Event: Southern 500 at Darlington (Round 25 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (1.366-mile oval)
Format: 367 laps, broken into three stages (100 laps/100 laps/167 laps)
Start/Finish: 22nd/4th (Running, completed 367 of 367 laps)
Point Standing: 2nd (999 points, 39 out of first)
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-100):
● Kevin Harvick started 22nd, finished sixth, collecting five bonus points.
● The Busch Beer driver drove from 22nd to the top-10 in just 25 laps.
● The No. 4 Ford pitted on lap 47 from ninth place for four tires, fuel and adjustments to correct tight-handling conditions.
● Harvick came off pit road in seventh place and gained one more position before the stage concluded.
● After the stage, Harvick pitted the Busch Beer Ford for four fresh tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 101-200):
● Started fifth, finished 10th, collecting one bonus point.
● Harvick advanced to fourth place and pitted under a lap-128 caution for four tires, fuel and wedge adjustments.
● The Busch Beer Ford driver advanced to second place and rode the leaders tail until lap 158.
● The team decided not to pit under green-flag conditions in Stage 2 while the majority of the field opted to pit.
● Harvick held the No. 4 Ford inside the top-10 with some of the oldest tires on the track.
● He pitted his Ford Fusion at the end of the stage for four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments to enhance rear grip.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 201-367):
● Started 10th and finished fourth.
● Harvick ran in the second position by lap 261 after multiple cars pitted.
● The No. 4 Ford came to the pits on lap 286 for four tires, fuel and adjustments and rallied back to the top-10 on lap 301.
● The Busch Beer driver earned the free pass during a lap-312 caution and pitted for four more tires and fuel. He restarted in fourth place.
● Harvick raced inside the top-five until pitting under caution for four tires, fuel and wedge adjustments.
● He restarted the Busch Beer Ford in fourth place after a final lap-344 caution and battled the No. 42 car for third until the checkered flag waved.
● This was Harvick’s 18th top-five and 21st top-10 finish of 2018.
● Harvick earned his seventh top-five and 11th top-10 in 22 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Darlington.
● Harvick finished sixth in Stage 1 to earn five bonus points and 10th in Stage 2 to earn one more bonus point.
● Brad Keselowski won the Bojangles’ Southern 500 to score his 25th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Darlington. His margin of victory over second-place Joey Logano was 1.224 seconds.
● Keselowski delivered the 101st points-paying victory for Ford’s Fusion in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It was Ford’s 670th all-time win in the NASCAR Cup Series.
● There were six caution periods for a total of 35 laps.
● Only 16 of the 40 drivers in the Bojangles’ Southern 500 finished on the lead lap.
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, Sept. 9 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN.