Race Wrap Up: Harvick mauls the field in Michigan
After what felt like one of the longest weeks in NASCAR history, Kevin Harvick brought things back to normal with a dominant win in Sunday's Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway for his seventh win of 2018.
Harvick dominated Sunday's race, sweeping both stages and leading 108 laps en route to the victory and his series-leading 40 playoff points.
"We're three weeks away from the playoffs and you don't want to shut off, you want it to keep going," Harvick said. "The motivation is to not let things slip through the cracks, and they're covering all the details, and especially my group of guys that we're going on our fifth year together.
"That experience and
Harvick's seven wins this year are a career high in a single season. Before 2018, he twice won five races in a single year, including his championship season in 2014. He now has 44 wins in NASCAR's top series, tying him with NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott.
How Harvick won the race: In true Kevin Harvick fashion, it wasn't really close. After qualifying third, Harvick took the lead for the first time on lap 14.
Despite losing a number of spots on his first pit stop of the day, Harvick rebounded to win Stage 1. He then led 72 of the race's final 90 circuits to cruise to a 3.2-second win over Brad Keselowski.
But what happened after the race stole the heart of NASCAR Nation. Young Keelan Harvick ran out to greet his dad at the start/finish line and grabbed the checkered flag to the delight of the Michigan crowd. He then hitched a ride with dear old dad to victory lane.
It doesn't get much better than riding shotgun to Victory Lane with dad.@KevinHarvick | @DeLanaHarvick pic.twitter.com/lnviIKqeTI— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 12, 2018
The Big Three did Big Three things: After Chase Elliott finally broke through and got his first win at Watkins Glen, we all wondered how he'd fare in his first race as a winner. Well, Chase did alright. After an early loose wheel put him a lap down, Elliott rebounded to finish ninth.
But it was the Big Three that once again pounded the field into submission in the Irish Hills. Harvick, Kyle Busch
And we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that outside of restrictor plate races, Watkins Glen and a rainout at Michigan in June, the Big Three have won all but one race on ovals this year. Clint Bowyer's win at Martinsville was the lone win for the rest of the field in an open-motor race on an oval this year. Wow.
Longtime NASCAR journalist Steve Waid has a theory…
Attention: To repeat, Kevin Harvick is not human. He is an alien from a strange stock car racing planet. He was accompanied to his journey here by Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. Our government has known this but never told us. That is all. #nascar— Steve Waid (@stevewaid) August 13, 2018
Meet the new boss: To say it was a trying week for NASCAR and its leadership would be an understatement. With the news breaking Monday of CEO Brian France's arrest for aggravated DWI and drug possession in New York, questions about the sport's future immediately swirled the media and industry.
After Brian released a statement saying he was taking an indefinite leave of absence to get his personal struggles sorted out, NASCAR announced that Jim France, Brian's uncle and leader of IMSA, would fill in as interim CEO. France, who was in Michigan this weekend, reportedly attended a Driver's Council meeting and has the support of competitors and his peers.
In the meantime, we want to wish Brian France our best in seeking the help he needs and getting his health and well-being in order. Whether he returns to lead NASCAR is secondary, and it's safe to say he'll have a strong support network inside the garage and NASCAR industry in his corner.
What was that?! Every now and then, something happens on the track that leaves you scratching your head. And wouldn't you know it happened Sunday at
With 67 laps to go, Ty Dillon was racing down the backstretch when suddenly he ran over a massive piece of debris. Whatever it
#NASCARreplay: Here's a look at why we're under yellow at @MISpeedway.@tydillon | @NASCARonNBC pic.twitter.com/NJcZ0rvFHg— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 12, 2018
There was speculation on some teams' radios that a battery had come from another car, but as of this time, NASCAR has not issued any penalties for a battery coming from any of the cars and no teams have taken ownership if that's what happened.
Dillon's 38th-place finish was the latest in a string of disappointing runs for the Germain Racing driver. Outside of a sixth-place at Daytona in July, Dillon's best finish in his last 10 starts was a 21st-place result in the rain-shortened race at Michigan in June.
Fun Ford Weekend: It was a great week for the folks over at Ford. Just days after unveiling the Mustang that will run in Cup starting next season, Harvick led a charge of six Fords in the top 10 Sunday, including all three Team Penske drivers, Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch.
Speaking of Busch...According to a report from Motorsport.com, the 2004 Cup Series champion will leave Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of the season, and he's expected to replace Jamie McMurray at Chip Ganassi Racing. Busch denied the report, saying "nothing has been signed and whatever has been reported is hearsay."
"Nothing has been signed and whatever has been reported is hearsay."— Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverAW) August 10, 2018
Kurt Busch on the report that he has signed with Ganassi to drive the No. 1 Cup car next season. pic.twitter.com/Xarw3sOEmt
Bloomin' Monday: Another Kevin Harvick win, another Bloomin' Monday at Outback Steakhouse. You know the drill. Race on
Next week: It's one of the sport's premier events: the Night Race at Bristol! Kyle Busch has been the king of the Last Great Coliseum with seven wins, including the last two races. Will his dominance continue? Or is the last short track of the regular season an opportunity for a new driver to punch their playoff ticket? PRN will have live coverage all weekend long from Thunder Valley! As always, you can listen on your local affiliate or GoPRN.com.