87. Harvick wins Sprint Unlimited under lights at Daytona

Top 100 Stories of 2013 Daytona Beach-Orlando Metro Area / Headline Surfer®

Kevin Harvick in victory lane at Daytona / Getty Images / Headline SurferPhotos by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR / Headline Surfer® /
Kevin Harvick celebrates in Victory Lane during the Speed Weeks race at Daytona International Speedway.
 

DAYTONA BEACH -- Kevin Harvick made his No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet as wide as he could in the final laps, holding off repeated challenges for the lead on his way to victory in the Saturday night, Feb. 16, Sprint Unlimited under the lights at Daytona International Speedway.

Harvick wins Sprint Unlimited / Getty Images / Headline SurferKevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet, crosses the finish line in the NASCAR race at Daytona during Speed Weeks

On the last lap, Harvick blocked both Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart to win his third career Sprint Unlimited, NASCAR's fan-favorite non-points event that featured the debut of the Gen-6 race car.

Harvick's previous Sprint Unlimited wins came in 2009 and 2010.

"Any time you're in Victory Lane here in Daytona, it's a great day," Harvick said.

"When you're coming from white (flag) to checkered, it's whatever you have to do to make it happen. It was a great day for our Budweiser Chevy and I'm glad we got Speedweeks started off the right way."

Green flag at Spring Unlimited at Daytona / Getty Images / Headline SurferPhoto by Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images / Headline Surfer®
Drivers begin the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.
 

Tony Stewart captured the event's first 30-lap segment, while Harvick won the second 25-lap segment and the final 20-lap dash.

Overall, Harvick led 40 of the 75 laps.

"I was nervous about the 20 (Matt Kenseth) and the 14 (Stewart)," Harvick said.

"I thought their cars were a little bit better than what we had. I felt (Kenseth) had the strongest car and he could make a lot happen on the bottom by himself. So, I was glad to see him get shuffled back there."

Biffle and Joey Logano rounded out the top three while Stewart finished fourth.

"That is why I haven't won a Daytona 500 yet," Stewart said of the last lap. "I'm not quite sure exactly which move to make. We learned a lot. The good thing is we have 500 miles to get it done (next) weekend. This thing was fast today."

The format for selecting The Sprint Unlimited field of drivers returned to its roots in 2013.

The eligible field of drivers consisted of pole winners from the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and past winners of The Sprint Unlimited who have attempted to qualify for at least one race during the 2012 season.

Counting 'em down: Headline Surfer® Ranking of the Top 100 Stories of 2013

Top 100 Stories of 2013 Daytona Beach-Orlando Metro Area / Headline Surfer®

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.