Harvick fights back for Kansas win

Harvick fights back for Kansas win

Cup Series

Harvick fights back for Kansas win

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Kevin Harvick brought himself back into contention for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup title with a dominant win at Kansas Speedway.

The Richard Childress Racing driver had started from pole and led over half the race thanks to long stints up front at the beginning and end. In between, he was on a recovery mission, having plunged down the order when he pitted under green just before a debris yellow in the early stages.

Going off-sequence on strategy mid-race brought Harvick back into the lead group, where he proved to have the quickest package.

The race featured a track-record 15 cautions, but in a longer green-flag run to the finish, Harvick was able to pull out a two-second lead over second and third-placed finishers Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon.

Busch had come through from the rear of the field after crashing his Furniture Row Chevrolet in practice and requiring a switch to his back-up car. Gordon fell foul of the same mid-pit-sequence caution as Harvick in the first part of the race, before recovering to lead the Hendrick group in third.

Joey Logano also had a spell up front before finishing fourth for Penske, whereas Carl Edwards was never a contender but ultimately picked his way through to fifth.

Edwards regained that place on the last lap when title contender Jimmie Johnson suddenly lost power. He was able to limp home losing only one place and is now just three points behind leader Matt Kenseth in the standings.

Kenseth was yet another race leader, despite finding his Joe Gibbs Toyota’s handling “evil”,, before a pit speeding penalty proved very costly.

Paul Menard had one of his strongest races of the year, fighting for the lead repeatedly before ending up seventh, ahead of early front-runner Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Outgoing champion Brad Keselowski lost ground when he pitted early in the first stint in the belief he had a tire problem. He got back to the front with an out-of-sequence strategy, only to run out of fuel just before his last pit stop, leaving him 17th.

While Harvick’s win brings him to within 25 points of the lead approaching the Chase’s midpoint, Kyle Busch’s title hopes faded at Kansas.

He joined his brother at the back following a practice crash, spun on lap one avoiding an accident that immediately eliminated Danica Patrick, then later had separate collisions with Juan Pablo Montoya and Edwards, the latter ending his race (LEFT).

Results - 267 laps:Pos  Driver              Team/Car                         Time/Gap 1.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet          3h29m10.000s 2.  Kurt Busch          Furniture Row Chevrolet           +1.140s 3.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet                +1.811s 4.  Joey Logano         Penske Ford                       +3.774s 5.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford                 +6.917s 6.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet                +7.681s 7.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet               +8.274s 8.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet                +8.575s 9.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                       +10.581s10.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                       +11.779s11.  Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota                 +11.949s12.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet              +13.056s13.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford                +13.630s14.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota                   +13.935s15.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet               +14.159s16.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet      +14.706s17.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                      +14.767s18.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet      +15.712s19.  Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota                   +16.190s20.  AJ Allmendinger     JTG Daugherty Toyota             +17.859s21.  Casey Mears         Germain Ford                     +20.486s22.  Mark Martin         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet           +20.688s23.  Denny Hamlin        Joe Gibbs Toyota                 +21.567s24.  David Gilliland     Front Row Ford                   +23.238s25.  Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevrolet                +23.679s26.  Travis Kvapil       BK Toyota                        +25.108s27.  JJ Yeley            Baldwin Chevrolet                +25.978s28.  Timmy Hill          FAS Lane Ford                    +27.448s29.  Tony Raines         Hillman Chevrolet                +27.688s30.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford                  +1 lap31.  Cole Whitt          Swan Toyota                       +7 lapsRetirements:     Brian Vickers       Waltrip Toyota                   242 laps     Landon Cassill      Circle Sport Chevrolet          235 laps*     Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota                 199 laps     Ryan Newman         Stewart-Haas Chevrolet          188 laps*     David Ragan         Front Row Ford                   168 laps     David Reutimann     BK Toyota                       157 laps*     Michael McDowell    Parsons Ford                     144 laps     Justin Allgaier     Phoenix Chevrolet                135 laps     Josh Wise           Front Row Ford                   108 laps     Joe Nemechek        NEMCO Toyota                     107 laps     Reed Sorenson       Leavine Ford                     103 laps     Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet             0 laps* Running again at chequered flag

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