

He added it had been a wild finish: "Just two laps, everybody is going to go for it and go for every hole they've got," he said. "If I could have drawn the inside line instead of the outside line then maybe I could have ran second. Just starting on the top you knew they were going to be three and four-wide and it was just tough."

As Harvick performed his celebratory burnouts, the fireworks were going off elsewhere: Tony Stewart was taking serious exception to being nudged wide from behind by Kurt Busch in the final stages of the race, a move that dropped him from fifth place all the way to 18th at the flag. He expressed his displeasure by repeatedly muscling the #78 in the side as the two headed back to pit road.

"It's a free-for-all at the end," said Busch. "There is rubber build-up in the outside groove. There are cars sliding up with old tyres. So, I don't know what the #14 was upset about. I got hit from behind, I got hit every which-way. So did he."

It wasn't just Stewart upset with him: Busch, who finally finished in ninth place, likely won't be the most popular man in the NASCAR paddock as he'd tried similar hard-nosed tricks on a number of other drivers during the closing laps.

"That last restart, just being on the outside and the #78 drove up through there and knocked my whole side off and put me in the marbles," grumbled Kenseth.

"I'll remember if we get in that position again what I'll do to Kurt," fumed Truex, recalling being spun out of the front at an earlier restart. "Just destroyed the back of the car."

Behind Busch there was a threesome of Hendrick Motorsports drivers: a newly-beardless Dale Earnhardt Jr. captured the final top ten place, with Jeff Gordon in 11th and Jimmie Johnson nursing the damaged #48 home in 12th, a solid result in the circumstances that means his lead in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship standings is now 43pts over Carl Edwards




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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)
Brian Scott. (Picture Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/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, 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)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, 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/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)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after 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)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, lead the field on the first lap of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Crest Chevrolet, during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

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