ThatsRacin

Kevin Harvick lone bright spot for Stewart-Haas Racing at Daytona 500

Defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick speaks to the media before the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick speaks to the media before the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, in Daytona Beach, Fla. AP

Kevin Harvick was coming.

Harvick lined up sixth on the final two-lap overtime that was to decide Sunday’s Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway and as the white flag was waved signifying the start of the final lap, he had moved into second.

The only obstacle between the reigning Sprint Cup Series champion and a second career Daytona 500 victory was Joey Logano.

And the caution flag.

A multicar wreck erupted back in the field on the last lap and NASCAR threw a caution to slow the field and allow safety vehicles to head to the scene. That move froze the field and ensured Logano would take the checkered flag.

“I really thought everything on our (car) was lined up pretty well coming down the backstretch,” Harvick said of the final lap. “I was trying to back up to (Dale Earnhardt) Junior and get a run, so we were lined up with a little distance coming off of Turn 4.

“I thought we were going to have at least a chance. But in the end that didn’t all pan out with the caution. Still, a good weekend for us.”

Yes, it was.

Harvick was pretty much the lone bright spot for Stewart-Haas Racing on Sunday.

SHR driver Kurt Busch was suspended Friday over his involvement in a domestic violence matter, and team co-owner Tony Stewart went to the garage early in the race after his involvement in a wreck.

Danica Patrick, who had twice been involved in wrecks during SpeedWeeks and was using a backup car in the race, finished 21st.

“I’m ready to go to Atlanta. It seems like we’ve been here for a month,” Harvick said. “I’m glad today is over. I’m relieved for my team that we had a good, solid finish, a good start to the season.

“That’s really what it’s all about, is trying to win a race to get yourself positioned in the Chase, be able to try to win more races if you can do that early enough.”

Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter.

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