Kevin Harvick survived a bout with flu-like symptoms, missing Bud Shootout practice, and a green-white-checker finish to win his second consecutive Bud Shootout under caution. Harvick took the lead on lap 75, and earned the victory when the field was frozen due to a caution for a multi-car accident.
There was a little confusion as to whether or not the race was over because all week during the TV broadcasts, fans were informed that the race had to end under green. That, however, was untrue because the race ended under caution. It was later clarified that NASCAR would only make one attempt at a green-white-checker, and drivers were informed in the drivers’ meeting.
Top 5: Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin.
Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Brian Vickers, Tony Stewart, and Juan Montoya rounded out the top 10.
Notables: Dale Earnhardt Jr (11th), Jimmie Johnson (13th), Greg Biffle (15th), Matt Kenseth (16th), Carl Edwards (17th), Ryan Newman (19th), Mark Martin (20th), and Kurt Busch (23rd).
All in all, it was good to see the cars back on the track after the off-season. But, I’m not sure the racing has yet improved. For the first 25 laps, the cars ran side-by-side, but no one could pass Carl Edwards, the leader at the time. This, of course, could have been because the drivers were waiting to mix it up until later in the race. But, tt was still reminiscent of last year, when the lead car would be impossible to pass. Perhaps the change to the spoiler will improve that.