Kevin Harvick and the Champion Spark Plug-fired No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS had more power and fresher tires when they mattered most, allowing the Richard Childress Racing-owned car to pull away during the final green-flag run to win Saturday’s wild Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. It was the second win of the year and 21st Cup Series victory overall for Harvick, official spokesperson for Federal-Mogul’s “Performance Driven” Champion brand.
After a marathon night replete with red flags (two caused by the collapse of an overhead camera cable on Lap 122) and hard contact, Harvick lined up alongside the seemingly dominant Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet) for what turned out to be an 11-lap drag race to the checkered flag. But Kahne who had led a race-high 161 laps couldn’t match Harvick’s power and fresh rubber in the closing laps and the 29 Chevrolet sprinted to a nearly 1.5-second margin of victory in NASCAR’s longest race.
“We’ve been here a lot of times and know that you just have to grind through mile after mile, keep your car running, don’t get tore up, don’t get a lap down, and you’re going to be somewhere around at the end,” Harvick told reporters after his victory celebration.
“Kevin is a very, very smart driver, and he knew that the 29 car would be one of the fastest on the track in the closing laps,” said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. “(Crew chief) Gil Martin made a great call for two tires during the last caution and our Champion plugs did what they always do help maximize engine performance. We’re thrilled for Kevin, RCR and our Champion engineering team, which has developed industry-leading technologies for every type of engine.”
In addition to representing the Champion brand on the track, Harvick supports several innovative programs designed to introduce the brand’s latest technologies to millions of racing enthusiasts and consumers, including the brand’s popular “Search for a Champion” sponsorship contest. He also interacts live with members of the Champion community via monthly #ChampionChat social media sessions on Twitter and TweetChat.com. One of the world’s most recognized and respected brands, Champion today represents an extensive offering of advanced products, including world-class Champion spark plugs, Champion wiper blades and Champion chemical additives for automotive and small-engine applications.