NASCAR Michigan: Dominant Harvick claims seventh Cup win of 2018

Kevin Harvick claimed his seventh NASCAR Cup series victory of the season with a dominant performance at Michigan.

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver was at the front of the pack when the race restarted after a late safety car, brought out after Ty Dillon ran over a piece of debris that severely damaged the front of his Chevrolet.

Dillon’s brother Austin was Harvick’s closest rival in the final quarter of the race, and a quick stop for two tyres in his final stop of the race briefly handed the Richard Childress Racing driver a net lead.

But Harvick, who had pitted a few laps earlier, quickly passed Dillon and had built an advantage by the time the pit-cycle put him back at the front of the field.

Dillon was running comfortably in second when he suffered a flat tyre on the penultimate lap. He managed to keep going but dropped back to fourth, finishing behind Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch.

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Busch had been at the front of the order in the first stage. He picked up the lead after passing Denny Hamlin at the restart after the first caution of the day but dropped back to second after a competition caution late in the stage.

Race winner Harvick instead won the first (and second) stage, ahead of Busch and Ryan Blaney.

Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr had an eventful day, having been forced to pit in the first stage after making contact with William Byron’s Chevrolet.

Truex managed to climb back to fifth at the end of the stage only for a slow stop to drop him back down the order, but a strategy call to stay out when Ryan Newman caused another caution allowed him to climb to second behind Jimmie Johnson.

Truex then picked up the race lead after Johnson pitted for fresh tyres, but came under pressure from Harvick as he tried to save fuel.

Harvick and Busch both passed the Toyota late in the stage as Truex attempted to keep going, but he was forced to come into the pits on the final lap of the stage after the pitlane was closed and incurred a penalty.

He ended the race 14th. Blaney finished fifth overall, falling backwards in the closing stages of the race, ahead of Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola and Hamlin.

Joey Logano was forced to work his way from the back of the grid, having sacrificed his ninth place in qualifying when he came into the pits to adjust his suspension before the race. He managed to finish 10th, two seconds behind Chase Elliott.

Result – 200 laps

POSDRIVERTEAMCAR
1Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord
2Brad KeselowskiTeam PenskeFord
3Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
4Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet
5Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord
6Kurt BuschStewart-Haas RacingFord
7Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord
8Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
9Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
10Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord
11Daniel SuarezJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
12Clint BowyerStewart-Haas RacingFord
13Erik JonesJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
14Martin Truex Jr.Furniture Row RacingToyota
15Ryan NewmanRichard Childress RacingChevrolet
16Paul MenardWood Brothers RacingFord
17Kyle LarsonChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
18Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Roush Fenway RacingFord
19Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
20Chris BuescherJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
21Jamie McMurrayChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
22A.J. AllmendingerJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
23Darrell Wallace Jr.Richard Petty MotorsportsChevrolet
24Matt DiBenedettoGo FAS RacingFord
25Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord
26Kasey KahneLeavine Family RacingChevrolet
27David RaganFront Row MotorsportsFord
28Jimmie JohnsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
29Landon CassillStarCom RacingChevrolet
30Blake JonesBK RacingToyota
31B.J. McLeodRick Ware RacingChevrolet
32Garrett SmithleyPremium MotorsportsChevrolet
33Gray GauldingStarCom RacingChevrolet
34Trevor BayneRoush Fenway RacingFord
35Ross ChastainPremium MotorsportsChevrolet
36William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
37Timmy HillMBM MotorsportsChevrolet
38Ty DillonGermain RacingChevrolet
39Jeffrey EarnhardtGaunt Brothers RacingToyota
40Corey LaJoieTriStar MotorsportsChevrolet

NASCAR Michigan: Dominant Harvick claims seventh Cup win of 2018

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