Kevin Harvick swept all stages to score the win in Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism 400 at Dover International Speedway for his fourth victory of the season.
Harvick led 201 laps on Sunday to cruise to his 41st career win. The last time a driver had four wins in the first 11 races of a season was Jimmie Johnson in 2007.
“The first thing I’ve got to do is just thank everybody on my team — everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing, Roush Yates Engines, everybody from Ford for just continuing to put the effort that they put into these cars,” Harvick said.
He outraced Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Clint Bowyer, Daniel Suarez, Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch to the checkered flag.
“It was great to see those fans stick around for the finish, but it’s fun racing your teammate,” Harvick said. “That says a lot about our company and one of your good friends as well.”
Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Larson completed the first 10 finishers.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now heads to Kansas Speedway next Saturday night for the KC Masterpiece 400.
How Harvick Won: One word – dominance. Once Harvick got by Bowyer with 63 laps remaining on Sunday he set sail for Victory Lane. He won the opening two stages and turned in yet another stellar performance in a season that has seen Harvick win four of the year’s first 11 races.
Who Had a Good Day: Stewart-Haas Racing for sure, who put three of its drivers in the top five for the first time in the organization’s history. Bowyer and Kurt Busch joined Harvick in setting that mark on Sunday (Read More)…Suarez matched his career-best finish set at Watkins Glen in 2017 (Read More)…Truex Jr. has finished top-four in each of the last four races at Dover…Kurt Busch has finished in the top five the last two races.
Who Had a Bad Day: Kyle Busch had a fast car but from the early going when he felt a vibration, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver felt something was amiss with his Toyota. His fears came to fruition with a broken driveshaft on lap 272 and Busch was done for the day for his first DNF of the season but fourth in the last five spring Dover races (Read More)…Kyle Larson nettled back for a 10th-place finish but he had to come from the rear of the field to do so. Despite winning the pole, Larson’s car failed pre-race inspection three times and was forced to the back as was Alex Bowman for the same reason (Read More). Larson also had pit road problems included an uncontrolled tire penalty that added to his challenges…Austin Dillon finished 26th and also had to start at the rear for having a non-compliant splitter on his No. 3 Chevrolet…Corey LaJoie blew an engine and was the first driver out of the race on lap 20…Cody Ware spun, spun hit the wall hard and was eliminated on lap 244.
What Else Happened: Long green flag runs have been the trend this season and in recent years at Dover and that was the case on Sunday. Only a handful of caution flags outside the two stage breaks bunched up the field for restarts, which allowed Harvick and his dominant car to pace the field most of the afternoon. There were a number of pit road miscues for some drivers that may have tried to make a run at Harvick in the closing laps including Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano but in the end there wasn’t much anyone could do with the potent No. 4 Ford.
Quotable: “It’s horrible liquid,” Clint Bowyer on Sunday’s rain delay.
Notable: Ford drivers led all but 26 laps today, more laps led than in the prior 13 races at Dover combined…Toyota did not lead at Dover, last race a Toyota didn’t lead was at Atlanta in March 2017… Six of the last 14 races have been won by a driver over 40 years old.