A last-second pass in the third overtime won Kevin Harvick the NASCAR Sprint Cup Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.
It was the first time in NASCAR’s premier series that drivers raced through three green-white-checkered situations to finish an event.
It also ended a 115-race drought for the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team that stretched back to the 2007 Daytona 500. It was also the first RCR win since 2008.
“Everything just played out perfect for us,” Harvick said. “We broke that drought.”
Harvick had hung around the back of the pack for most of the race before moving towards the front by drafting with Jamie McMurray with about 50 laps to go. And on the third of the green-white-checkered restarts he found himself locked on to McMurray’s No. 1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s Chevrolet going into the final lap.
After he had helped McMurray by forming what was a two-car breakaway, he moved out from behind and made a pass with the finish line in sight.
“We knew coming into the tri-oval we needed to be second and (McMurray) moved right and I moved left and that was it,” Harvick said.
McMurray finished second falling just short of his third consecutive restrictor plate win. He won the 2009 fall race at Talladega and this season’s Daytona 500.
Two new records established in the race: 89 lead changes among 29 leaders.
Juan Pablo Montoya finished third followed by Denny Hamlin, Mark Martin, David Ragan, and Clint Bowyer. Jimmie Johnson retained the Sprint Cup points lead over Harvick by 26 points. Johnson finished in 31st spot.
In the NASCAR Nationwide Aaron’s 312, run right after the Cup race, Brad Keselowski in the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge won with Joey Logano second in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota. The lone Canadian in the race, Steve Arpin of Fort Frances, Ont., finished 26th in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.