Harvick dominates in Las Vegas

Speedcafe.com

Monday 5th March, 2018 - 2:51pm

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Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick has notched up his second straight NASCAR win with an even more dominant performance in the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Harvick (#4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) led 214 of the 267 laps and was virtually unstoppable in each of the first two stages, while Kyle Busch (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) and Kyle Larson (#42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) made up the top three.

Harvick started on the front row, took the lead on Lap 2, and but for a round of pit stops led all the way to the end of Stage 1 on Lap 80.

He continued the pattern in Stage 2, gapping the field when out in front and only trailing for a handful of laps after a green flag pit stop.

However, Harvick faced a greater challenge in the final stage when he was fourth off pit lane for the restart as Joey Logano (#22 Team Penske Ford) took over at the front.

The first unscheduled Caution came on Lap 177 when Jamie McMurray (#1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) hit the wall exiting Turn 2, at which time Martin Truex Jnr (#78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota) assumed the lead when he went against the grain and chose to not pit.

Truex Jnr quickly fell down the order at the restart, but it only took a lap for the next Caution when Kurt Busch (#41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) got loose and took Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) into the wall with him.

What would be the final restart took place with 73 laps remaining, at which time Logano led from Harvick, but those positions soon reversed.

Harvick quickly gapped the field by a couple of seconds and, but for the final round of pit stops, cruised home for his second win in three full points-paying races this season after taking a comprehensive victory a week earlier in Atlanta.

Kyle Busch finished second, having passed Ryan Blaney (#1 Team Penske Ford) and then Brad Keselowski (#2 Team Penske Ford) on consecutive laps with just over 20 to go.

Larson ended up a distant third ahead of Truex Jnr and Blaney.

Rounding out the top 10 were Keselowski, Logano, Erik Jones (#20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota), Paul Menard (#21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford), and Aric Almirola (#10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford).

Jimmie Johnson (#48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) battled to 12th, having dropped almost two laps down before getting the free pass at the final Caution.

The seven-time Cup Series champion lost car chief Jesse Saunders and was put to rear of grid for the start after his car failed pre-race inspection three times.

Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) took the chequered flag two laps down in 17th, having been penalised midway through Stage 2 for speeding into pit lane.

Harvick has taken over at the top of the standings, one position ahead of previous leader Logano, heading to the TicketGuardian 500 this weekend (March 9-11 local time) at Phoenix International Raceway.

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Results: Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube, Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 267 214 Running
2 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 267 10 Running
3 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 267 0 Running
4 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 267 6 Running
5 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 267 1 Running
6 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 267 0 Running
7 22 Joey Logano Ford 267 25 Running
8 20 Erik Jones Toyota 267 0 Running
9 21 Paul Menard Ford 267 0 Running
10 10 Aric Almirola Ford 266 0 Running
11 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 266 0 Running
12 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 266 0 Running
13 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 266 0 Running
14 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr Ford 265 0 Running
15 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 265 0 Running
16 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 265 0 Running
17 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 265 0 Running
18 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 265 0 Running
19 95 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 264 0 Running
20 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 264 0 Running
21 43 Darrell Wallace Jnr Chevrolet 264 0 Running
22 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 264 0 Running
23 38 David Ragan Ford 264 0 Running
24 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 264 0 Running
25 51 Cole Custer Ford 264 0 Running
26 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 263 0 Running
27 24 William Byron Chevrolet 263 0 Running
28 72 Cole Whitt Chevrolet 262 0 Running
29 15 Ross Chastain Chevrolet 262 0 Running
30 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 262 0 Running
31 00 Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevrolet 255 0 Running
32 55 Joey Gase Chevrolet 253 0 Running
33 23 Gray Gaulding Toyota 195 0 Engine
34 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 183 0 Crash
35 41 Kurt Busch Ford 183 0 Crash
36 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 176 0 Crash
37 34 Michael McDowell Ford 100 11 Engine

Standings

Pos Driver Pts Gap Starts Wins Pl’off pts
1 Kevin Harvick 135 3 2 13
2 Joey Logano 132 -3 3 0 0
3 Ryan Blaney 131 -4 3 0 1
4 Martin Truex Jnr 115 -20 3 0 0
5 Kyle Busch 104 -31 3 0 0
6 Kyle Larson 104 -31 3 0 0
7 Brad Keselowski 99 -36 3 0 1
8 Denny Hamlin 97 -38 3 0 0
9 Paul Menard 96 -39 3 0 0
10 Austin Dillon 94 -41 3 1 5
11 Clint Bowyer 93 -42 3 0 0
12 Aric Almirola 93 -42 3 0 0
13 Kurt Busch 77 -58 3 0 1
14 Ryan Newman 75 -60 3 0 0
15 Darrell Wallace Jnr 68 -67 3 0 0
16 Chris Buescher 67 -68 3 0 0
17 Alex Bowman 67 -68 3 0 0
18 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr 66 -69 3 0 0
19 Erik Jones 64 -71 3 0 0
20 Michael McDowell 53 -82 3 0 0
21 Chase Elliott 52 -83 3 0 0
22 Trevor Bayne 50 -85 3 0 0
23 AJ Allmendinger 43 -92 3 0 0
24 William Byron 43 -92 3 0 0
25 Jamie McMurray 42 -93 3 0 0
26 David Ragan 39 -96 3 0 0
27 Daniel Suarez 38 -97 3 0 0
28 Kasey Kahne 37 -98 3 0 0
29 Jimmie Johnson 36 -99 3 0 0
30 Matt DiBenedetto 31 -104 3 0 0
31 Jeffrey Earnhardt 25 -110 3 0 0
32 Ty Dillon 25 -110 3 0 0
33 Gray Gaulding 22 -113 3 0 0
34 Cole Whitt 18 -117 2 0 0
35 Mark Thompson 15 -120 1 0 0
36 DJ Kennington 13 -122 1 0 0
37 Brendan Gaughan 9 -126 1 0 0
38 Harrison Rhodes 4 -131 1 0 0
39 Danica Patrick 2 -133 1 0 0
40 Corey LaJoie 1 -134 1 0 0
41 Justin Marks 0 -135 1 0 0
42 David Gilliland 0 -135 1 0 0
43 Cole Custer 0 -135 1 0 0
44 Joey Gase 0 -135 1 0 0
45 Ross Chastain 0 -135 2 0 0

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