The Sprint Unlimited
Daytona International Speedway - Daytona Beach, FL
Saturday, February 16, 8:29 pm ET
Thanks for joining us for tonight's Sprint Unlimited coverage. Make sure to tune in to FOX and log back on tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET for live coverage of Daytona 500 qualifying.
This is Kevin Harvick's third win in nine starts in this event. He had to block like a madman on the final lap, blocking Tony Stewart low and then going high to stop Greg Biffle from taking the win from him!
CHECKERED FLAG - KEVIN HARVICK WINS!
WHITE FLAG! Harvick leads.
Lap 73: Now it's a six-car breakaway with 2 to go!
Radio chatter on Lap 72; Kenseth, "next time by I'm going to make a move no matter what"
Lap 71 - 4 to go: Kevin Harvick leads!
Lap 70 - five laps left: It's a 10-car breakaway up front as Ambrose and Montoya have lost pack.
Radio chatter on lap 69: Kenseth: "I guess if they cant win they're not going to push us"
Lap 67: Drivers have settled down for now - single file - but action is about to pick up.
Lap 65: 10 laps to go - Harvick leads - madness behind him!
Lap 63: Harvick back to the lead - and behind him they are now 3-wide!
Lap 62: Kenseth finally is able to complete the pass for the lead! But Harvick remains nearby.
Lap 58: By the way - Chevy, Chevy, Toyota, Ford, Ford are your top five
Lap 57: Harvick staying in the lead, but Kenseth is getting help from former teammate Biffle and is right alongside on the low side.
Lap 56: Matt Kenseth pulls up alongside leader Kevin Harvick but cannot complete the pass!
GREEN FLAG! Here we go - the final 20 lap segment for the win!
Radio chatter before start of final segment: “It’s going to be hard, hard to get it done,” Biffle said. “But we’ll see.” “10-4. See what you can do there. If we can be there at the end, we’ll be fine,” Crew chief Puccia said
9:35 p.m. ET: Cars are back on track - we are set to start the final 20-lap dash for cash in seconds!
Radio chatter inbetween segments: Letarte asked Junior about his temps. He replies, "I think they were both under 200" Then Earnhardt adds "you need to ask me while I'm actually driving." Letarte says, "Yeah, that would help"
Lee Spencer reports: No. 88 crew chief Letarte is scrambling to make sure the car is OK during the pit stop inbetween segments. They're going to "pop the hood" and check to make sure everything is ok on the inside
Radio chatter inbetween segments: Stewart wants to make sure that Junior understands what happened during their contact on the track. He sends Spotter Bob Jeffers to talk to TJ Majors. Jeffers "message delivered"
Pit road is open and teams come in for service. Remember, teams will restart final segment as it ended - these pit stops do not affect the running order.
END OF SEGMENT 2: And Kevin Harvick claims the win in this segment! Biffle, Logano, Stewart and Truex Jr. round out the top five after 55 laps.
Radio chatter on Lap 53: "It's sounds a little sick on the way by," No. 88 crew chief Steve Letarte said. "Do you have fuel pressure?
NASCAR on FOX cameras show some damage on the left rear tire of Dale Jr.'s No. 88 after contact from Tony Stewart.
Radio chatter on Lap 52: "It's acting like it's quit running a little bit," Earnhardt said.
Radio chatter on Lap 48: Spotter Chris Osborne tells Kenseth "all the help is on the top"
Lap 46: And just like that, Stewart bounces off Dale Jr.'s car but everybody manages to stick together and not wreck coming off Turn 4!
Radio chatter on Lap 45: Spotter Billy O'Dea tells Greg Biffle that's Stewart is going to try to wreck the field again
Lap 44: Tony Stewart grabbed the lead for a lap, but now it's Harvick up front again!
Lap 41: Oh by the way, Tony Stewart is back up front battling for the lead again - maybe he wanted to see if he could go from the rear to the front?
Radio chatter on Lap 38: Kasey Kahne telling his crew he's having trouble keeping with the lead pack - he's last (12th) among the cars running right now.
Lee Spencer says on Lap 37: The fact that none of the drivers are talking tells me it's absolutely nuts out there
Lap 36: Stewart has fallen way back - from battling for the lead to 10th place - just over 1 second behind the leaders. Strategy move perhaps?
Lap 34: Kevin Harvick to the lead! He finally makes the outside work with help from Biffle - now he's got the pack behind him.
Lap 32: The inside line, where Tony Stewart is right now, is definitely the stronger line so far tonight - but Harvick is trying to make the outside work!
Lap 31: WHOA! Harvick leads, but Stewart is aggressive with the side draft and takes the lead coming off Turn 4!
START OF SEGMENT 2: Kevin Harvick leads!
This second segment will be a 25-lap segment, followed by a brief break and then the 20-lap dash for cash!
For the record: Fans had voted for no eliminations in this race - sadly, with the big wreck earlier tonight it doesn't matter.
