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Kevin Harvick Wins Sprint Unlimited and First Race with Gen-6 Car

February 16th, 2013 at 11:10 PM
By Clayton Caldwell

Kevin Harvick won his third career Sprint Unlimited on Saturday when he held off a hard charging Greg Biffle for the victory. Harvick moved high on Biffle after blocking the low lane with driver Tony Stewart. Biffle moved high in Turn 3 but Harvick held him off for the win. Harvick was excited in victory lane but acknowledged that he may not have had the best car of the night.

'IMG_4405' photo (c) 2012, Parker Anderson - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

"The Budweiser Chevrolet was good, I don't know if we were as good as the 14 or the 20," Harvick said in victory lane. 

The 14 and 20 obviously being Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth.

The Sprint Unlimited began with Carl Edwards on the pole but was forced to go to the back due to losing his primary car in a practice crash. Both drivers on the front row, Edwards and Mark Martin, were forced to go to the back, leaving Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle on the front row when the field took the green flag. 

The race was fierce early on as several drivers traded the lead. On lap 15, the race took a drastic turn when Tony Stewart tried to move in front of Marcos Ambrose and didn't have room. Stewart slid down the track and saved his #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS; however, an accordion effect occurred when Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson got together, causing many drivers to be involved in a big wreck.

Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch were all caught up in the big wreck, leaving just 12 cars on the track when the race resumed on lap 16. Terry Labonte had pull off the track only after a few laps.

Stewart found himself in front after the caution and stayed in the lead when the first segment of the race ended on lap 30. Stewart led Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Carl  Edwards and Kasey Kahne. 

Kevin Harvick's pit crew did the work to get him out of the pits first after the first segment and Harvick was in the lead when segment two began. It was Tony Stewart who showed his muscle when he took the lead from Harvick. Stewart led but Harvick got him back before the end of the second segment and Harvick was in the lead when the final 20 lap segment began. 

The race was single file for the most part of the final 20 laps. Most teams were unsure what their cars would do in the new pack drafting. Matt Kenseth got aggressive and moved to the inside line with five laps to go but fell back due to lack of help. Joey Logano shot low on the final lap to try and pass Harvick for the victory but was blocked by Harvick. Biffle stayed high and got a great run, but Harvick moved high and also blocked Biffle for the win. 

It was the first race with the new Generation six racecar. Much was learned Saturday in the Sprint Unlimited and there is a lot more to be learned before the 55th annual Daytona 500. 

Tags: Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, matt kenseth, Motorsports, Sprint Unlimited, Tony Stewart

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