Monday, November 11, 2013

Harvick Wins the Advocare 500

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Kevin Harvick won the Advocare 500 from Phoenix International Raceway after Carl Edwards ran out of gas coming to the white flag on Sunday.

Kevin Harvick celebrates his win at Phoenix International Raceway.  The win was the 200th NASCAR victory for team owner Richard Childress. Photo courtesy Robert Laberge/Getty Images
Harvick ran out of gas on lap 269, which cost him the big lead he had at that point.  He was able to work his way back up front, and he was running second when Edwards ran out of gas going down the backstretch.

"I really wasn't expecting that," Harvick told ESPN.  "We had a really fast car all day, and we could make up ground through traffic."

With the win, Harvick is now third in the championship points, just 34 points behind Jimmie Johnson for the lead.  He is still mathematically eligible as the Cup Series head to Homestead for the final race of the season.

"That's all you can ask for is just to be in it," Harvick said.  "Anything can happen, and you got to be in it to win it."

Johnson started on the pole, but he quickly lost the lead.  Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano took him 3-wide in Turn 1, and he almost spun out after contact with Logano in Turn 3.  After the dust had settled, Hamlin was the leader and Johnson was sixth.

On lap 19, Jeff Gordon caught Hamlin to take the lead.  Hamlin quickly began falling through the field.  He fell out of the top 20 before he spun on lap 51 to bring out the first caution.  

The race restarted on lap 56, and Kevin Harvick was able to work his way around Gordon for the lead.  Harvick led until the second caution came out on lap 101 when Joe Nemechek hit the outside wall.

Kasey Kahne won the race off pit road, and he led the field back to the green flag on lap 106.  He cleared Keselowski for the lead coming out of Turn 3, and he led until Timmy Hill hit the wall on lap 117 to bring out another caution.

When the race restarted on lap 121, Keselowski was able to get around Kahne for the lead.  Keselowski led until the next caution came out on lap 132.  Travis Kvapil blew an engine, and Dave Blaney spun in the oil that was dropped on the track.

Keselowski led the field back to the green flag on lap 137, but the caution came back out on lap 145.  David Reutimann spun in Turn 3, and Cole Whitt, Danica Patrick and Justin Allgaier were involved in the accident.

Gordon stayed out under caution, and he led the field back to the green flag on lap 159.  Jamie McMurray restarted second, and he was able to get around Gordon for the lead when the green flag fell.  The next lap, Gordon was able to get back around McMurray for the lead.

J.J. Yeley spun on lap 164 to bring out the caution.  Ryan Newman didn't pit under the caution, and he led the field to the green flag on lap 168.  

Reutimann slammed the wall on lap 191 to bring out the seventh caution of the day.  Joey Logano stayed out under the caution to take the lead.

Logano led the field back to the green flag on lap 200.  He led until Kahne took the lead on lap 224.

Kahne had to pit on lap 248 for fuel.  This handed the lead to Harvick, who led until he ran out of gas on lap 269.

After stops had cycled around on lap 278, Carl Edwards led the race.  He led until the final caution of the day came out on lap 283 for debris in Turn 3.

Edwards led the field to the green flag on lap 288, and he quickly pulled away from the field.  He slowed coming down the backstretch with just under two laps to go, which allowed Harvick to take the lead and get the victory.

Here are the unofficial results:

1. Kevin Harvick
2. Kasey Kahne
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Kurt Busch
6. Juan Pablo Montoya
7. Kyle Busch
8. Martin Truex Jr.
9. Joey Logano
10. Ryan Newman
11. Brad Keselowski
12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
13. Greg Biffle
14. Jeff Gordon
15. Mark Martin
16. Paul Menard
17. Jeff Burton
18. Jamie McMurray
19. Aric Almirola
20. Clint Bowyer
21. Carl Edwards
22. Bobby Labonte
23. Matt Kenseth
24. David Gilliland
25. Elliot Sadler
26. Marcos Ambrose
27. Casey Mears
28. Denny Hamlin
29. J.J. Yeley
30. Dave Blaney
31. Justin Allgaier
32. Michael McDowell
33. Danica Patrick
34. Timmy Hill
35. David Ragan
36. Josh Wise
37. Reed Sorenson
38. Joe Nemechek
39. David Reutimann
40. Cole Whitt
41. Travis Kvapil
42. Landon Cassill
43. Tony Raines

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