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Harvick tames Darlington Southern 500

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 13th April, 2014 - 1:34pm

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Harvick on his way to victory at Darlington

Harvick on his way to victory at Darlington

Kevin Harvick has hit back in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with victory in the Bojangle’s Southern 500 at Darlington South Carolina.

Harvick is the first driver to win twice in 2014, after taking victory in the second race of the season at Phoenix. It guarantees him a place in the Chase for Cup.

After his win in Phoenix, Harvick had been on a horror-run of finishing 36th or worse in four of the last five races. Today’s result came after he scored pole at ‘The Track Too Tough To Tame’, making him the first winner from the point since 1997 at the Southern 500.

Harvick was in the mix throughout the entire race as multiple cautions periods were called as cars continually found the fence and earn a ‘Darlington Stripe’. As others tried two-tyre strategies, Harvick kept to his plan of four fresh Goodyear Tyres and appeared to be on the money ahead of Jimmie Johnson when the final round of green flag pit stops occurred with around 40 laps to run.

Then a caution with less than 10 laps to run brought the leaders to pit road, where a number of drivers took two tyres. Harvick stuck to his guns and took four tyres to line-up fifth as Johnson held the lead. On the following re-start he moved up the order to third before another yellow was waved. The first attempt at a green-white-chequered finish saw another yellow flag when Kurt Busch was turned around in the back-stretch. This meant Harvick started alongside Dale Earnhardt Jr. for what would be the final re-start and his superior grip propelled him to the front and he took the victory.

In all Harvick led 239 of 367 laps for his first career win at the 1.366-mile oval also known as ‘The Lady in Black’.

Marcos Ambrose started fourth, but very quickly had a battle on his hands with a car that lacked grip. During the opening hour of the race in sunlight, Ambrose faded back to 20th, as his crew tried a range of adjustments. The car seemed to come to life on the short runs, but as the track conditions changed he was slipping off the pace of those around him.

At one stage the Tasmanian was two laps down before the car came to him. Fast driving and staying out during caution periods soon had Ambrose back on the lead lap with 100 laps to run. He looked settled for a 20th place finish, but the late caution allowed four fresh tyres and a big adjustment swing which vaulted him another six places at the finish.

“A lot of guys had really loose race cars and this drove so much different than what it did in practice,” said Ambrose.

“We had a 20th place race car and finished 14th with it. It is a good points night and we will keep chipping away.

“It is a lot of positives for us from the weekend with good qualifying on Friday. We just have to work out how to make these cars run when the tape comes off the nose. All in all, not a bad weekend.”

Ambrose exhausted after battling throughout the entire 500 mile race on a slick track.

“From the first lap is was slick as anything,” said Ambrose.

“This is the most worn out I have been in my NASCAR career. I think it just wore it out. I am pleased we finished and got back up on the lead lap.”

NASCAR has one of its rare weekend’s off now for the Easter Break before regrouping in Richmond for another Saturday night race on 26 April.

VIDEO: Kevin Harvick wins the Southern 500

 

RESULTS: Bojangle’s Southern 500 – Darlington Raceway 

POS 

Car # 

Driver 

Make 

Start Pos. 

Laps 

Laps Led 

Final Status

Points

Bonus Points

1

4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 1 374 238 Running 48 5

2

88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 15 374 5 Running 43 1

3

48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 26 374 8 Running 42 1

4

20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 25 374 12 Running 41 1

5

16 Greg Biffle Ford 19 374 5 Running 40 1

6

18 Kyle Busch Toyota 8 374 0 Running 38 0

7

24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 9 374 8 Running 38 1

8

42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 17 374 0 Running 36 0

9

14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 23 374 0 Running 35 0

10

31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 7 374 0 Running 34 0

11

3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 20 374 0 Running 33 0

12

15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 16 374 0 Running 32 0

13

99 Carl Edwards Ford 21 374 0 Running 31 0

14

9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 4 374 0 Running 30 0

15

47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 18 374 0 Running 29 0

16

1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 6 374 0 Running 28 0

17

2 Brad Keselowski Ford 5 374 4 Running 28 1

18

13 Casey Mears Chevrolet 31 374 0 Running 26 0

19

11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 10 374 3 Running 26 1

20

17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 28 374 0 Running 24 0

21

98 Josh Wise Chevrolet 29 374 0 Running 23 0

22

10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 33 374 0 Running 22 0

23

51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 24 372 0 Running 21 0

24

43 Aric Almirola Ford 3 372 0 Running 20 0

25

40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 35 372 0 Running 0 0

26

55 Brian Vickers Toyota 14 371 30 Running 19 1

27

78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 12 371 0 Running 17 0

28

38 David Gilliland Ford 27 370 0 Running 16 0

29

23 Alex Bowman Toyota 34 369 0 Running 15 0

30

30 Parker Kligerman Toyota 38 369 0 Running 14 0

31

41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 13 368 0 Accident 13 0

32

34 David Ragan Ford 32 367 1 Running 13 1

33

32 Travis Kvapil Ford 41 367 0 Running 11 0

34

66 Joe Nemechek Toyota 43 366 0 Running 0 0

35

22 Joey Logano Ford 2 359 37 10 1

36

33 David Stremme Chevrolet 37 326 0 Brakes 8 0

37

5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 22 323 23 Accident 8 1

38

26 Cole Whitt Toyota 42 301 0 Running 6 0

39

36 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 40 289 0 Overheating 5 0

