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Kevin Harvick survives unpredictable race at Michigan International Speedway to claim 2nd victory of season Featured

Posted On Monday, 12 August 2019 22:32 Written by
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Kevin Harvick celebrates after his victory Sunday at Michigan International Speedway Kevin Harvick celebrates after his victory Sunday at Michigan International Speedway Photo courtesy of Michigan International Speedway

BROOKLYN, Mich. — No matter what you look for in a NASCAR race, Sunday’s battle at MIS should have been one you enjoyed.

For starters, there was plenty of drama and cautions to spice things up.

Nobody was able to run away out front, restarts were hectic and, unlike June, there was actual competitive passes up front for the lead throughout the race.

Often, the two cars battling for the lead would be side-by-side for an entire lap or more before either one got the advantage.

There was also great parity, with no clear favorite to win. At one point, all 4 Gibbs Toyotas ran 1-2-3-4 up front.

At another point, the 3 Penske Fords plus affiliated Paul Menard ran 1-2-3-4 up front

Chevys including Kurt Busch and Kyle Larson also ran strong all race and made things interesting.

In the end, fuel mileage mixed up the final finishing order (with a bunch of the top contenders falling a few gallons short and having to pit), and Ford’s Kevin Harvick was the unexpected winner — overcoming a day that included a flat tire that put him a lap down early, a great story of perseverance paying off in the end.

“We just had a really fast car all weekend,” Harvick said. “Our car handled really well today, and with the multiple lanes, we were able to run all three lanes pretty well and make our way through traffic. So just really proud of everybody back at the shop. We were able to capitalize on it, and that's always fun.”

And little Keelan Harvick stole the show after the race, getting into his dad’s car for the burnouts and running to grab the checkered flag.

Harvick’s win kept the Heritage Trophy in the Ford company until at least June 2020, making the folks in Dearborn proud. The trophy has been with Ford since June of 2018, with Ford taking the last four victories at MIS.

“We want to win every race but we definitely want to win here at Michigan,” Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance said. “To have the Heritage Trophy, we display it proudly and it will go back and be in Dearborn first thing in the morning for our executives to see there and we will put it on display for our employees to see. It is kind of neat the way the trophy works. You bring it out here and give it back at the beginning of the race and it is kind of neat to take it right back at the end of the race. It is great to do it four races in a row. We want to keep that streak going.”

Among the drivers who took advantage of others’ fuel woes to get stronger finishes included Daniel Suarez, who finished 5th, Ryan Preece (7th) and Ty Dillon (11th).


Up-and-down day for Keselowski

Michigan native Brad Keselowski must have felt like a yo-yo Sunday at MIS.

He won pole and led most of the early part of the race. Then he had a tire issue and had to pit after making a great save. After falling down in the order, he worked his way all the way up into the top 3 and was contending for the win again, when he had to pit for fuel and ended the day in 19thposition.

“Man, I want this one so bad. We got that flat tire early on and we recovered and got up to third there in the late stages and then we just ran out of gas. That is just the way it goes sometimes,” Keselowski said. 

Speaking of Michigan natives, Erik Jones was one spot ahead of Brad in 18th.


Bad day for Bowyer

For a guy on the bubble trying to make the playoffs, things sure aren’t going Clint Bowyer’s way lately. And his struggles continued at MIS.


The Stewart-Haas Racing driver finished 37thafter being involved in a fender-bender during Sunday’s race, courtesy of the 21 car.

“Somebody got in the back of me. I guess maybe the 21 (Paul Menard) or somebody. As soon as it happened, I was just along for the ride. I don’t know,” Bowyer said. “We have to get something figured out with these racetracks. We are really fast by ourselves – practicing and qualifying really well, in the top-five almost every single time. But then we start the race and don’t make the grip we need to compete. You can talk about the bubble and worrying about points, but I’m way more worried about getting established and running up front at these types of racetracks. If you make the playoffs and can’t compete in it, then what’s the use?.”


Notes:

— Kevin Harvick won the Consumers Energy 400 to score the 67th overall win for Stewart-Haas Racing, its second this season (both courtesy of Harvick), and fourth at Michigan.

— Harvick’s win was Ford’s 39th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory at Michigan – the most at any track currently on the schedule.

— Kyle Busch remains the championship leader after Michigan with a 20-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.

— The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday, Aug. 17, at Bristol Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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Matt Myftiu can be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or follow him on Twitter @MattMyftiu. Follow AutoTechReviews.com on Twitter @AutoTechReview.

 

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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