The longest race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule lived up to its name of the longest race of the year, but it was Kevin Harvick who survived the season’s longest race to take home another Coca-Cola 600 win.
Harvick picked up his second Coca-Cola 600 win in three seasons when he took the lead from Kasey Kahne on the final restart of the race with 11 laps to go. In a race that feature several bizarre and unexpected events, Harvick lived up to his nickname of “The closer” to win his second race of the 2013 season.
Kahne, who dominated for most of the race and led for 156 laps, crossed the finish line in second. Kurt Busch finished in second followed by Denny Hamlin, who started the night as the pole sitter, and Joey Logano to close out the top five.
The longest race of the year in NASCAR is set to race in the different elements of the day heading into the night for 600 miles, but the 2013 race added a lot more to the race to extend it into the later hours of the night. It was a race that feature 11 caution flags, and even the appearance of the red flag in two occasions was nothing compared to the unexpected events that led to the first delay of the day.
The race was stopped and red flagged for about 30 minutes after a TV camera support cable snapped and created chaos on the track for several teams. The incident also left 10 fans injured when it had collapsed.
During the red flag, NASCAR made the decision to allow teams to make repairs to their cars. It was a good choice and allowed for a fair race, as many would have went down several laps had they made repairs during a caution.
Although the camera cable was a bizarre event, it was just one of many incidents. As the race progressed, many wrecks took place, as well as several drivers getting lapped. With all the wrecks throughout the night, the race began to look like one at Daytona and Talladega.
By the end of the night after an eventful race, Harvick’s win was a surprise considering Kahne was dominating for much of the race. Not only was Kahne a factor, but the three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers seemed to be factors as well, until Kyle Busch’s night ended with a blown engine and Matt Kenseth got caught in one of the wrecks.
Hamlin, on the other hand, captured a top-five finish after being up front for most of the race.