40

83 Ryan Truex Toyota 39 274 0 Running 4 0

41

27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 11 270 0 Running 3 0

42

7 Michael Annett Chevrolet 30 101 0 Accident 2 0

43

77 Dave Blaney Ford 36 65 0 Brakes 1 0

 STANDINGS: After Race 8 of 36

Position

Driver

Points

Behind

Starts

Wins

Top 5 

Top 10 

DNF

1

Jeff Gordon 297 Leader 8 0 3 6 0

2

Matt Kenseth 296 -1 8 0 2 6 0

3

Carl Edwards 278 -19 8 1 2 4 0

4

Dale Earnhardt Jr 271 -26 8 1 5 5 1

5

Jimmie Johnson 270 -27 8 0 3 5 0

6

Kyle Busch 269 -28 8 1 2 4 0

7

Brad Keselowski 246 -51 8 1 3 3 0

8

Joey Logano 245 -52 8 1 4 4 0

9

Ryan Newman 236 -61 8 0 0 3 0

10

Austin Dillon 235 -62 8 0 0 1 0

11

Greg Biffle 227 -70 8 0 1 3 0

12

Tony Stewart 224 -73 8 0 2 4 0

13

Brian Vickers 224 -73 8 0 1 3 0

14

Kyle Larson 223 -74 8 0 2 4 1

15

Denny Hamlin 223 -74 7 0 1 2 0

16

Clint Bowyer 219 -78 8 0 0 2 1

17

Marcos Ambrose 216 -81 8 0 2 2 0

18

Paul Menard 206 -91 8 0 1 4 0

19

AJ Allmendinger 202 -95 8 0 0 1 0

20

Jamie McMurray 195 -102 8 0 0 2 1

21

Casey Mears 188 -109 8 0 0 1 0

22

Kevin Harvick 186 -111 8 2 2 3 2

23

Kasey Kahne 186 -111 8 0 0 2 1

24

Aric Almirola 184 -113 8 0 1 2 2

25

Ricky Stenhouse Jr 178 -119 8 0 1 2 0

26

Kurt Busch 164 -133 8 1 2 2 3

27

Justin Allgaier 150 -147 8 0 0 0 1

28

Martin Truex Jr 148 -149 8 0 0 0 1

29

Danica Patrick 143 -154 8 0 0 0 1

30

David Gilliland 123 -174 8 0 0 0 0

31

Reed Sorenson 118 -179 8 0 0 0 1

32

David Ragan 107 -190 8 0 0 0 0

33

Cole Whitt 105 -192 8 0 0 0 1

34

Michael Annett 105 -192 8 0 0 0 2

35

Alex Bowman 100 -197 8 0 0 0 1

36

Josh Wise 90 -207 7 0 0 0 0

37

Travis Kvapil 63 -234 7 0 0 0 0

38

Parker Kligerman 54 -243 8 0 0 0 4

39

Ryan Truex 51 -246 6 0 0 0 1

40

Michael McDowell 40 -257 5 0 0 0 2

41

Bobby Labonte 29 -268 1 0 0 0 0

42

Jeff Burton 27 -270 1 0 0 0 0

43

Terry Labonte 24 -273 1 0 0 0 0

44

David Reutimann 22 -275 2 0 0 0 0

45

David Stremme 13 -284 2 0 0 0 1

46

Timmy Hill 7 -290 2 0 0 0 1

47

Dave Blaney 4 -293 2 0 0 0 2

48

Michael Waltrip 4 -293 1 0 0 0 1

49

Landon Cassill 0 -297 6 0 0 0 0

50

Sam Hornish Jr 0 -297 1 0 0 0 0

51

Trevor Bayne 0 -297 3 0 0 0 1

52

Brian Scott 0 -297 3 0 0 0 0

53

Joe Nemechek 0 -297 5 0 0 0 2

54

Blake Koch 0 -297 1 0 0 0 0

55

Morgan Shepherd 0 -297 1 0 0 0 1

56

J.J. Yeley 0 -297 0 0 0 0 0

57

Eric McClure 0 -297 0 0 0 0 0

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