Kevin Harvick outruns Carl Edwards to win Hollywood Casino 400
Kevin Harvick took advantage of Carl Edwards dueling with a teammate to lead the final 30 laps and win the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Harvick clinches a spot in the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup with the win.
The No. 4 was followed by Edwards, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch.
Harvick, who led 74 laps, has won the second race in both rounds of the Chase so far. He won at New Hampshire in the first round.
“These races are hard to win and these guys are so good at the details,” Harvick told NBC Sports. “You put their backs against the wall and they get better.”
Harvick first took the lead on Lap 126 from Matt Kenseth, who led 116 laps before the halfway point before fading to finish ninth. Harvick then led 43 laps. In the middle of the race, a slow pit stop sent Harvick deep into the top 10, but Harvick returned to the point on the final restart. Edwards got into a tense battle with Busch, allowing Harvick to jump out to a 2.5-second lead.
Since the elimination format of the Chase debuted in 2014, Harvick has never been eliminated from a round.
“It’s hard to keep yourself motivated and perform at a high level, so to be able to come out and do it for three years says a lot about the character of this team and the things that they do,” Harvick said. “I’ve done a poor job (on restarts) the first half of the year. We struggled with some ratios and timing. We came up with some good ratios and things that really fit what we are doing.”
Harvick’s fourth win of the year gives him 35 Sprint Cup victories.
HOW KEVIN HARVICK WON: Harvick overtook Carl Edwards on the final restart with 30 to go and led the rest of the way unchallenged.
WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Carl Edwards led 61 laps and earned his first top five since Kentucky in July ... Joey Logano finished third a week after placing 36th at Charlotte ... Jimmie Johnson followed up his Charlotte win with a fourth-place finish ... Alex Bowman bounced back from early contact with Jamie McMurray and an unscheduled pit stop to finish seventh for his career-best finish and his second top 10 ... A.J. Allmendinger finished eighth for his sixth top 10 of the season and his first since Bristol in August ... Kasey Kahne’s 10th-place finish gives him six top 10s in the last seven races.
WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Aric Almirola and David Ragan caused a caution on Lap 37 when they got together. Almirola finished 40th, Ragan in 36th … Jamie McMurray hit the wall on Lap 44 after making contact with Alex Bowman. McMurray finished 37th … Kyle Larson hit the outside wall on Lap 177 to bring out the caution. Larson finished 30th … Brad Keselowski was turned by Denny Hamlin as they exited Turn 4 on Lap 190. Keselowski went sliding through the frontstretch grass, receiving significant damage. Keselowski finished 38th, earning his first DNF since the 2015 Daytona 500 … Denny Hamlin finished 15th after having to pit three times under one caution for splitter damage and being called for three pit road penalties late.
Notable: The last four Kansas races have been won by a different driver ... Chevrolet has won 11 of the 22 Sprint Cup races held at Kansas.
Quote of the Day: “With this format I had a big points gap coming in. With this format it is probably the smart thing to do but I don’t want to race like that. I want to race my guts out and go for wins. I don’t want to points race. I don’t care what the damn format is, I am going to give it my best.” - Brad Keselowski after finishing 38th
NEXT: Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN