Harvick bags seventh win of season in Michigan

Speedcafe.com

Monday 13th August, 2018 - 10:33am

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Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick has driven into victory lane for a seventh time in 2018 with a sweep of the three stages of the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Harvick did not quite have it all his own way in Stages 1 and 2 but led the entirety of the final stage except for a late green flag pit stops cycle.

The #4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford was running second to Kyle Busch when the race restarted on Lap 30 after a Competition Caution but Harvick passed the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and held top spot for the rest of the 60-lap stage.

Martin Truex Jnr assumed the lead midway through Stage 2 when he and the Furniture Row Racing crew opted to not pit the #78 Toyota under two separate Caution periods.

The 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion tried to stretch his fuel tank until the green/white chequered flag on Lap 120 but was passed by Harvick 11 laps before then.

Worse still, he had to refill with the pit lane closed for the end of the stage and therefore copped a penalty.

Kyle Busch finished Stage 2 in second position, as he did in Stage 1.

Harvick was first out of the pits for the 80-lap run to the finish, which in fact began on Lap 127, from Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney.

Blaney made a strong restart, pushing Harvick ahead and slotting in behind the #4 Ford.

He and then Austin Dillon had turns running in second position and it was the latter who resumed that place after the final cycle of pits stops wrapped up with 11 laps remaining.

As Harvick pulled away, Austin Dillon looked like finishing runner-up before his #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet picked up a flat tyre with a lap to go.

He ultimately took fourth, behind Brad Keselowski (#2 Team Penske Ford) and Kyle Busch.

Keselowski had moved up to third on a Lap 144 restart and held the same position after the final pit stops before inheriting one due to Austin Dillon’s misfortune.

Blaney (#12 Team Penske Ford) was fourth before those pit stops but emerged in fifth and there he stayed until the chequered flag.

Rounding out the top 10 were Kurt Busch (#41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford), Aric Almirola (#10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford), pole-sitter Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota), Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), and Joey Logano (#22 Team Penske Ford).

Truex Jnr finished 14th after getting a free pass when Ty Dillon (#13 Germain Racing Chevrolet) ran over debris and smacked the wall on Lap 133.

There were bizarre scenes in the break between Stages 1 and 2 when AJ Allmendinger took his pit stop facing backwards after contact turned his #47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet around in pit lane.

Kyle Busch still holds a big series points lead but Harvick has 40 playoff points to the Toyota driver’s 35.

Another six drivers have won races so far this season, namely Truex Jnr, Clint Bowyer (#14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford), Logano, Elliott, Erik Jones (#20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota), and Austin Dillon.

More playoff berths will be up for grabs in this coming weekend’s Bristol Night Race (August 17-18 local time), Round 24 of the year and the third-last of the regular season.

Race highlights

Results: Consumers Energy 400, Michigan International Speedway

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 200 108 Running
2 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 200 0 Running
3 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 200 22 Running
4 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 200 5 Running
5 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 200 0 Running
6 41 Kurt Busch Ford 200 0 Running
7 10 Aric Almirola Ford 200 0 Running
8 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 200 13 Running
9 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 200 0 Running
10 22 Joey Logano Ford 200 1 Running
11 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 200 0 Running
12 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 200 0 Running
13 20 Erik Jones Toyota 200 0 Running
14 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 200 25 Running
15 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 200 12 Running
16 21 Paul Menard Ford 200 0 Running
17 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 200 0 Running
18 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr Ford 200 0 Running
19 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 200 0 Running
20 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 200 0 Running
21 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 200 1 Running
22 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 199 0 Running
23 43 Bubba Wallace Chevrolet 199 0 Running
24 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 199 0 Running
25 34 Michael McDowell Ford 199 0 Running
26 95 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 199 0 Running
27 38 David Ragan Ford 199 0 Running
28 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 198 13 Running
29 00 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 197 0 Running
30 23 Blake Jones Toyota 194 0 Running
31 51 BJ McLeod Ford 194 0 Running
32 7 Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 193 0 Running
33 99 Gray Gaulding Chevrolet 191 0 Running
34 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 189 0 Engine
35 15 Ross Chastain Chevrolet 187 0 Axle
36 24 William Byron Chevrolet 187 0 Running
37 66 Timmy Hill Chevrolet 138 0 Electrical
38 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 131 0 Crash
39 96 Jeffrey Earnhardt Toyota 102 0 Engine
40 72 Corey LaJoie Chevrolet 37 0 Engine

Standings

Pos Driver Pts Gap Starts Wins Playoff pts
1 Kyle Busch 986 23 6 35
2 Kevin Harvick 924 -62 23 7 40
3 Martin Truex Jnr 842 -144 23 4 27
4 Kurt Busch 750 -236 23 0 2
5 Clint Bowyer 732 -254 23 2 10
6 Joey Logano 723 -263 23 1 7
7 Brad Keselowski 709 -277 23 0 4
8 Ryan Blaney 687 -299 23 0 4
9 Denny Hamlin 684 -302 23 0 2
10 Kyle Larson 681 -305 23 0 0
11 Chase Elliott 647 -339 23 1 8
12 Aric Almirola 639 -347 23 0 1
13 Erik Jones 596 -390 23 1 5
14 Jimmie Johnson 572 -414 23 0 0
15 Alex Bowman 542 -444 23 0 0
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr 480 -506 23 0 2
17 Paul Menard 472 -514 23 0 1
18 Daniel Suarez 460 -526 23 0 0
19 Ryan Newman 456 -530 23 0 0
20 Austin Dillon 451 -535 23 1 5
21 William Byron 428 -558 23 0 0
22 Jamie McMurray 426 -560 23 0 0
23 AJ Allmendinger 375 -611 23 0 1
24 Chris Buescher 362 -624 23 0 0
25 Bubba Wallace 345 -641 23 0 0
26 Michael McDowell 343 -643 23 0 0
27 David Ragan 329 -657 23 0 0
28 Kasey Kahne 323 -663 23 0 0
29 Ty Dillon 294 -692 23 0 0
30 Matt DiBenedetto 251 -735 23 0 0
31 Trevor Bayne 188 -798 15 0 0
32 Matt Kenseth 117 -869 8 0 0
33 Gray Gaulding 117 -869 18 0 0
34 Landon Cassill 111 -875 16 0 0
35 Cole Whitt 90 -896 10 0 0
36 DJ Kennington 82 -904 7 0 0
37 Corey LaJoie 76 -910 13 0 0
38 Jeffrey Earnhardt 70 -916 9 0 0
39 Brendan Gaughan 49 -937 3 0 0
40 Reed Sorenson 41 -945 9 0 0
41 Harrison Rhodes 23 -963 5 0 0
42 Kyle Weatherman 16 -970 3 0 0
43 Mark Thompson 15 -971 1 0 0
44 Blake Jones 11 -975 2 0 0
45 Chris Cook 6 -980 1 0 0
46 Tomy Drissi 5 -981 1 0 0
47 Derrike Cope 4 -982 2 0 0
48 Danica Patrick 2 -984 1 0 0
49 Cody Ware 1 -985 2 0 0
50 Justin Marks 0 -986 2 0 0
51 David Gilliland 0 -986 1 0 0
52 Ray Black Jnr 0 -986 1 0 0
53 Ross Chastain 0 -986 21 0 0
54 JJ Yeley 0 -986 6 0 0
55 Parker Kligerman 0 -986 3 0 0
56 Timothy Peters 0 -986 1 0 0
57 Cole Custer 0 -986 2 0 0
58 Joey Gase 0 -986 3 0 0
59 BJ Mcleod 0 -986 8 0 0

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