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Harvick wins 54th Coca-Cola 600; Kahne second

May 27, 2013

(O-N-E photo by Seth Mabry)

Kevin Harvick won his second Coca-Cola 600 on Saturday and his second in the past three years.

Harvick becomes the 14th different driver to win multiple Coca-Cola 600s.

"It was just a great night," Harvick said. "(Crew chief) Gil (Martin) made a great call at the end, and we were able to put ourselves in position and survive up until to the point it was time to go."

Kasey Kahne led with 15 laps to go, but chose not to pit as the rest of the lead lap cars came to pit road, including second-place Harvick.

"It was definitely our race to lose, especially those last hundred laps," Kahne said. "We just thought that some of the guys would stay out. I think there's three cars that just pitted within the last couple laps — five or six laps — just felt like they'd stay out and that would be a big enough buffer to someone who had two or four tires that we could get away. It didn't happen."

On the ensuing restart, Harvick passed Kahne and remained ahead for the final 14 laps of the race.

"The only frame of mind I was in was don't screw," Harvick said of his approach on the restart. "I knew they had put me in the best position to win the race. You don't want to make a mistake on a restart."

Kurt Busch overcame issues with his battery late in Saturday's race to come away in third place.

"It was a great run for our Furniture Row guys," Busch said. "We did the best we could with 600 miles. Solid pit stops. The car was a little tight here and a little loose there. All in all, brought it home third. Congratulations to Harvick. They're teammates of ours. It's great to see information bridge over. Happy for those guys to win. We got third. That's a good points night."

The night was marred by an incident involving a television cable that broke on Lap 122, which damaged several cars, including Marcos Ambrose, Trevor Bayne and then-race leader Kyle Busch.

The cable not only hampered race cars, but injured 10 fans. Charlotte Motor Speedway officials confirmed at the end of Saturday's race that all of those fans were treated and released from either on-track facilities or local hospitals.

Kyle Busch led 65 laps in the 600, but eventually blew his engine on Lap 252 — the same lap that Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s expiring engine caused a multiple car incident with Greg Biffle, Travis Kvapil and Dave Blaney.

The end of the race featured several incidents on the track that took out Sprint Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson, teammate Jeff Gordon, defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski and Danica Patrick among others.

After finishing as the runner up in last week's NASCAR All-Star Race, Joey Logano came in fifth place in the Coca-Cola 600.

Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex, Jr. and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top 10.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is in Dover, Del. next week.

Multiple winners in the Coca-Cola 600
Darrell Waltrip (1978-79, 1985, 1988-89)
Buddy Baker (1968, 1972-73)
David Pearson (1961, 1974, 1976)
Bobby Allison (1971, 1981, 1984)
Dale Earnhardt (1986, 1992-93)
Jeff Gordon (1994, 1997-98)
Kevin Harvick (2011, 2013)
Jimmie Johnson (2003-05)
Kasey Kahne (2006, 2008, 2012)
Jeff Burton (1999, 2001)
Neil Bonnett (1982-83)
Richard Petty (1975-77)
Jim Paschal (1964, 1967)
Fred Lorenzen (1963, 1965)

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