The Coca-Cola 600 might have been for points and 445 miles longer than the All-Star Race, but the two races finishes were pretty damn similar.
Much like Jimmie Johnson in that All-Star Race, Kevin Harvick ran away from the field after a four-tire pit stop over the last laps of the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway to get his second win of the season.
Both Harvick and Johnson's late race charges came from second place on that final restart, and both were at the expense of Kasey Kahne, who led the field to green for the final time each race. In the All-Star Race, both Kahne and Johnson had four fresh tires thanks to the format's mandatory four-tire pit stop before the final 10 lap segment. Sunday night, Kahne was at a tire disadvantage to Harvick.
When the caution flag flew for debris (coincidentally, from Johnson's car) with 16 laps to go, Kahne, who was the race leader, and crew chief Kenny Francis made the decision to stay out on the track. The rest of the lead lap cars, including Harvick, who was second, hit pit road. Kahne was vulnerable.
When the green flag waved with 11 laps to go, Harvick cleared Kahne by the time the two got to the backstretch. Once he did that, those fresh tires and the clean air at the front of the field meant that Harvick, much like Johnson eight days earlier, wasn't going to be caught.
It was a relatively calm ending to a race that, well, was downright wild with multiple red flags and took over five hours to complete.
The first red flag incident was for Fox's cable cam. The rope from the camera fell on lap 121 and damaged several cars, including the car of Kyle Busch, who hit it while he was leading. Those red flags lasted over 26 minutes, including a 15 minute red flag period in which NASCAR allowed teams to fix the damage to their cars from running over the rope. 10 fans in the grandstands were treated for injuries because of the falling rope and the track said that seven were treated and released for minor cuts and three were taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
The other red flag came for a big crash between Aric Almirola, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and others on the frontstretch when Almirola and Martin made contact that sent Almirola into Gordon and the wall.