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Harvick wins the fuel game at Charlotte

Speedcafe.com

Monday 30th May, 2011 - 1:18pm

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Kevin Harvick celebrates winning the Coke 600

In the second major race in the USA today, the leader heading into the final corner has not won the race.

This time it was NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, where Kevin Harvick stormed past Dale Earnhardt Jr to take the win after the #88 ran out of fuel.

With the top-10 all running on empty it came down to the final re-start when a number of cars ran out of fuel as the green flag fell. Earnhardt Jr jumped out to a big lead and appeared to have it in the bag . However, just like the Indy 500 it all ended on the final corner as not only Harvick, but six others including Australia’s Marcos Ambrose swept by.

Under the final caution period Harvick switched off his #29 Chevrolet and was pushed around by his Richard Childress Racing teammates Clint Boyer and Paul Menard in an effort to save as fuel as possible and it clearly worked.

Harvick has won three races so far in 2011 and in total has led only 9 laps!

Ambrose was one of the stars of the race in the middle section of the 600 miles leading a total of 18 laps.

After starting 24th, Ambrose moved up through the field with his big break coming on the race’s second caution on lap #99 when he took right-side tyres only and vaulted inside the top-10.

Over the ensuing long green flag runs Ambrose moved inside the top-5, then through pit stop cycles he took the lead.

After more mid race caution periods, Ambrose settled into the top-3 with the likes of Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch.

Over the second half of the race the Tasmanian maintained his pace and even though he dropped to 21st, the former V8 Supercar Champion once again went about passing cars and moving back up the order.

Then with 60-laps to run Ambrose reported a vibration and his chances appeared over. But the final caution he not only took fuel, but also once again took two tyres and threaded the needle as others ran dry.

Ambrose has moved up three places in the standings to 17th and is only 19-points from the all-important 12th place required to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

RESULTS: Coca-Cola 600 – Lowe’s Motor Speedway Charlotte

FIN DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR LAPS STATUS
1 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser Armed Forces Tribute 402 Running
2 David Ragan Ford UPS “We Love Logistics” 402 Running
3 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 402 Running
4 Kurt Busch Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 402 Running
5 A.J. Allmendinger Ford U.S. Air Force 402 Running
6 Marcos Ambrose Ford Dewalt 402 Running
7 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard / Amp Energy 402 Running
8 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row Companies 402 Running
9 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine / Armed Forces Foundation 402 Running
10 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 402 Running
11 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 402 Running
12 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 402 Running
13 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 402 Running
14 Matt Kenseth Ford Jeremiah Weed Southern Style 402 Running
15 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Cheerios / Hamburger Helper 402 Running
16 Carl Edwards Ford Scotts EZ Seed 402 Running
17 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 402 Running
18 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 402 Running
19 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 402 Running
20 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 402 Running
21 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 402 Running
22 Kasey Kahne Toyota Red Bull 402 In Pit
23 Casey Mears Toyota GEICO 402 Running
24 Bobby Labonte Toyota Kingsford / Bush’s Beans 400 Running
25 Travis Kvapil Ford Long John Silver’s 398 Running
26 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 397 Running
27 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Disabled American Veterans / Golden Corral 396 Running
28 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s Summer Salute 395 In Pit
29 Paul Menard Chevrolet Moen / Menards 383 Running
30 Mike Bliss Ford blu Cigs 367 Running
31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet U.S. Army 358 Running
32 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s 344 In Pit
33 David Gilliland Ford Taco Bell 301 In Pit
34 Mark Martin Chevrolet Carquest / Go Daddy.com 301 In Pit
35 Landon Cassill Chevrolet Thank A Teacher Today / Security Benefit 293 Running
36 David Starr Ford Jordan Truck Sales 286 In Pit
37 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Convoy of Hope 181 Out of Race
38 Robby Gordon Dodge Speed Energy / Harris Teeter 99 In Pit
39 Michael McDowell Toyota Keyper Systems 40 Out of Race
40 David Stremme Chevrolet Inception Motorsports 34 In Pit
41 Joe Nemechek Toyota NEMCO Motorsports 28 In Pit
42 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Red Line Oil 22 In Pit
43 Mike Skinner Toyota Big Red 6 In Pit

STANDINGS: After Race 12 of 36

RANK DRIVER POINTS BEHIND POLES WINS TOP 5 TOP 10
1 Carl Edwards 445 Leader 2 1 6 9
2 Kevin Harvick 409 -36 0 3 5 7
3 Jimmie Johnson 408 -37 0 1 4 7
4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 402 -43 1 0 2 6
5 Kyle Busch 392 -53 0 2 6 7
6 Kurt Busch 377 -68 0 0 2 6
7 Matt Kenseth 374 -71 1 2 4 5
8 Clint Bowyer 365 -80 0 0 2 6
9 Tony Stewart 356 -89 0 0 1 4
10 Ryan Newman 353 -92 0 0 4 5
11 Greg Biffle 343 -102 0 0 1 4
12 Denny Hamlin 339 -106 0 0 1 4
13 A.J. Allmendinger 335 -110 0 0 1 3
14 Mark Martin 334 -111 0 0 1 4
15 Juan Montoya 329 -116 2 0 2 4
16 Jeff Gordon 324 -121 1 1 3 3
17 Marcos Ambrose 320 -125 0 0 2 4

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