DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the second straight year, Kevin Harvick is the Budweiser Shootout champion.
Harvick slipped past Greg Biffle with two laps to go in the green-white-checkered finish and was declared the winner when the caution for a multi-car incident was brought out in Turns 3 and 4.
“(My team) did a great job,” said Harvick, who was one of eight Daytona 500 champions that made up the 24-car field. “We wrecked a car in practice, I was sick on Thursday, didn’t even get to sit a lap in this thing. Man that thing was a rocket.”
Harvick joins Neil Bonnett, Ken Schrader and Tony Stewart as the fourth driver in history to win consecutive Budweiser Shootouts.
And he did it in a back up car that he never had the opportunity to practice. Harvick missed Budweiser Shootout practice earlier this week due to flu-like symptoms and RCR drivers Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton filled in.
“Tonight we led a bunch of laps, ran at the front all night,” said Harvick, who led 21 laps. “To go out and have that car start cold, never have a lap on the race track, to have it run like it ran says a lot for the preparation of the team.”
Kasey Kahne and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top three. For Kahne, it was his first race behind the wheel of a Ford and for McMurray, it was his first event back at Chip Ganassi Racing.
“It’s a wonderful way to start my relationship back with Chip Ganassi and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing,” McMurray said. “You never know when you start out if you’re going to like the setups that they give you. We unloaded pretty much with the setup that they built at the shop and didn’t change anything all night long.”
The Budweiser Shootout had a new qualifying criteria in 2010. The 24-car field was comprised of the 12 drivers who qualified for the 2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, past NASCAR Sprint Cup champions, past Budweiser Shootout champions, past Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola champions and the reigning Raybestos Rookie of the Year.
Grammy winners Zac Brown Band performed a pre- and post-race concert, in addition to the National Anthem.
Tickets for all Hershey’s Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks events, including the 52nd annual Daytona 500, are available on your web-enabled phone at mobile.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.