NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Richmond 400
April 27, 2013 – Richmond International Raceway
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Bell Helicopter team earned their first point-paying event victory of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season under the lights of Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night. The California native started the scheduled 400-lap event from the 17th position and maintained a spot in the top 15 during the early laps, while battling a tight-handling Chevrolet SS. The No. 29 pit crew made an array of adjustments throughout the course of the originally planned 300-mile event during multiple scheduled four-tire pit stops. As the race progressed, Harvick worked his way toward the front of the field finding a home in the top five. Still battling handling issues during the final laps, Harvick drove down pit road on lap 397 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment under caution. The RCR veteran driver was scored in the seventh position as the field was set for a green-white-checkered finish. During a dramatic restart, Harvick gained five positions with two laps remaining and captured the lead as the field came to the white flag. The 37-year-old driver remained out front during the final lap, and was able to collect his 20th Sprint Cup Series-career victory. Following the first-place finish, Harvick is now tied for the ninth in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
I just want to thank everybody for this great finish. It's been a tough start to the season, but it all worked out for us tonight. We've gotten beat a couple times this year on pit road, but pitting was the right thing for us to do at the end tonight. When tires fall off by almost two seconds, you've got to come in and get fresh tires for the restarts. Gil (Martin, crew chief) made the right call and it worked out. I've got to thank Bell Helicopter, Budweiser, Jimmy John's, Rheem, Chevrolet and everybody who participates in our team's program. - Kevin Harvick