Charlotte NASCAR: Kevin Harvick denies Kasey Kahne in gruelling race
|By Connell Sanders Jr||Monday, May 27th 2013, 03:47 GMT|
Kevin Harvick snatched Charlotte NASCAR Sprint Cup victory from Kasey Kahne at the end of a gruelling 600-mile race interrupted by two red flags.
Kahne had led 156 of the 400 laps and was as much as six seconds clear of the field at times in his Hendrick Chevrolet.
But he was wrong-footed by a caution for debris with 16 laps to go.
While Kahne stayed out, every other car on the lead lap pitted for at least two fresh tyres.
At the restart, Harvick's Childress Chevrolet got the jump on Kahne and pulled clear to win by a second and a half.
Kahne hung on for second, fending off Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano.
Third was a case of what might have been for Busch. He was leading when a violent tangle between Jeff Gordon, Aric Almirola, Mark Martin and Ricky Stenhouse Jr brought out the second red flag of the night.
Busch struggled to restart afterwards and had to pit for a new battery, rejoining at the tail of the lead lap pack.
His brother Kyle Busch suffered even worse luck.
The Joe Gibbs driver, Kahne and Matt Kenseth had taken turns to dominate in the opening half of the race.
Busch was at the centre of the bizarre first stoppage, when the cable for an overhead TV camera fell onto the track, damaging his and several other cars.
NASCAR stopped the race so that those affected could carry out repairs without losing position.
That kept Busch's patched-up car among the leaders, but it later suffered an engine failure.
Kenseth's chances faded when he was caught up in a late tangle involving Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya and Paul Menard.
There were several other big incidents in a race that took over five hours to complete.
Dale Earnhardt Jr's engine blew at the same moment as Busch's, dropping an oil slick that sent Greg Biffle, Travis Kvapil and Dave Blaney into the wall.
Champion Brad Keselowski tangled with Danica Patrick while they ran three-wide with Stenhouse.
That left Keselowski classified 36th, while Johnson was only 22nd, allowing 11th-placed finisher Carl Edwards to gain a little ground in the points.
Among those that stayed out of trouble, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart gave the struggling Stewart-Haas squad some encouragement with sixth and seventh.
Waltrip duo Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr were lead contenders at times before finishing eighth and ninth, ahead of Marcos Ambrose, another man whose car was struck by the camera cable.
Results - 400 laps Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 4h35m49.000s 2. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet + 1.490s 3. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet + 1.662s 4. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota + 2.065s 5. Joey Logano Penske Ford + 2.169s 6. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 3.394s 7. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 3.594s 8. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota + 4.404s 9. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota + 4.763s 10. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford + 5.498s 11. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford + 6.103s 12. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet + 6.630s 13. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet + 8.604s 14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford + 2 laps 15. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Toyota + 2 laps 16. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford + 3 laps 17. Regan Smith Phoenix Chevrolet + 3 laps 18. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 3 laps 19. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 4 laps 20. David Gilliland Front Row Ford + 4 laps 21. David Reutimann BK Toyota + 4 laps 22. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet + 5 laps 23. Casey Mears Germain Ford + 6 laps 24. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota + 6 laps 25. David Ragan Front Row Ford + 6 laps 26. Josh Wise Front Row Ford + 7 laps 27. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford + 9 laps 28. JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet + 10 laps 29. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 15 laps Retirements: Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet 339 laps Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 335 laps David Stremme Swan Toyota 326 laps Aric Almirola Petty Ford 324 laps Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota 324 laps Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet 324 laps Brad Keselowski Penske Ford 317 laps Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet 303 laps Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 257 laps Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet 256 laps Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 253 laps Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 213 laps Michael McDowell Parsons Ford 50 laps Scott Speed Leavine Ford 39 laps