Following the 14th caution of the race, Earnhardt led the field to green for the the two-lap green-white-checkered finish.
During the caution period, Earnhardt feverishly tried everything he could to save fuel -- shutting the engine off while riding on the apron in the corners so the car would continue to pick up the ounces of gas he had left.
Despite his valiant efforts, it wasn't enough to win the race.
Harvick passed Earnhardt in Turn 4 heading to the checkered flag as the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet limbed to the line.
Had the race been 600 miles instead of 603, the outcome would have been way different.
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Limbing to the line
In a matter of seconds, Earnhardt went from a sure victory to pushing his No. 88 car back to the hauler with an empty fuel tank.
Not that it was any consolation, but Earnhardt was still able to crawl to the line for a seventh-place finish.
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Stealing the victory
Harvick lived up to his nickname on that hot Carolina Sunday night.
Taking advantage of Earnhardt's misfortune, "The Closer" earned his first career Coca-Cola 600 victory in the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
It was the first of two Coke 600 victories for Harvick to date.