Kevin Harvick captured his second win in the Big Machine Vodka 400 at The Brickyard on Sunday after leading 118 laps from the pole.
Harvick last won in 2003 and added to his Indianapolis Motor Speedway legacy with another win. He has won three of the last seven Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
“This is great, just got to say thanks to all the fans,” Harvick said. “Can’t tell you how much coming to Indianapolis (meant) to me as a kid. I watched Rick Mears win Indy 500’s and got to be around him as a kid and he was my hero. So coming here and winning here is pretty awesome.”
Joey Logano, Bubba Wallace, William Byron and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five.
“We were the second-best car of those who were still running,” Logano said. “We needed a solid day, it was nice to be able to finish where we should and have a shot to win. I was hoping for a green-white-checkered I saved my tires but it was just too far.”
Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Ryan Newman, Chase Elliott and Paul Menard completed the first 10 finishers.
Logano and Harvick won the race’s first two stages. Stage Points
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series begins the Playoffs next week with the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
How Harvick Won: He led a race-high 118 laps and started from the pole but Harvick’s run to Victory Lane wasn’t quite that easy. His biggest challenge came on the day’s final restart with ten laps to go. He was in a side-by-side battle with Joey Logano for the top spot around the 2.5-mile track until Harvick was finally able to wrestle the lead away from the Team Penske driver. Once he did he then set sail for the checkered flag and his second career Brickyard win.
Who Had a Good Day: Bowyer’s top-five run locked up a playoff position…Newman’s eighth-place finish earned him a spot in the playoffs…Logano had his first top-five finish since Chicago, nine races ago and matched his best finish at Indianapolis…Wallace had his second career top-five finish and first top-10 finish this season (Read More)…Hamlin’s finish came in a backup car.
Who Had a Bad Day: Jimmie Johnson’s streak of making the Playoffs every year of his career came to an end when he was involved in a crash after a late restart. (Read More) The incident also included William Byron, Kurt Busch, Paul Menard and Daniel Hemric…Daniel Suarez missed the playoffs as well after his 11th-place finish….Landon Cassill exited the race on lap 79 after a hard crash into the wall. He was uninjured in the violent impact…Erik Jones and Brad Keselowski tangled in an incident on lap 72 that resulted in the Team Penske driver sliding into a tire barrier protecting a portion of an infield wall. Keselowski’s car teetered on the tires as he exited through his driver’s side window and was also not injured (Read More)…Kyle Busch was trying for his third Brickyard 400 victory but his engine expired on lap 87 and he was eliminated from the race as his car came to stop on pit road (Read More)…Kyle Larson had his hopes of a better day end when he slid and made heavy impact with the inside wall severely damaging his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
What Else Happened: Passing was a difficult proposition because of the new rules package and its impact on creating dirty air. That left restarts and pit road as the best opportunities to pick up spots for track position. Restarts created mayhem on several occasions as the tightly packed groups of cars made contact and caused some drivers to spin and others to make impact with the wall.
Quotable: “Thanks for the fight guys, I promise our season is not done yet,” crew chief Cliff Daniels after Jimmie Johnson’s crash.
Notables: Harvick’s 48 career wins is tied for 15th most all-time with Herb Thomas…It was the 54th career win for Stewart-Haas Racing…Ford has won eight times in 2019.