Kevin “Happy” Harvick beat all odds at Richmond International Raceway Saturday night. On a green-white-checkered restart, Harvick went from seventh place to Victory lane after winning the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup race.
Harvick celebrated his first Sprint Cup win of the 2013 season, while many of those contending for the win spent the cool down lap trading paint with each other in frustration. Clint Bowyer finished second, Joey Logano was third and Juan Pablo Montoya was fourth.
Montoya appeared to be the one heading to victory lane with his first oval track win, as he held a comfortable lead over Harvick with only 4 laps remaining in the 400 lap race. Unfortunately, when Brian Vickers wrecked it set the stage for Harvick’s unbelievable finish.
Harvick took on four new tires with his last pit stop, while others had taken only two. “They didn’t get a very good restart and my car just kind of launched”, said Harvick in Victory Lane. It marked the 20th career win for Harvick.
Now, from short track to the longest and wildest of tracks…. the teams head to Talledega next week.
Sprint Cup standings (with points behind leader) after 9 of 36 races: 1. J. Johnson 2. C. Edwards (-43) 3. K. Kahne (-46) 4. Dale Jr. (-46) 5. C. Bowyer (-53) 6. B. Keselowski (-59) 7. Ky. Busch (-65) 8. G. Biffle (-71) 9. K. Harvick (-72) 10. P. Menard (-72).
In Friday night’s Toyota Care 250 Nationwide Series race, Brad Keselowski returned to Victory Lane. With only 10 laps remaining, Keselowski got the jump on Kyle Busch with the restart and then held off Kevin Harvick for the win.
“I had fun and Kyle raced me well and so did Kevin. I think this is what racing is supposed to be, like - side-by-side racing.”
Busch finished third, Brian Vickers was fourth and Regan smith was fifth. Series points leader Sam Hornish, Jr. finished seventh and retained a one-point lead over Smith.
Nationwide Series standings (after 7 of 33 races) with points behind leader: 1. S. Hornish Jr. 2. R. Smith (-1) 3. B. Scott (-23) 4. J. allgaier (-34) 5. E. Sadler (-35) 6. B. Vickers (-37) 7. A. Dillon (-37) 8. P. Kligerman (-40) 9. T. Bayne (-46) 10. K. Larson (-55).
For more images from the weekend racing at Richmond International Raceway visit: www.NorthBeachPhotos.smugmug.com.