Kevin Harvick Captures Third Indy Victory In NASCAR Overtimeby Hunter Thomas July 5, 2020 0 comments
INDIANAPOLIS – With help from his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate on a NASCAR Overtime restart, Kevin Harvick gapped the field in the final laps on Sunday and won his third NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Denny Hamlin was on his way to celebrating his first victory at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, when his right front tire blew out with less than 10 laps remaining. Hamlin’s car slammed the outside wall in Turn 1 and burst into flames. The crash set the field up for a three-lap NASCAR Overtime finish.
On the final restart of the afternoon, Harvick got a huge push from his teammate, Cole Custer, which catapulted him ahead of Matt Kenseth and into the lead before the field reached Turn 1. Harvick set sail in his No. 4 Busch Light Patriotic Ford and went on to win the prestigious Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Powered by Big Machine Records. Harvick entered the weekend as the defending winner of the race, and not only did he win on Sunday, but he dominated by leading a race high of 68 laps. Harvick joins fellow NASCAR Cup Series champions, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch as the only three drivers to win consecutive series races at Indianapolis. Harvick has visited Victory Lane on four occasions so far this season.
Harvick said, “This is what I grew up wanting to do as a kid, win at the Brickyard and to be able to come here and have won for the third time is something that I could have never dreamed of.”
At 48-years-old, Kenseth was looking to be the oldest winner at Indianapolis, but in the end, Harvick was just too fast, and the Chip Ganassi Racing driver had to settle for a runner-up finish. The impressive performance marked Kenseth’s first top-five finish out of the 12 races that he has competed in this season.
“It was a great day for the 42 team today,” Kenseth said. “It’s always nice to be up front and be in contention late in the race. Chad (Johnston, crew chief) did a great job on the box with his calls today. We had a really good strategy and the best tires coming to the end of the race, lining up fourth behind the leader late in the race, but just couldn’t get it done to take the lead. I tried everything to get to the front, but just didn’t have quite enough to get around the No. 4 car. If we had gotten to the lead though, I know we would have been hard to beat. All in all, though, a great race for us
Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski and Custer rounded out the top-five. Completing the top-10 was Kyle Busch, Michael McDowell, Tyler Reddick, Bubba Wallace and Joey Logano.
William Byron won Stage 1, but his car suffered a left front tire issue. He finished a disappointing 27th. Prior to taking the checkered flag, Harvick was Stage 2 of the race.
There nine cautions for 43 laps, and during the competition caution early in Stage 1, the race’s only red flag was displayed after several cars crashed on pit road. As drivers scattered to avoid the carnage, Ryan Blaney’s rear tire changer, Zach Price was struck by Brennan Poole’s car. Price was immediately able to scramble back to safety after being hit. Price was treated and released from Methodist Hospital.
Harvick leads Chase Elliott by 85 points in the series standings.
The NASCAR Cup Series will visit Kentucky Speedway on Sunday, July 12 for the Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart. Live coverage will broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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