RCR Picks Up Multiple Awards

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Kevin Harvick's slingshot pass in the last 200 yards to win Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway capped a 90th win for Richard Childress Racing and helped the team collect six weekly awards.

In the longest NASCAR Sprint Cup race in the 40-year history of the 2.66-mile oval – 12 laps over the advertised distance – Harvick nipped Jamie McMurray by just 0.011-seconds with a thrilling last-lap pass on the final and third attempt at a green-white-checkered finish to pick up his first victory at Talladega.

"We made a plan before the race, and I'm telling you, every piece of it played out exactly how we wanted to play it," said Harvick after capturing his 12th career NASCAR Sprint Cup victory. "We put four tires on the car when we wanted to, we pitted when we wanted to, we stayed out of the pack when we wanted to until it was time."

RCR teams left Talladega with the win, an additional top 10 and numerous post-race honors – all of which are part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provides teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories.

Smart calls atop the pit box earned crew chief Gil Martin the "DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race" Award – presented to the crew chief of the driver who demonstrates the best qualifying and race effort as determined by averaging the sum of their qualifying and race finish.

Martin also captured the "Moog Chassis Parts Problem Solver of the Race" Award, given to the crew chief whose car posts the largest increase in average lap speed from the first half to the second half of the race while finishing on the lead lap. Harvick and the No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet picked up a race-best 0.024-seconds in average lap speed over the final 100 laps.

"I just think it shows everybody exactly what we were talking about going into the season," said Martin. "We really structured a lot of things this winter, and all of us have been strong. The No. 31 and the No. 33 have been strong. Everybody is running up front."

The No. 29 team was also recognized for their power plants under-the-hood by taking home the "Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race," as well as the "Sunoco Diamond Performance" Awards, awarded to the highest finishing eligible driver.

Before getting caught up in a late-race incident, RCR's Jeff Burton turned the fastest lap of the day (197.069 mph on Lap 42) earning him the "Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap of the Race" Award. Burton also captured the "WIX Filters Lap Leader of the Race" Award for leading a total of 28 laps in a race which set an all-time record for lead changes (88) and lap leaders (29). RCR teammate Clint Bowyer rounded out the day with a solid top-10 finish.

Harvick's win marks Richard Childress Racing's first win at Talladega since Dale Earnhardt won his 76th and final race in October 2000. It's RCR's 10th overall win at the track, which ties the organization with Hendrick Motorsports for most races ever won at the Alabama track that's hosted 81 NASCAR races since it opened in 1969.

"This is about as sweet as it gets," said RCR owner Richard Childress, who has three cars in the top 12 in points.

RCR drivers Harvick, Bowyer and Burton sit second, 11th and 12th, respectively, in the points standings heading into this weekend's racing action at Richmond International Raceway.

Official winners of this week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Prize Money & Decal Program special awards include:

• COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: None due to inclement weather
• DIRECTV CREW CHIEF OF THE RACE AWARD: Gil Martin (crew chief for Kevin Harvick)
• GOODYEAR GATORBACK BELTS FASTEST LAP AWARD: Jeff Burton (197.069 mph, Lap 42)
• MAHLE CLEVITE ENGINE BUILDER OF THE RACE AWARD: Kevin Harvick
• MOBIL 1 “COMMAND PERFORMANCE DRIVER OF THE RACE” AWARD:Jamie McMurray
• MOOG CHASSIS PARTS PROBLEM SOLVER OF THE RACE AWARD: Gil Martin (crew chief for Kevin Harvick)
• O’REILLY AUTO PARTS POSITION IMPROVEMENT AWARD: David Ragan (20 places)
• RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE RACE AWARD: Kevin Conway
• SUNOCO DIAMOND PERFORMANCE AWARD: Kevin Harvick
• TISSOT “PIT ROAD PRECISION” AWARD: David Reutimann (208.560secs.)
• WIX FILTERS LAP LEADER AWARD: Jeff Burton (28 laps)

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