Kevin Harvick burns it down after winning the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond
By: Billy Tewes
Kevin Harvick stole the show at Richmond to win his first race of the 2013 season. Ironically the Toyota Owners 400 would be won by a Chevrolet! Harvick was nowhere to be found until the last stretch of the race where he ran down race leader Juan Pablo Montoya who was trying to end a 94 race winless streak. Harvick led all of three laps en route to victory lane.
Harvick ended up benefitting from the drivers that took older tires. The drivers that pitted got bottled up behind the three drivers that stayed out and Harvick slipped by those three to win. Harvick bumped himself up into the top 10 in the points standings with his win.
Matt Kenseth led the most laps last night with 140, followed by Clint Bowyer who would finish 2nd and lead 113 laps. Juan Pablo Montoya who led late until the final caution led 67 and the only other significant lap leader was Kurt Busch with 36.
The race got really interesting when the #11 car of Brian Vickers slapped the wall to setup a green white checkered finish. What absolutely blew me away with this race is that more drivers did not stay out on the final restart to gain track position. Three drivers with older tires stayed out and after the leaders pit, these drivers had tires that were 60 laps older than the leaders. Track position is so important with only two laps to go and the decision on the parts of the crew chiefs to bring their drivers to pit road could have destroyed their chances at winning and that ended up happening to Juan Pablo Montoya.
Juan Pablo Montoya was in the lead and came out 6th after the stop. He would end up finishing 4th but the caution at the end essentially ruined his night. This race really hurts for him because he was trying to end a 94 race winless streak and get his first win on an oval.
Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch got into after the race and Kurt Busch was also upset with Matt Kenseth. Kurt Busch got into Tony Stewart and nearly wrecked Stewart. Stewart then fell back and finished 18th. After that Kenseth bumped Kurt Busch out of the groove coming to the checkered flag and finished 7th and Busch finished 9th. Busch then rammed Kenseth in the back bumper. Kurt Busch has had a history of run-ins with drivers and easily loses his temper so it was no surprise to see him go crazy last night!
Make sure to tune in next week as the drama continues at the Talladega Superspeedway. The track is notorious for “the big one” where multiple cars wreck at dangerously high speeds. Im going to go out on a limb here and say that Jeff Gordon is going to steal the show with a last lap pass. Adios Nascar fans and I’ll have more insight going into the race weekend!
The fall finish at Talladega last year!!