Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS team kicked off the 2013 season by capturing a win in the Sprint Unlimited Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. The Bakersfield, Calif., native started the 75-lap, three-segment event from the 17th position and survived a nine-car accident before the caution flag was displayed, signaling the completion of the first 30-lap segment.
Following a speedy four-tire pit stop by the pit crew under caution, Harvick returned to the track in the lead for the beginning of the second segment, which consisted of 25 laps. The 37-year-old driver maintained a position within the top five, and regained the top spot prior to the end of the second segment. Under the direction of crew chief Gil Martin, the Budweiser pit crew executed a four-tire pit stop and added tape to the grille during a two-minute break.
Harvick restarted in the lead for the final segment, a 20-lap shootout, and fought off the competition during the final laps, crossing the finish line a mere 0.149 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. The victory marks Harvick’s third-career win of this non-points paying event, and Richard Childress Racing’s eighth, the most of any NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organization.
Start – 17 Finish – 1 Laps Led – 40 Points – N/A
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE: “This Budweiser crew did a great job tonight. It was great to go back to Victory Lane and be the first one to win in the new Gen-6 car and the Chevrolet SS. There’s a lot of politics behind everything going on with our team this season, but when we get to the race track it’s about sitting in this race car and making it as fast as it’ll go. Those guys don’t care about anything but winning and wanting to do well. We owe it to them and everybody at Budweiser, Jimmy John’s and Rheem to do the best we can. So, this was really an awesome day for us.”