David Ragan fended off teammate Carl Edwards to claim his second Nationwide Series win at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Starting ninth, the Roush Fenway driver systematically moved up in the order and passed Edwards for the lead on lap 199 when the pair hit traffic. From then on, he was able to remain up front until the checkered flag despite a late caution, which gave his rivals one more shot at snatching victory from him.
The 23-year-old drove faultlessly and wasn't really challenged in the final sprint of the race, taking only his second career win in one of NASCAR's national series.
The race distance was increased by four laps following the ninth caution of the day but a green-white-chequered finish didn't happen in the end as the race officially finished under caution due to a multi-car crash on the last lap.
"It was just a fun night driving such a fast race car," said Ragan. "The outside was our real strength all night. I struggled passing cars on the bottom. I raced with Carl a lot, that was a lot of fun racing with a team-mate, and I was able to pin him behind a lapped car.
"I don't think I was going to be able to pass him because he was riding that middle groove and I just couldn't get around him."
Edwards' second place finish allowed him to profit on a bad day for points leader Kyle Busch, who was classified 28th after an incident on lap 53 with rookie Chase Austin while leading the race. Austin had a tire down and was trying to drive slowly to the apron out of Turn 4, while Busch was completing a pass on Harvick for the lead at the same spot.
The pair made contact, sending Busch against the wall and then to the garage with massive damage to the front end of his car.
"We're unfortunate that that happened," said Busch. "I've made mistakes too but I guess [Chase Austin's] spotter didn't see the leaders coming or whatever happened.
"He had a flat tire or whatever. It's a rookie thing. You live and you learn, it's his first time here [at Bristol] or whatever, but he took out a great racecar today."
Also involved in an early incident was pole-sitter Brad Keselowski, who got into Penske's Justin Allgaier while battling for the lead as soon as lap 39, three laps after he had been overtaken by the young rookie.
While running nearly side-by-side, Keselowski ran wide at the exit of Turn 4, clipping the left rear corner of Allgaier's Dodge, which spun out of control making contact with the wall.
"It was 100 percent my fault," said an apologetic Keselowski after finishing third, recovering from a lengthy stop for damage to the right front of his car caused by the incident. "I guess I was racing a little too hard, slid up and just barely clipped him, but with where the bumpers are in these cars I cut his tire down. I feel terrible about it, he had a great car, probably could have won the race and I kind of ruined his race. I've got to apologize to Justin and his team for that."
Harvick seemed to have the car to beat for the second time this year at Bristol, as he emerged up front after the incidents involving Keselowski and Busch. However, the Roush Fenway contingent dashed his hopes in the end, while Keselowski passed him for third on the final restart.
Matt Kenseth rounded out a great night for his team with fifth, recovering well from an early spin, which brought the caution flags out for the first time during the night.
The battle for the championship tightened up slightly due to Busch's misfortunes, but he still has a 248-point cushion over Edwards, while Keselowski ranks third - only 55 off from the former Nationwide Series champion.
Pos Driver Make Laps 1. David Ragan Ford 254 2. Carl Edwards Ford 254 3. Brad Keselowski Chevrolet 254 4. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 254 5. Matt Kenseth Ford 254 6. Jason Leffler Toyota 254 7. Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 254 8. Michael Annett Toyota 254 9. Paul Menard Ford 25410. Michael McDowell Dodge 25411. David Reutimann Toyota 25412. Matt Carter Ford 25413. Ryan Newman Chevrolet 25414. Kenny Wallace Chevrolet 25315. Mike Bliss Chevrolet 25316. Jason Keller Ford 25317. Steve Wallace Chevrolet 25318. Benny Gordon Ford 25219. Brendan Gaughan Chevrolet 25220. Sean Murphy Dodge 25221. Scott Wimmer Chevrolet 25122. Ken Butler III Chevrolet 25123. Tony Raines Chevrolet 25024. Trevor Bayne Toyota 25025. Eric McClure Ford 24926. Derrike Cope Dodge 23627. Justin Allgaier Dodge 22628. Kyle Busch Toyota 19529. Brad Coleman Toyota 17730. Brian Scott Toyota 16231. Peyton Sellers Chevrolet 16132. Danny O'Quinn Jr Chevrolet 13733. John Wes Townley Ford 13334. Brad Teague Chevrolet 7935. Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 5236. Chase Austin Chevrolet 5137. Kasey Kahne Toyota 3038. Mark Green Chevrolet 2539. Coleman Pressley Toyota 2340. Kevin Lepage Dodge 1341. Casey Atwood Chevrolet 1242. Terry Cook Chevrolet 343. Johnny Chapman Chevrolet 2