Harvick wins Bud Shootout at Daytona
|By Diego Mejia||Sunday, February 7th 2010, 03:34 GMT|
Kevin Harvick gave Richard Childress Racing its first victory for twelve months by winning the Budweiser Shootout for the second year in a row.
The Richard Childress Racing driver was at the front of the field when a caution came out with less than two laps remaining of the 75 scheduled, as a multi-car wreck unfolded behind him when Greg Biffle got tapped from behind by Jeff Gordon.
Harvick was ill on Thursday and chose to skip practice, but recovered to get back behind the wheel on race day and claim his second win at Daytona since his last points-paying victory, in the 2007 season-opener.
The 34-year-old raced his back-up car to victory after his primary machine got wrecked while driven by teammate Clint Bowyer during the practice he missed earlier this week.
"We were able to get the best restart we had all night and push [Biffle] out there and were able to just carry that momentum in to Turn 1," said Harvick after winning his first race alongside crew chief Gil Martin.
"I kind of dragged the brake a little bit to let [Kasey Kahne] get right up behind us to stay side-by-side with [Biffle] so that we didn't get any three-wide or anybody else involved in the mix. We were able to get a good push down the back. I don't know what happened after that."
Biffle and Kahne stayed on the track when the leaders pitted for the last time with just a handful of laps remaining, hoping to benefit from their improved track position, as only one attempt would be given at a green-white-chequered finish.
Harvick was among a number of drivers who took on two new tyres and he made the most of the fresh right-side Goodyears on the short sprint before the caution came out for the final time.
The first 25-lap segment of the event was led from flag-to-flag by polesitter Carl Edwards, who was only briefly challenged by Tony Stewart before the caution for a spinning Michael Waltrip came out to mark the end of the race's first segment.
Following a ten-minute break where teams pitted for tyres, fuel and adjustments, the race started to move at the front, with Jamie McMurray leading his first lap on his return to Chip Ganassi's team, just before Edwards got back in front again.
Stewart and Biffle also took turns in the lead, with Edwards eventually shuffled back and then almost spun while being followed by Juan Pablo Montoya. Later he avoided an incident with Jimmie Johnson while battling for position in the middle of the pack.
Daytona 500 polesitter Mark Martin got into Kurt Busch, causing the former Cup champion to have his second wreck at Daytona in three days, having crashed during practice on Thursday. Both were competing in their back-up cars, as Martin had also been involved in a practice crash.
Kahne, McMurray, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five at the finish.
Pos Driver Car Laps 1. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 76 2. Kasey Kahne Ford 76 3. Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 76 4. Kyle Busch Toyota 76 5. Denny Hamlin Toyota 76 6. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 76 7. Joey Logano Toyota 76 8. Brian Vickers Toyota 76 9. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 76 10. Juan Montoya Chevrolet 76 11. Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 76 12. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 76 13. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 76 14. Ken Schrader Toyota 76 15. Greg Biffle Ford 74 16. Matt Kenseth Ford 74 17. Carl Edwards Ford 74 18. Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 74 19. Ryan Newman Chevrolet 74 20. Mark Martin Chevrolet 74 21. Michael Waltrip Toyota 69 22. John Andretti Ford 69 23. Kurt Busch Dodge 32 24. Derrike Cope Dodge 15