Kevin Harvick won the night race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, proving to his critics that he won’t take this season easy, despite leaving Richard Childress Racing at the end of 2013.
Harvick finally got his chance to prove himself for 2013 when he charged from seventh place to the lead during the final restart to win the Toyota Owners 400.
The win was a first for the driver of the No. 29 in 2013, who will leave Childress for Stewart-Haas Racing next season. Harvick stated after receiving a hug at the winner’s circle from his team owner, “A lot of people thought we might lay down this year. There ain’t no way with that game, is there?”
Harvick was chasing Juan Pablo Montoya for the lead when a caution flag flew for a spin just six laps before the end of the race. Harvick and Montoya both pitted for fresh tires, giving Jeff Burton the lead. Bowyer ended up in second followed by Joey Logano, Montoya, Burton, Carl Edwards, and Matt Kenseth.
There were also some hot tempers after the race, though nothing like the pit road scuffle at Friday’s Nationwide race, where two people were arrested.
Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, and Matt Kenseth all bumped their way to the checkered flag. Busch got into Stewart, moving him out of the groove. Kenseth then got into Busch. Stewart showed his frustration by bumping Busch and running him up toward the wall during the cool-down lap.
After winning, Kevin Harvick admitted taking tires with six laps to go was a gamble. He stated, “In Sprint Cup races, you’ve got to take chances. The guys who stayed out took a chance, and we had to take a chance. We’ve gotten beaten by tires a couple of times this year, and I thought it was the right thing to do.”
Considering his win at Richmond on Saturday, tires were a gamble that paid off for Kevin Harvick.