Clean sweep for Harvick in first race of Michigan doubleheader

Russell LaBounty / Motorsport Images

Clean sweep for Harvick in first race of Michigan doubleheader

NASCAR

Clean sweep for Harvick in first race of Michigan doubleheader

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Kevin Harvick made it a clean sweep at Michigan International Speedway.

In the first race of a weekend doubleheader, Harvick won both stages and led the most laps on route to his fifth NASCAR Cup Series win of the season. Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang was the class of the field, and Harvick held onto the top spot on the final two restarts, one of which was an overtime attempt.

“The restarts were obviously a handful, but our Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang was really fast today. We held on for the long run, and would really go on the short run, and did everything we needed it to,” said Harvick. “(I’ve) got to thank everyone from Busch Light Apple, Mobil 1, Hunt Brothers, Jimmy Johns, Haas Automation, and everyone from Ford. I know they love to win here, and we’re glad to bring that trophy to them.”

Harvick took the lead for the final time on lap 148. He got to the inside of Kyle Busch in Turns 3 and 4 and came within inches of tagging Busch in the left rear. However, Harvick upset the air enough that Busch shot up the track and lost his momentum as Harvick went by.

On the overtime attempt, Harvick took the outside lane. Brad Keselowski restarted second by choosing the inside lane, and held on for a runner-up finish. Martin Truex Jr. finished third, charging back from a lap down. Truex lost the lap pitting under green on lap 21 because of a flat right-front tire after contact with Tyler Reddick.

Ryan Blaney finished fourth, and Busch finished fifth. Denny Hamlin finished sixth with Chase Elliott finishing seventh, Joey Logano eighth, Darrell Wallace Jr. ninth, and Kurt Busch 10th.

The victory is the fourth for Harvick at Michigan and his second straight, having won at the track in August 2019. It is the 54th career win in his NASCAR Cup Series career.

Fourth Michigan win, 54th Cup Series victory for Harvick. Image by Thacker/Motorsport Images

“I didn’t know if I hit him or not, but I saw the video and didn’t touch him,” said Harvick of taking the lead from Busch. “I must have packed a bunch of air on his left rear. I knew I needed to be right there. You have to take the chance when you have it, and I needed that side-draft down the front straightaway. I got within like an inch, it looked like on the video. I didn’t know if I had just barely touched him; but in the video, I definitely didn’t touch him.”

Reddick finished 18th after suffering two cut tires. Ryan Newman finished 28th and Austin Dillon 31st after crashing off Turn 4 to bring out the final caution on lap 155.

There were nine cautions in the Firekeepers Casino 400 and 12 lead changes among seven drivers.

NASCAR Cup Series Race – 52nd Firekeepers Casino 400
Michigan International Speedway
Brooklyn, Michigan
Saturday, August 8, 2020

1. (3) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 161.
2. (5) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 161.
3. (12) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 161.
4. (11) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 161.
5. (7) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 161.
6. (2) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 161.
7. (8) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 161.
8. (1) Joey Logano, Ford, 161.
9. (24) Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 161.
10. (10) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 161.
11. (23) Erik Jones, Toyota, 161.
12. (17) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 161.
13. (29) Christopher Bell #, Toyota, 161.
14. (19) William Byron, Chevrolet, 161.
15. (15) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 161.
16. (4) Aric Almirola, Ford, 161.
17. (20) Matt Kenseth, Chevrolet, 161.
18. (14) Tyler Reddick #, Chevrolet, 161.
19. (9) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 161.
20. (22) Chris Buescher, Ford, 161.
21. (6) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 161.
22. (36) Corey LaJoie, Ford, 161.
23. (34) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 161.
24. (37) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 161.
25. (35) Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, 161.
26. (26) JJ Yeley(i), Ford, 161.
27. (25) Quin Houff #, Chevrolet, 161.
28. (13) Ryan Newman, Ford, 161.
29. (21) Michael McDowell, Ford, 161.
30. (30) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 161.
31. (18) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 161.
32. (32) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 161.
33. (38) Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, 159.
34. (16) Cole Custer #, Ford, Accident, 148.
35. (33) Garrett Smithley(i), Ford, Steering, 141.
36. (31) John Hunter Nemechek #, Ford, Accident, 127.
37. (27) Brennan Poole #, Chevrolet, Engine, 125.
38. (28) James Davison, Ford, 103.
39. (39) Joey Gase(i), Chevrolet, Transmission, 58.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 124.712 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 34 Mins, 55 Secs. Margin of Victory: .284 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 9 for 43 laps.
Lead Changes: 12 among 7 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Logano 1-14;D. Hamlin 15;J. Logano 16-19;D. Hamlin 20-22;K. Harvick 23-43;D. Hamlin 44-49;R. Blaney 50-76;K. Harvick 77-106;J. Yeley(i) 107;K. Busch 108-111;K. Harvick 112-138;C. Elliott 139-147;K. Harvick 148-161.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Kevin Harvick 4 times for 92 laps; Ryan Blaney 1 time for 27 laps; Joey Logano 2 times for 18 laps; Denny Hamlin 3 times for 10 laps; Chase Elliott 1 time for 9 laps; Kyle Busch 1 time for 4 laps; JJ Yeley(i) 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 4,11,12,1,2,20,88,9,18,47
Stage #2 Top Ten: 4,12,11,20,2,18,1,88,14,48

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