Harvick Wins Event Packed Bristol Race

Kevin Harvick stormed to an impressive victory in a drama filled Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway, keeping his head while chaos, and fourteen cautions periods, reigned all around him

Harvick Wins Event Packed Bristol Race

Elliott Sadler led the field off from the green flag, but it took just one lap for the first yellow flag to make an appearance as three drivers came together. Sadler held the lead for the first 35 laps at the half mile oval despite two caution periods before Rusty Wallace ran high and claimed the lead.

The leading drivers all came in on lap 71 for a pit stop after the fourth yellow was shown for a heavy crash involving Mike Bliss and Kyle Busch. When the race went green Michael Waltrip led from Kevin Harvick, neither having stopped with the leaders, and Wallace emerged in tenth.

Harvick ran Waltrip close, eventually taking the lead on lap 92 as Wallace fought his way back up the order, eventually reclaiming the lead ten laps later and pulling away from the pack.

Wallace was driving beautifully, with the race entirely under his control and, when the leaders pitted on lap 139 after yet another yellow flag, a quick 13.8 second stop meant he comfortably held onto his lead when the race went green again.

Unfortunately for Wallace he was bumped by Jeff Gordon, who had lost two laps with an unscheduled stop, as he tried to get a lap back, which allowed Harvick to run through just before Ryan Newman found the wall and slowed the grid once more.

Wallace stayed with Harvick, finally reclaiming the lead on lap 177 until lapping with most of the leaders ten laps later under a debris caution. Gordon stayed out to take the opportunity to pull back onto the lead lap, while Terry Labonte also stayed out to claim the lead.

It wasn't to last - Wallace once again took the lead on lap 199, taking Kenseth, who had moved up in the pitstop, with him. Wallace pulled more than a second away and was looking serene until catching traffic around lap 255, bringing him back into the clutches of Kenseth, who saw his chance and took it ten laps later.

The pair ran together for the next thirty laps before disaster struck Wallace - he cut a tyre and lost a lap with an unscheduled stop.

The leaders were all in on lap 302 after Jeff Green hit the wall - the order coming out of the pits was Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Harvick and Jimmie Johnson, with Biffle getting the better start as the race went green, becoming the seventh race leader of the day.

The red flag was brought out on lap 333 after a huge crash involving twelve drivers, including Wallace, Labonte, Waltrip, Gordon and Kurt Busch, to allow the track crew to clear debris. Biffle led from Harvick when the race finally restarted, with only twelve drivers on the lead lap.

The race ran yellow once more after Jeff Burton, who was tapped into a spin on lap 362 by Jimmie Johnson, was caught flush by Kurt Busch, putting both drivers out on the spot. Gordon claimed the lead by staying out once more as the leaders pitted, with the top four now Gordon, Biffle, Harvick and Johnson as the race ran green.

Biffle reclaimed the lead on lap 397, towing Johnson with him, but in just eight laps he pulled clear by a full two seconds, who stayed out as the remaining lead lap cars pitted under yellow on lap 415. Harvick won the pitlane battle, returning to the track in second.

Waltrip and Johnson came together as the race went green, with the former returning to the pits with a cut tyre and the latter staying out with damage. The race stayed green for another six laps before the final yellow off the day was shown for debris from the contretemps.

The green came out again on lap 432, with Biffle leading but Harvick claiming the top spot two corners later after a storming restart. Biffle clearly made a mistake not stopping - he started falling backwards, losing to a resurgent Sadler and Kenseth as the laps rolled down.

Harvick didn't look back, pulling further away on every lap - he was two seconds to the good with fifty to go, and with the race staying green after fourteen yellows he just kept going.

Kenseth had a heartbreaking pit stop with eight to go after cutting his right rear, and Gordon was in unexpectedly one lap before that - the pair were thrown three and two laps down respectively.

But up at the front Harvick claimed an easy win, finishing four seconds ahead of Elliott Sadler with Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr, who had both been quiet throughout the race, finishing a few seconds behind the pole man.

Harvick was one of nine race leaders, claiming 109 laps in the lead on the way to a powerful win, but ultimately made the win look easy despite running with the pack for 450 of the 500 laps of the race.

Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway

Pos  Driver             Make       Laps
1. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 500 2. Elliott Sadler Ford 500 3. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 500 4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 500 5. Dale Jarrett Ford 500 6. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 500 7. Travis Kvapil Dodge 500 8. Kyle Petty Dodge 500 9. Greg Biffle Ford 500 10. Scott Riggs Chevrolet 500 11. Sterling Marlin Dodge 499 12. Brian Vickers Chevrolet 498 13. Rusty Wallace Dodge 498 14. Kasey Kahne Dodge 498 15. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 498 16. Matt Kenseth Ford 497 17. Jeremy Mayfield Dodge 497 18. Terry Labonte Chevrolet 496 19. Michael Waltrip Chevrolet 496 20. Dave Blaney Chevrolet 495 21. Jimmy Spencer Dodge 492 22. Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 468 23. Ken Schrader Dodge 467 24. Jamie McMurray Dodge 456 25. Ricky Rudd Ford 452 26. Carl Edwards Ford 447 27. Scott Wimmer Dodge 437 28. Kyle Busch Chevrolet 428 29. Jeff Green Dodge 427 30. Ryan Newman Dodge 418 31. Mark Martin Ford 406 32. Hermie Sadler Ford 395 33. Joe Nemechek Chevrolet 393 34. Mike Wallace Chevrolet 379 35. Kurt Busch Ford 360 36. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 358 37. Mike Bliss Chevrolet 351 38. Jason Leffler Chevrolet 342 39. Bobby Hamilton Jr. Chevrolet 330 40. Shane Hmiel Chevrolet 305 41. Stanton Barrett Chevrolet 83 42. Carl Long Chevrolet 37 43. Casey Mears Dodge 20

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