Kevin Harvick completes sweep of Michigan doubleheader
Kevin Harvick narrowly held off a late charge from Denny Hamlin coming to the checkered flag to win Sunday’s Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.
Harvick beat Hamlin by .093 seconds, the second closest margin of victory in track history, to complete a sweep of the series’ doubleheader weekend at the 2-mile track.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver led 90 of 156 laps despite officially starting 20th due to a field inversion from Saturday’s race.
“It was a big challenge (holding off Hamlin),” Harvick told NBCSN. “Our Ford Mustang got real tight there in (Turns) 3 and 4. I could run really good through (Turns) 1 and 2 still, but I was just tight on that other end all day.”
Harvick is the first driver to wins Cup races on back-to-back days since Richard Petty in 1971.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve raced back-to-back days, let alone in the Cup car,” Harvick said. “We’ve done that a couple times this year. I think for us it’s worked out pretty well. I hope it goes the same way at Dover when we got there in a couple of weeks.”
Harvick earned his sixth win of the season, breaking a tie with Hamlin that Harvick established Saturday. It also tied his personal record for wins through 22 races.
It is Harvick’s fourth win in the last five races at Michigan.
The top five was completed by Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Joey Logano.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Clint Bowyer led all 40 laps of the stage.
STAGE 2 WINNER: Kevin Harvick led every green flag lap of the stage.
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Austin Dillon finished eighth after he had to serve a drive-through penalty at the start of the race for an unapproved adjustment ... Martin Truex Jr. finished third for the third consecutive race ... Kyle Busch earned consecutive top fives for the first time since Race No. 9 and 10 of this season ... Aric Almirola finished sixth for 10th top 10 in the last 11 races and his career-best finish at Michigan.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Teammates Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski wrecked while racing for the lead on Lap 96, ending their day. Keselowski finished last for the first time in his Cup career ... Alex Bowman finished 36th after he had to pit for a flat tire with 19 laps to go. As he entered the pits, debris from the tire came off on the frontstretch, forcing a caution.
NOTABLE: With his fourth-place finish, Kyle Busch has now gone 22 races without a win this season. That’s the deepest into a season he’s gone winless since he joined Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “That’s kind of up to me to decide. It’s top secret.” - Rodney Childers on whether the team would bring Harvick’s winning car, which is three for three in races this season, back to the track this year.
WHAT’S NEXT: Race on the Daytona road course, 3 p.m. ET Aug. 16 on NBC.