Reversal Of Fortune For Harvick

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Two years ago, Kevin Harvick was enjoying the week following the Daytona 500 as its victor after narrowly capturing the win by beating Mark Martin to the checkered flag by 0.020 seconds.

This year, Harvick has to watch from the sidelines after finishing in second in the rain-shortened Daytona 500.

But Harvick isn't too disappointed at the finish considering how close he was to capturing his second Daytona 500.

"Another lap, you never know what would have happened if that doesn't shake out like it did. I mean, you always want to win the race. Knowing what it's like to win the Daytona 500, it's a lot of fun to win and neat to be in Victory Lane," Harvick said.

"But, you know, it's also kind of bittersweet, I guess you could say, for the fact that Matt is the one that pushed me to my Daytona 500 win. In the end, it's kind of weird how that stuff works out."

In 2007, when Harvick won "The Great American Race," this year's Daytona 500 winner, Matt Kenseth, was part of the freight train of cars pushing Harvick on the last lap from sixth to first. That year, though, Kenseth didn't join Harvick in the top 10, but rather was involved in the wild last lap accident and relegated to 27th.

As this year's Daytona 500 started it didn't look like either Harvick or Kenseth would have an easy chance to challenge for the victory. Both drivers had to start the Daytona 500 with back-up cars. Kenseth's main car was damaged in the Gatorade Duel and he started 39th, and Harvick's car was damaged in practice on Friday before the race and he started 32nd.

During the race, Harvick managed to work his way into the top 10 by lap 130 and challenge Kenseth for the win in the final laps before rain started to fall.

"I wasn't happy with the way we started the day, but I was proud of the way that we came back and made the car handle really good," Harvick said. "We knew where we were speed wise. We said, All right, let's make the thing handle. That really paid off for us in the end.

"Knowing how our day started, what we accomplished ... I'm happy with where we are."

Harvick heads to his home track at Auto Club Speedway this weekend second in the points, coming off his first victory since the 2007 Daytona 500. He's coming off his best season at Auto Club Speedway in his career with an eighth and fourth in last year's two races.

"When I look back on this Speedweeks, we had a win and a second-place finish, so it's hard to be too upset," Harvick said. "It's a really good start to the year and sets the tone for 2009."

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