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Havick, Stewart Haas Racing Tame The Monster Mile

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, May 6 2018

Kevin Harvick picked up another 2018 Cup Series win on Sunday in Dover, Del. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Andrew Coppley)

RacinToday.com

Kevin Harvick bid farewell to the field when Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway went green following a rain-induced red flag in the final stage of the three-stage race.

The victory was the fourth of the season for the Stewart Haas Racing driver. It came after he led a race-dominating 201 of 400 laps at the Monster Mile.

The margin of victory was a couch-comfortably 7.45 seconds.

He had also claimed the first two stages of the race.

Teammate Clint Bowyer, the driver Harvick passed for the lead 12 laps after the rain delay ended, finished second after leading 40 laps and who was in the lead when the rain began to fall.

Finishing third was Daniel Suarez of Joe Gibbs Racing.

Rounding out the top five were Martin Truex Jr. and the third SHR driver, Kurt Busch.

“Three cars in the top five shows a lot about where we are as a compnay,” Harvick said.

Bowyer had a 4-second lead over Harvick when, with 84 laps to go, rain brought out a caution flag. When the rain continued, the race went red.

When it went back to yellow, the field pitted. Bowyer came out first, Harvick second, Truex Jr. third and Suarez fourth.

The race went green with 75 laps to go. Bowyer restarted perfectly and Harvick fell in behind. Ten laps into the run, Bowyer had a .37-second lead over Harvick and the two had a 2-second lead over the field.

With 63 laps remaining, Harvick moved into the lead – a lead which he had early held for 138 laps. Once out front, he ran away from Bowyer and the field. With 34 laps to go, the lead was over 5 seconds. And it only grew from there.

“I knew when he took off as good as he did,” Bowyer said of Harvick, “and was rotating (in corners) as good as it did, I was in trouble. And sure enough. I just got way, way too loose.”

Harvick won the first two stages.

Kyle Busch, who had won three races in a row before running into trouble last weekend at Talladega, ran into more trouble at Dover. His car suffered a broken drive shaft in the third stage and was a DNF.

“As bad as that vibration kept getting throughout the race there,” Busch said, “it was just too hard to handle and finally it threw the shifter knob off the shifter and there was – even when it broke, I could just push the clutch in. I couldn’t even grab the shifter in order to get it knocked out of gear or anything like that. It was so hard – still vibrating so badly. We’ll go on to next week.”

Mexico native Suarez’s finish was the best of his Cup career.

“I feel like we had a very strong car pretty much the entire weekend – top-five, top-10 car the entire weekend,” he said. “Sometimes a little bit less, a little bit more. Track position was huge, but just very proud of my team.”

(This story will be updated shortly)

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race – AAA 400 Drive for Autism

Dover International Speedway

Dover, Delaware

Sunday, May 6, 2018

  1. (2) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 400.
  2. (12) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 400.
  3. (7) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 400.
  4. (3) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 400.
  5. (9) Kurt Busch, Ford, 400.
  6. (8) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 400.
  7. (10) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 400.
  8. (14) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 400.
  9. (19) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 400.
  10. (1) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 400.
  11. (13) Aric Almirola, Ford, 400.
  12. (6) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 400.
  13. (18) Joey Logano, Ford, 400.
  14. (17) William Byron #, Chevrolet, 399.
  15. (5) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 399.
  16. (23) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 399.
  17. (25) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 399.
  18. (11) Erik Jones, Toyota, 399.
  19. (22) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 398.
  20. (16) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 398.
  21. (28) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 397.
  22. (29) Michael McDowell, Ford, 397.
  23. (15) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 397.
  24. (30) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 396.
  25. (26) Darrell Wallace Jr. #, Chevrolet, 396.
  26. (27) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 395.
  27. (32) David Ragan, Ford, 395.
  28. (31) Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 393.
  29. (24) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 392.
  30. (35) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, 386.
  31. (33) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 385.
  32. (34) * Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 382.
  33. (21) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 377.
  34. (20) Paul Menard, Ford, 354.
  35. (4) Kyle Busch, Toyota, Drivetrain, 271.
  36. (37) Cody Ware(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 244.
  37. (36) * Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, Accident, 144.
  38. (38) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, Engine, 20.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  115.044 mph.

Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 28 Mins, 37 Secs. Margin of Victory:  7.450 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  8 for 48 laps.

Lead Changes:  17 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:    0; K. Harvick 1-21; A. Bowman 22-47; B. Keselowski 48-107; K. Harvick 108-121; B. Keselowski 122; K. Harvick 123-153; B. Keselowski 154-199; K. Harvick 200-242; B. Keselowski 243; K. Harvick 244-272; R. Stenhouse Jr. 273-295; C. Bowyer 296; R. Stenhouse Jr. 297; C. Bowyer 298-321; J. Logano 322; C. Bowyer 323-337; K. Harvick 338-400.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  K. Harvick 6 times for 201 laps; B. Keselowski 4 times for 108 laps; C. Bowyer 3 times for 40 laps; A. Bowman 1 time for 26 laps; R. Stenhouse Jr. 2 times for 24 laps; J. Logano 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 4,18,2,19,41,9,14,48,22,12

Stage #2 Top Ten: 4,2,18,48,14,19,78,12,9,22

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, May 6 2018
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