NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
 
       === Harvick wins a wild and lengthy Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte ===
 
 Concord,  NC  (Sports Network) -  Kevin Harvick  won Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at
 Charlotte  Motor  Speedway after passing Kasey  Kahne for the lead following a
 restart with 11 laps to go.
 
 Harvick's  second win in NASCAR's longest race of the season was overshadowed,
 though,  by  a rope cable  from an overhead  Fox Sports television camera that
 snapped  and fell on the track and grandstand area, injuring 10 spectators and
 damaging  several  race cars.  The nylon  rope from the  camera dropped on the
 track  and in the grandstand area in turn 4 during lap 122. Speedway officials
 said seven fans were treated for minor cuts and scrapes at the track's infield
 medical  care center.  Three others had to be transported to a nearby hospital
 for further observation. They were treated and later released.
 
 The incident forced NASCAR to stop the race two separate times, with the first
 red-flag  period  lasting 11 minutes and  the second for 16 minutes. The cable
 tangled  around  several of the  cars running on  the track, causing damage to
 them.  Kyle  Busch, who  was the  leader at  the time,  Mark Martin and Marcos
 Ambrose were among those drivers who sustained damage to their cars.
 
 "I  saw this  streak go  by me  and wondered,  'What in  the hell  was that'?"
 Harvick  said. "I always have this thing with my eyes. It's one of the biggest
 things  we  have as drivers. You  got to believe  in your eyes. I tell myself,
 'You got to believe what you saw'.
 
 "I  got to the start/finish line and eased off the gas. I knew what I had seen
 the  lap before, and  I was hoping it wasn't my last race. I was hoping what I
 saw  was right.  I let off at  the start/finish line, and there was that black
 streak again. I was looking for it. You could see the cable hanging down."
 
 Fox  race  announcers repeatedly apologized to  viewers as well as the drivers
 and  the  fans affected by the  incident. The television network also issued a
 statement,  saying, "At  this time, we do  not have a cause for the failure of
 the  camera  drive line that interrupted  tonight's Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte
 Motor Speedway, and our immediate concern is with the injured fans.
 
 "The  camera  system consists of  three ropes -- a  drive rope which moves the
 camera  back  and forth,  and two guide  ropes on either  side. The drive rope
 failed near the Turn 1 connection and fell to the track. The camera itself did
 not  come down  because guide ropes acted as designed. A full investigation is
 planned, and use of the camera is suspended indefinitely.
 
 "This  camera  system had been  used successfully  at this year's Daytona 500,
 last  week's  NASCAR Sprint  All-Star Race  and other  major events around the
 world.  We certainly  regret that the system failure affected tonight's event,
 we  apologize to  the racers whose cars were damaged and our immediate concern
 is for the race fans."
 
 When  the  field was  parked on pit  road during the  red flag, NASCAR allowed
 teams to work on their cars due to the very unforeseen circumstance. After the
 cable  cleanup was completed and the race resumed under caution, NASCAR placed
 the field in the order it had been when the caution flag first came out.
 
 "I commend NASCAR for taking action and giving us all the chance to repair our
 damaged cars from the issue that we had earlier in the race," Busch said later
 in the race when he suffered engine failure and had his night end prematurely.
 
 Busch  won his  record seventh Nationwide Series race at Charlotte on Saturday
 after leading 186 of 200 laps. He also won the Camping World Truck Series race
 here  earlier this  month. Busch  was  hoping to  score his  first Sprint  Cup
 victory at this 1.5-mile racetrack.
 
 "It's  just catastrophic  engine failure," said Busch, who finished 38th after
 leading  65 laps.  "It seems to be that  time of the year again. I hate it for
 all  of my guys. It's so frustrating to see it end short like that and not get
 the finish that we needed."
 
 Dale  Earnhardt Jr.  also had  his motor  expire at  the same  time as  Busch.
 Earnhardt  had smoke pluming from the back of his car, which caused a four-car
 accident in turn 3 on lap 259. He finished one spot behind Busch in 39th.
 
 "I  had smoke  in the cockpit for  three laps, and I smelled something burning
 and  thought  it was a  rubber buildup on  the header or something," Earnhardt
 said. "Then I started losing power on my last lap before it broke. I found the
 water and oil mixed together, and that's never good."
 