In between segments: An extended stop for Marcos Ambrose while the check on the contact from the Stewart incident
As we await the start of the second segment, check out the crash that changed the entire race earlier tonight
PIT STOPS: Here they come for a mandatory four-tire pit stop. Harvick wins the race off pit road! Stewart second, Kahne third, Biffle and Kenseth round out top five.
Radio chatter on Lap 30: "I need you to snug me up a little bit," Stewart said.
Teams will now be required to do a four-tire pit stop (as voted by the fans) and the order for the second-lap restart will be based on how teams exit after the pit stop.
SEGMENT DONE - Lap 30: And Tony Stewart took the lead on the backstretch to lead after the first 30 laps! 12 cars remain after this segment.
Lap 29: And coming on the outside is Tony Stewart! He is alongside Kenseth but cannot take the lead for long.
Lap 23: Whoa! Joey Logano got a little squirrely but was able to regain control without hitting anything (or anybody!)
Lap 23: Biffle goes low to take the lead - but Kenseth takes it back right before the line!
RESTART - Lap 20: Matt Kenseth is your leader on this restart. 12 cars remain on lead lap (19 started the race).
Radio chatter on Lap 19: Dale Earnhardt jr.: "The cars don’t push real well – at least not the guy out front. It’s real hairy"
Radio chatter on Lap 15: “I drove over a little bit of stuff,” Kasey Kahne said. “I just screwed up. Damn it.”
Lap 15: WRECK! Big wreck! Second-place Tony Stewart was going low and got clipped from behind by Marcos Ambrose, creating a chain-effect behind him with many cars taking damage. Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin take heavy damage and their days are likely done. Kurt Busch got hit on the driver's side but was able to drive away. Martin Truex Jr. also got some damage.
Lap 12: Remember race leader Matt Kenseth is good at Daytona. He may be new to Joe Gibbs Racing, but not to Victory Lane at Daytona. He won his second Daytona 500 last year.
Lap 11: Lots of passing so far - drivers jockeying for position - but a clean race ... for now.
Lap 10: Dale Jr. breaks the top five.
Lee Spencer notes on Lap 7: spotters are doing all the talking
Lap 6: Five drivers - Gordon, Martin, Logano, Montoya and Almirola - are falling back and losing the main pack.
Lap 6: Now Matt Kenseth goes to the lead!
Lap 5: Terry Labonte has pulled off the track and is in the garage.
ALERT: Fans have voted for a 4-tire change. Teams will be required to do a four-tire change at the end of this segment.
Lap 3: Martin Truex Jr. to the lead!
Lap 1: Greg Biffle to the lead! Lots of back-and-forth early!
It’s the words you’ve been dying to hear for the last 3 months – Boogity! Boogity! Boogity! Let’s go racing boys!
Radio chatter at 8:28 p.m. ET: Jimmie Johnson tells the crew that he can hear the radio around the track in all the turns except 3
8:27 p.m. ET: Final pace lap is here - strap those belts on!
Don't forget - new car or not, crashes happen quickly on this track. Need a reminder? Just check out what happened Friday less than 10 minutes into the opening practice
This it is, the first race featuring the highly anticipated Generation 6 Sprint Cup car. Just how did this race car evolve over the years? Take a look
Lee Spencer says: 55, 78, 99 to the back of the field for backup cars
8:21 p.m. ET: Cars are rolling off!
8:17 p.m. ET: DRIVERS, START YOUR ENGINES!!!!!
8:15 p.m. ET: The prerace festivities are complete - it's almost time to go racing! Tune in to FOX Sports right now for flag-to-flag coverage.
Welcome to the FOXSports.com coverage of the season-opening, non-points NASCAR Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.
A total of 19 drivers will compete in the race, which will be broadcast on FOX at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.
As a reminder, you the fans have voted on the format for tonight's race and it will be three segments - 30 laps, 25 laps and a 20-lap shootout to the finish. Still to be determined by a fan vote is the number of pits stops that will take place and if there will be any driver eliminations.
In 12 career Sprint Unlimited starts, the late, great Dale Earnhardt posted six victories, 11 top-10 finishes and an average finish of 2.75.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the all-time lap leader in the Sprint Unlimited, with 129 laps led.
Tonight will be the 35th running of the Sprint Unlimited. Seven times previously the winner led only the final lap.
The Busch brothers have won the two most recent Sprint Unlimiteds, with Kyle winning in 2012 and Kurt in 2011. They are the only brothers to win the race.
Both Busch brothers set records for closest Sprint Unlimited finishes: Kurt beat Jamie McMurray by 0.058 seconds in 2011, while Kyle beat Tony Stewart by 0.013 seconds last year.
In six of the last seven Sprint Unlimiteds, the final lead change came either on the final lap or the penultimate lap.
Mark Martin will make his 25th Sprint Unlimited start tonight; Aric Almirola will make his first.
Only five of the last 15 Sprint Unlimiteds have been won from a top-10 starting spot.
In the last nine Sprint Unlimiteds, Kevin Harvick is the only repeat winner.
The most money ever won in this race is $215,000. Tony Stewart claimed that much in 2007, as did Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2008.
Tony Stewart has won a total of $1,201,908 in the Sprint Unlimited, most of any driver in history.