By Jenna Fryer Associated press
RICHMOND, Va. — Kevin Harvick plowed through traffic on the final restart, driving from seventh to Victory Lane in a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish of the Toyota Owners 400 Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.
‘‘Just shifted gears, hit the pedal, and hoped for the best,’’ Harvick said. ‘‘They all went high and I went low. The seas kind of parted there. They didn’t get a very good restart, and my car launched.”
It was Harvick’s first Sprint Cup win of the season and his 20th career victory. It put Richard Childress Racing in Victory Lane after a wild weekend.
Juan Pablo Montoya was trying to hold off Harvick for his first win since 2010 when the caution came out with four laps remaining.
Montoya left the decision to pit or stay out to crew chief Chris Heroy, who gamely tried to calm the driver and convince him he could still win the race. He brought Montoya down pit road, a decision most of the field followed as everyone traded track position for tires.
Montoya and Harvick took four tires, which put them sixth and seventh for the final restart. Jeff Burton was the leader after Burton, Jamie McMurray, and AJ Allmendinger stayed on the track.
When the race resumed, the first three cars on old tires couldn’t hold off traffic and it created mayhem through the field. Harvick rocketed his way through the pack, dragging Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano with him.
Tony Stewart restarted in fifth, but was bumped out of the way by Kurt Busch and faded to 18th.
Stewart angrily traded bumps with Busch on the cooldown lap, even trying to force him into the wall, before the drivers headed to the garage.
Once back at their haulers Stewart and Busch shouted at each other over crew members, with Busch claiming the final two laps ‘‘were a free-for-all.’’
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Nelson Piquet Jr. was involved in a postrace altercation that led to the arrest of two crew members for Richard Childress Racing, his team said.
Piquet and RCR driver Brian Scott tangled on the track during Friday night’s Nationwide Series race and in the pits after. Crews for both drivers confronted each other when Scott went over to Piquet’s car, and Piquet shoved him and then kicked Scott in the groin.
‘‘When I went to talk to him, he just pushed and shoved me and then kicked me below the belt,’’ Scott said after the race. ‘‘It’s just a chicken move.’’
Henrico County police said there was a fight in the motorhome lot that led to the arrests of two crew members. Michael Searce was arrested on two charges of misdemeanor assault, and Thomas Costello was arrested on one count of misdemeanor assault. They were released early Saturday.