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Kevin Harvick dominates overtime in Richmond on way to first win

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Sunday, Apr. 28, 2013

Well, at least one man was Happy.

Kevin “Happy” Harvick used an incredible run to go from seventh to first in a two-lap overtime to win Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

“The seas kind of parted there and I didn’t know how those other guys were going to take off on two (new) tires, since their left-side tires were so worn out. They didn’t get a very good restart and my car just kind of launched,” said Harvick, who earned his 20th career victory.

“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.”

Harvick, who took four new tires on the final pit stop, restarted seventh with only the two-lap overtime remaining. His Richard Childress Racing teammate, Jeff Burton, restarted out front but was on old tires. Burton faded to fifth.

While Harvick was celebrating his first Sprint Cup Series victory of the 2013 season, many of those contending for the win spent the cool-down lap wrecking each other out of frustration.

Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch traded paint, then Busch and Tony Stewart exchanged several hits on the track before driving to pit road.

Clint Bowyer finished second, Joey Logano was third and Juan Pablo Montoya was fourth.

Jimmie Johnson finished 12th and continues to lead the series points standings.

Montoya appeared in position for his first win on an oval track, holding a comfortable lead over Harvick when Brian Vickers’ wreck brought out a caution on Lap 396 of the scheduled 400 laps.

There was no question Toyota took early command.

Kenseth, the pole winner, led the race’s first 36 laps, and he and fellow Toyota driver Bowyer combined to lead the first 200 laps of the race.

Reigning series champion Brad Keselowski hit the wall in Turn 1 on Lap 158 to bring out the race’s fourth caution. Keselowski’s team made several quick repairs on pit road and got him back out on the track.

Bowyer led the way on the restart on Lap 168.

Greg Biffle brought out another caution on Lap 233. Following a round of pit stops, Kenseth restarted in the lead on Lap 239, followed by Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch.

Kyle Busch finally ran down Kenseth for the lead on Lap 254.

Travis Kvapil spun and brought out a caution on Lap 293. All of the lead lap cars pit for fuel and tires with Kurt Busch coming off pit road first and taking the lead on the restart on Lap 299.

Kvapil again brought out a caution on Lap 309. This time, four cars elected not to pit and Kurt Busch remained in the lead on the restart on Lap 321 followed by Carl Edwards, Kenseth and Ryan Newman.

During the caution, NASCAR penalized Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers for commitment line violations but before the race restart, it reviewed video and rescinded the penalty on Busch. He was returned to sixth place.

That turned out not to be much help. Seven laps later, Stewart spun and collected Johnson and Kyle Busch in a wreck on Lap 328. Six cars elected not to pit and Montoya was in the lead on the restart on lap 334.

Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin wrecked on Lap 339, which also collected Vickers and Johnson. On the restart on Lap 344, Montoya continued to lead the way.

Kurt Busch got into Martin Truex Jr. on Lap 345 to bring out the 10th caution of the race. On the restart on Lap 350, Montoya continued to lead followed by Kurt Busch and Kenseth.

With 35 laps left, Montoya continued to lead, followed by Kurt Busch. Harvick had moved into third.

With 18 laps remaining, Harvick moved into second behind Montoya.

Toyota Owners 400

Saturday

At Richmond International Raceway

Lap length: .75 miles

FinStDriverCarLaps*Pts
117Kevin HarvickChevy40647
25Clint BowyerToyota40643
37Joey LoganoFord40641
46JP MontoyaChevy40641
516Jeff BurtonChevy40640
628Carl EdwardsFord40638
71Matt KensethToyota40639
834Aric AlmirolaFord40636
914Kurt BuschChevy40636
1019D. Earnhardt Jr.Chevy40634
113Jeff GordonChevy40633
1226Jimmie JohnsonChevy40632
1329Paul MenardChevy40631
1424A J AllmndngrChevy40630
1515Ryan NewmanChevy40629
1612R. Stenhouse Jr.Ford40628
179Martin Truex Jr.Toyota40627
1821Tony StewartChevy40626
1932Bobby LabonteToyota40625
2020David RaganFord40624
214Kasey KahneChevy40623
2222D. ReutimannToyota40622
2318Dave BlaneyChevy40621
248Kyle BuschToyota40621
2531Landon CassillChevy40619
2613J. McMurrayChevy40618
2737David GillilandFord40517
2827Josh WiseFord4040
2930Danica PatrickChevy40215
3040Casey MearsFord40214
3125David StremmeToyota40213
3239J.J. YeleyChevy40112
3323Brad KeselowskiFord39811
3442Timmy HillFord39710
352Brian VickersToyota39210
3633Greg BiffleFord3918
3736Travis KvapilToyota3687
3810Mark MartinToyota3496
3941Joe NemechekToyota24520
4043B. KeselowskiToyota18634
4135M. McDowellFord12133
4211M. AmbroseFord10942
4338Mike BlissToyota1730

Race Statistics: Average Speed of Race Winner: 92.141 mph. Time of Race: 3 hours, 18 minutes, 17 seconds. Margin of Victory: 0.343 seconds. Caution Flags: 11 for 75 laps. Lead Changes: 10 among 7 drivers. Lap Leaders: M.Kenseth 1-36; C.Bowyer 37-42; M.Kenseth 43-111; C.Bowyer 112-218; M.Kenseth 219-253; Ky.Busch 254-293; Ku.Busch 294-329; J.Montoya 330-396; K.Harvick 397; J.Burton 398-404; K.Harvick 405-406. Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): M.Kenseth, 3 times for 140 laps; C.Bowyer, 2 times for 113 laps; J.Montoya, 1 time for 67 laps; Ky.Busch, 1 time for 40 laps; Ku.Busch, 1 time for 36 laps; J.Burton, 1 time for 7 laps; K.Harvick, 2 times for 3 laps. Top 12 in Points: 1. J.Johnson, 343; 2. C.Edwards, 300; 3. K.Kahne, 297; 4. D.Earnhardt Jr., 297; 5. C.Bowyer, 290; 6. Bra.Keselowski, 284; 7. Ky.Busch, 278; 8. G.Biffle, 272; 9. K.Harvick, 271; 10. P.Menard, 271; 11. A.Almirola, 258; 12. J.McMurray, 245.

Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter
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