Kevin Harvick took home the checkered flag at the 2013 Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday afternoon in Kansas City. He led 138 laps and moved into third place in the Sprint Cup Standings with the win.
NASCAR's official Twitter account had this post as Harvick crossed the finish line.
Here's a fun fact surrounding Harvick's win, courtesy NASCAR Stats on Twitter:
Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five. Jimmy Johnson (sixth) and Matt Kenseth (11th) were unable to make a late push to seal a victory, but they will remain one-two in the Chase standings heading into the Bank of America 500.
Here's a look at the final results, per NASCAR. Click the link to see the full results.
|1||Kevin Harvick||Richard Childress Racing||138|
|2||Kurt Busch||Furniture Row Racing||0|
|3||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||0|
|4||Joey Logano||Penske Racing||33|
|5||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing||0|
|6||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||6|
|7||Paul Menard||Richard Childress Racing||0|
|8||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||10|
|9||Marcos Ambrose||Richard Petty Motorsports||0|
|10||Aric Almirola||Richard Petty Motorsports||0|
Harvick, Gordon, Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were among the drivers whose performance gave way to a move up the leaderboard. Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman all lost ground. Here's a look at the updated Sprint Cup standings, per NASCAR:
|8||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||88||-54|
How It Happened
Cautions Rule in Kansas
Any time there are double-digit leaders and cautions in a NASCAR race, you know it's been a wild day. That's exactly the way things shook out in Kansas City.
As noted by the NASCAR Twitter account, the various caution flags that were waved on Sunday were no joke:
WATCH: Something you don't see every day... smoke from a brush fire brings out another caution - http://t.co/sIODB24FMc— NASCAR (@NASCAR) October 6, 2013
According to Jayski.com, the 15 cautions during Sunday's race were a new record for the track in Kansas:
Caution 15 (new Kansas record), lap 243, #55 into wall after breaking loose #NASCAR— Jayski (@jayski_nascar) October 6, 2013
In fitting fashion, a late caution allowed Harvick to gather himself for a strong finish. ESPN's NASCAR account had this post as the restart occurred with 19 laps to go:
Restart 19 to go: 29 24 99 78 48 22 9 27 88 31 15 16 43 1 20 13 5 7 93 14 36 32 40 11 56— NASCAR on ESPN (@ESPNNASCAR) October 6, 2013
The numerous stops and starts made the action drag on a little bit longer than expected, but fans in attendance certainly got their money's worth.
Big Names Struggle to Contend
2012 Hollywood Casino champion Kenseth and Johnson were the favorites to win this year in Kansas City, but each was lucky to finish in the top 11 at the end of the day.
NASCAR on ESPN had comments from both drivers after the race:
Jimmie: "All in all, it was just a crazy day. Whacky restarts, lots of chaos there. We rebounded from all of that and passed a ton of cars."— NASCAR on ESPN (@ESPNNASCAR) October 6, 2013
"It's a good save for as bad as we were," says Kenseth of finishing 11th and leading points by 3 over Jimmie. #NASCAR— NASCAR on ESPN (@ESPNNASCAR) October 6, 2013
Luckily, neither driver lost ground in the Chase standings. Kenseth will enter the Bank of America 500 with a three-point lead over five-time champion Johnson, a situation that bodes well for another exciting finish to the NASCAR playoff system.
Keselowski Runs Out of Gas, Loses Lead
Brad Keselowski led the second-most laps of the day behind Harvick with 52, but a late judgement error concerning his fuel level wound up costing him a top-10 finish.
NASCAR Stats had the tweet as Keselowski's gaffe allowed Harvick to move back to the front of the pack:
Lap 224: New leader, Kevin Harvick as Keselowski runs out of fuel #NASCAR— NASCAR Stats (@NASCARStats) October 6, 2013
Keselowski would finish a distant 17th, and despite not being in contention for the Chase, he blew a chance to play spoiler with the miscalculation.
Gordon Keeps Pace Despite Leading Zero Laps
Jeff Gordon finished third despite leading zero laps on the afternoon, sneakily moving his way into fourth place in the points standings in the process.
He will head to North Carolina just seven points behind Sunday's winner, Harvick, and 32 points behind Kenseth for the top spot.
According to Jeff Gordon Online, he also moved past the late Dale Earnhardt for fourth place on NASCAR's all-time top-10 finishes list:
Not winning the race has to be disappointing for No. 24, but he now has some momentum and the Sprint Cup trophy is very much up for grabs.
Harvick Surges to Key Win
What Harvick did on Sunday was quite impressive.
Despite the chaos of multiple cautions and the threat of disaster at every turn, he managed to lead for over half the race and did so with a car that was running great all afternoon.
NASCAR.com's David Caraviello fully expected Harvick to deliver, and that's exactly what he did:
Kevin Harvick takes the checkered flag at Kansas. Despite all that chaos today, the best car still won the race.— David Caraviello (@dcaraviello) October 6, 2013
Now third in the Chase standings, the 37-year-old has a chance to record the best finish of his career this season and appears to have confidence for the final few weeks of the season.
Which top-three driver has the best shot to win the Chase?
The Chase continues in Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend, as the Bank of America 500 will do its best to help sort out the way things will finish during this year's NASCAR playoffs.
Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray are the last three winners in Concord. Jimmie Johnson has three wins at the event, the last of which came in 2009.
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