It was Kevin Harvick who endured the longest race of the NASCAR season by taking the 2013 Coca-Cola 600's checkered flag at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Harvick led for just 28 laps throughout the race. Second-place finisher Kasey Kahne led for a race-high 156 laps, but was overcome by Harvick's late surge.
This win puts Harvick in seventh place in the Sprint Cup Standings with 362 points for the 2013 season. He was pretty excited about it too.
David Ogletree noted that Harvick's post-race burnout was a good one:
The 600-mile, 400-lap marathon started at around 6:15 p.m. ET and didn’t end until after 11:30 p.m. ET. This already long race ran exceedingly long thanks to some technical difficulties early on at the track.
A FOX Sports camera cable malfunction halted the race on Lap 126. The guide rope for the TV station’s overhead skycam camera dropped onto the track and into the grandstand on Turn 4 of Lap 121, according to ESPN’s David Newton.
The ensuing effects were felt by drivers and fans alike. Reportedly 10 fans and several cars were damaged by the mishap. Seven of the 10 injured fans were treated for minor cuts and scrapes, but were all released from a care center at the track. Three others were sent to hospitals for further evaluation, according to Newton.
Yahoo! Sports said what nearly everyone else was thinking (via Twitter):
During the delay, drivers were allowed to change tires and refuel throughout the nearly 30-minute red-flag delay.
On Lap 258, Busch's engine failed and his day ended disappointingly. He denied that the earlier mishap had anything to do with the engine problem that removed him from contention, according to FOX Sports' Lee Spencer.
2013 Coca-Cola 600 Top 10 Results
|9||Martin Truex Jr.||56|
*Visit NASCAR.com for full results and race times
NASCAR has always been supportive of the U.S. military. Their tribute to veterans on Memorial Day Weekend was both appropriate and impressive.
ESPN's Ryan McGee commented on the display (via Twitter):
Jayme Avrit's Instagram account notes a small example of what McGee was talking about:
Pole sitter Denny Hamlin got things going by leading the field to the green flag to kick off the Coca-Cola 600 (via NASCAR official Twitter account):
Besides falling cables, there was also a fair share of driver-induced accidents at Charlotte.
On Lap 258, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, Travis Kvapil and Ryan Blaney were involved in scary collisions. Junior’s car was smoking, but Blaney received the heaviest damage of the group after t-boning Kvapil in the wake of Junior and Biffle’s collision.
NASCAR's Twitter account provided a video of the incident:
Junior's day was over after the incident.
NASCAR’s official Twitter account disseminated a video of a Danica Patrick and defending champion Brad Keselowski getting tangled up and bouncing off of the wall on Lap 320. Stenhouse Jr., Patrick's boyfriend, was also involved in the mess.
Just a few laps later, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Aric Almirola were involved a three-car wreck that caused the ninth caution and second red flag of the race.
NASCAR provided a video of that entanglement. Martin, Gordon and Almirola were crossing the start and finish line when Martin caught the back fender of Almirola’s car. Bobby Labonte, Casey Mears, Jeff Gordon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were involved in the ensuing fallout.
Debris caused a delay on Lap 384 to slow down the tempo. At that point 12 cars were on the lead lap and Kasey Kahne was at the front of the pack. Kahne opted not to make a pit stop for a tire change, and that, along with poor positioning after the restart, allowed Harvick to take the lead and the checkered flag.
2013 Sprint Cup Standings
|6||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||364|
|9||Martin Truex Jr.||336|
*Standings courtesy of NASCAR.com