 The  race was  red-flagged for  the third  time after  a hard  multi-car crash
 occurred  on the  frontstretch  on  lap 327.  Aric  Almirola  and Martin  made
 contact,  causing Almirola  to bump  into  Jeff Gordon  and put  him into  the
 outside wall. Martin took the blame for the incident.
 
 "I  just  went three-wide, and  I got squeezed  in there," Martin said. "There
 just wasn't quite enough room in there. I hate it."
 
 The  red-flag time for that wreck, involving seven drivers, lasted for just 10
 minutes.
 
 "I  got under Mark off  of turn 4, and I was almost clear of him and down next
 to  the grass, but I think maybe he just misjudged and clipped me in the rear-
 rear  corner panel,"  Almirola said.  "It's unfortunate,  and I  know that  he
 probably didn't mean to do that."
 
 Brad  Keselowski, the defending Sprint Cup Series champion, and Danica Patrick
 had  a  run-in on lap 320.  While running in a  tight pack of cars following a
 restart,  Patrick tried  to avoid  making  contact with  her boyfriend,  Ricky
 Stenhouse Jr., but Patrick bumped into Keselowski, which put both of them into
 the wall.
 
 Keselowski  damaged his  car beyond  repair and  finished 36th,  while Patrick
 ended up 15 laps off of the pace in 29th.
 
 Earlier  in  the day,  Keselowski was  in attendance  for the Indianapolis 500
 before  heading back  to Charlotte for the  race. He was there to support Team
 Penske  drivers  Helio Castroneves, Will  Power and A.J. Allmendinger, a part-
 time  Sprint  Cup competitor  who made his  first start in  the Indy 500. Tony
 Kanaan won the race for the first time in his 12th attempt.
 
 Debris  on  the frontstretch  led to  the 11th  and final  caution on lap 386.
 During  the caution, Kahne opted not to pit and remained the leader, while the
 other  frontrunners,  including second-place  Harvick, came  in for new tires.
 Harvick  made a two-tire  change and came out of the pits first. He ran second
 to Kahne for the restart.
 
 Harvick, who is in his final year with Richard Childress Racing before heading
 to  Stewart-Haas Racing for  the 2014 season, beat Kahne to the finish line by
 1.5  seconds for  his second victory of  the season and the 21st of his Sprint
 Cup career. He won the April 27 race at Richmond.
 
 "Just  a  great night," Harvick said.  "(Crew chief) Gil (Martin) made a great
 call  at the end.  We were able to put ourselves in position and survive until
 the point of when it was time to go."
 
 When  Harvick won the  600-mile race at Charlotte for the first time two years
 ago, he did so by taking the lead from Earnhardt on the final turn of the last
 lap when Earnhardt ran out of fuel.
 
 "Obviously,  you want to  run as fast as you can, but it really doesn't matter
 until the end," Harvick said.
 
 Kahne  had  the strongest car throughout  the race, leading the most laps with
 161.
 
 "We  had a great  car from the drop of the green," he said. "It was definitely
 our  race  to lose, especially  those last hundred  laps. We just thought that
 some  of  the guys would  stay out (during the  last caution). I think there's
 three  cars that just pitted within the last couple laps, five or six laps. We
 just  felt  like they'd  stay out,  and that would  be a  big enough buffer to
 someone who had two or four tires that we could get away. Didn't happen."
 
 Kurt Busch overcame a battery issue earlier in the race to finish third, while
 Denny Hamlin, the pole sitter, and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five.
 
 "Well,  it  was a good  550 miles it  seemed like for  us, and then the normal
 something has to pop up, some adversity we have to overcome came about," Busch
 said.  "It came about  this week in a dead battery. I'm a little shell-shocked
 still,  trying to  find  the exact  words,  because I'm  always  judged on  my
 reaction instead of my actual performance."
 
 Ryan  Newman took  the sixth  spot, followed  by Tony  Stewart, Clint  Bowyer,
 Martin Truex Jr. and Ambrose.
 
 Jimmie  Johnson, who won the all-star race last weekend at Charlotte, finished
 five laps behind in 22nd after he was involved in a five-car crash on lap 335.
 Johnson  lost control  and spun coming out  of turn 4 when he and Matt Kenseth
 had made contact. Juan Pablo Montoya then clipped the back of Johnson to cause
 more damage to his car.
 
 Johnson now holds a 32-point lead over Carl Edwards, who finished 11th.
 
 05/27 02:47:05 ET

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