Kevin Harvick plowed through traffic on the final restart, driving from seventh place to victory lane in a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia.
RICHMOND, Va. — Kevin Harvick plowed through traffic on the final restart, driving from seventh place to victory lane in a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish in the Toyota Owners 400 Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.
“Just shifted gears, hit the pedal and hoped for the best,” Harvick said. “They all went high and I went low. The seas kind of parted there. They didn’t get a very good restart, and my car launched.
“I was able to take it three wide, those guys all drove it in hard, and I was able to get by the next two. I only had one to go by the time I got to the backstretch.”
It was Harvick’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory of the season and the 20th of his career.
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“That was vintage Kevin Harvick right there,” crew chief Gil Martin said.
Juan Pablo Montoya was trying to hold off Harvick for his first victory since 2010 when the caution came out with four laps remaining.
“I was like, ‘Really? Really?’ ” Montoya said of the caution. He pounded his fist on the steering wheel when the yellow flag waved.
Montoya left the decision to pit or stay out to crew chief Chris Heroy, who tried to calm the driver and convince him he could still win the race. He brought Montoya down pit road, a decision most of the field followed as everyone traded track position for tires.
Both Montoya and Harvick took four tires, which put them sixth and seventh for the final restart.
Harvick teammate Jeff Burton was the leader after Burton, Jamie McMurray and AJ Allmendinger stayed on the track.
When the race resumed, the first three cars on old tires couldn’t hold off traffic and it created mayhem through the field. Harvick rocketed his way through the pack, dragging Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano with him.
Bowyer wound up second, Logano was third and Montoya had to settle for fourth.
Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw was 21st and Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., was 36th of 43.
Kahne dropped one spot to third in the season standings, 46 points behind Jimmie Johnson and three behind Carl Edwards.
Tony Stewart restarted in fifth, but was bumped out of the way by Kurt Busch and faded to 18th. Stewart angrily traded bumps with Busch on the cooldown lap, even trying to force him into the wall, before the two drivers headed to the garage. Once back at their haulers, Stewart and Busch shouted at each other over crew members, with Busch claiming the final two laps “were a free-for-all.”
• A parts review by Toyota after Matt Kenseth‘s penalty from NASCAR last week led the manufacturer to pull three engines from Michael Waltrip Racing’s inventory as a precautionary move.
All three engines recalled were earmarked for Bowyer. One was his engine for Saturday night’s race and the two others were his primary and backup engines for Talladega in Alabama.