Harvick Carries Momentum into Richmond International Raceway This Weekend
Photo Finish Win at Talladega Superspeedway Breaks 115-Race Winless Streak
NASCAR fans were treated to—arguably—one of the best finishes in series history yesterday at Talladega Superspeedway. The Aaron’s 499 featured 88 lead changes—the most in the history of NASCAR. There were 29 different race leaders—another NASCAR record. If any track can match that enthusiasm, Richmond International Raceway is certainly a good follow-up, as NASCAR returns to the Commonwealth this weekend.
On the third and final green-white-checkered restart, Sunday’s race came down to a duel between race leader Jamie McMurray and Kevin Harvick. As the duo entered the tri-oval, Harvick dipped down low in an old-fashioned “slingshot” move and had enough momentum to outrun McMurray to the finish line by a margin of .011 seconds.
“It was all about timing,” said Harvick. “You saw a lot of guys practicing that move. As long as you stayed against their bumper, you were able to shoot past them and you could stay ahead for several hundred feet until they drew back even. It worked out absolutely perfect on the timing side of it.”
Harvick will be looking to visit Gatorade Victory Lane at Richmond International Raceway this Saturday when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to America’s Premier Short Track for the Crown Royal Presents The Heath Calhoun 400. Harvick has one career Sprint Cup Series win at Richmond, which came in September 2006. In his last 10 Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway, Harvick has nine top-10 finishes.
His momentum is on par with that of Chesterfield, Virginia’s Denny Hamlin, who returns to his home track with high hopes. Hamlin won the September Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond last year and has been hot as of late. He returns to America’s Premier Short Track riding two wins and a 4th place finish at Talladega in his past four races. Hamlin has five top-10 finishes in eight starts at Richmond.
Don’t forget about Kyle Busch, who has a record at Richmond that any driver should envy. In 10 starts, Busch has eight top-five finishes, including a win at last year’s Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400.
Of course, momentum and track history are not everything. There are plenty of viable contenders who will have a shot when the Green Flag drops at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, May 1 “under the lights.” Dating back to 2001, there have only been two drivers to win twice at Richmond (Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.), which means the entire field has a shot when they return to America’s Premier Short Track
Tickets for the Crown Royal Presents The Heath Calhoun 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway this Saturday are on sale now. Tickets, which start at $40, can be purchased by clicking here or calling 866-455-RACE (7223).
The weekend begins on Friday, April 30, with a full day of on-track activity, highlighted by the BUBBA burger® 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race “under the lights.” Friday’s ticket includes Wawa Pole Qualifying and practice for the Sprint Cup Series and NBC12 Pole Qualifying and practice for the Nationwide Series. Tickets, which start at $30, can be purchased by clicking here or calling 866-455-RACE (7223). Children 12 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections on Friday only.
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