Kevin Harvick, who has already announced he is leaving Richard Childress Racing at the end of the 2013 season, is determined to go out on top, winning the season-opening specialty race, the Sprint Unlimited, on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. The race field was made up of pole winners from the 2012 season and past winners at Daytona.
“We knew that the racing was going to be different,” said Harvick post-race. “We just didn't know because we hadn't run in a big pack. Honestly, we still haven't because the pack got narrowed down as we got the race started there.”
The race, in three segments of 30, 25 and 20 laps, was marred by a seven-car wreck in the first segment, which took out the cars of Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon among others. On the final lap, Harvick was busy blocking the cars of Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle, nearly clipping the nose of Biffle’s Ford as they raced for the checkered flag.
“I saw the 16 coming tonight,” said Harvick. “I looked in the mirror twice. The spotter says I'm clear, I'm going to keep going. I eased my way up there. Luckily hit the bumper. He kept saying, Clear up, clear up, clear up. You just have to have the faith in that guy to hope he's right.”
Biffle, Joey Logano, Stewart and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five.
Stay up-to-date on Daytona Speedweeks at www.nascar.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR Media.
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