Event: FireKeepers Casino 400 (Round 21 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
Format: 156 laps, broken into three stages (40 laps/45 laps/71 laps)
Start/Finish: 3rd/1st (Running, completed 161 of 161 laps)
Point Standing: (1st with 863 points, 94 points ahead of Brad Keselowski)
Note: Race extended five laps past its scheduled 156-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-40):
● Kevin Harvick started third and finished first and earned 10 bonus points and a playoff point.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang got by Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin on lap 23 and took the lead.
● After the completion of the stage, Harvick reported his car was fine.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 41-85):
● Kevin Harvick started second and finished first and earned 10 bonus points and a playoff point.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang pitted on lap 43 for four tires and fuel.
● Harvick got by Ryan Blaney and took the lead on lap 77.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 86-156):
● Kevin Harvick started first and finished 1st and earned five bonus points for the race win.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang pitted on lap 88 for four tires and fuel. Said car was a tick tight.
● On lap 108, Harvick took two tires and fuel. Came in first and left in third as the two cars ahead of him took fuel only.
● On the restart, Harvick was able to get around Kyle Busch to retake the lead.
● With 10 laps to go and on a restart, Harvick was attempting to pass the car of Kyle Busch for the lead. Busch’s car was in front and Harvick’s car moved in behind the 18 car. It was impossible to tell if the cars touched or not, but Busch got loose and Harvick took the lead.
● One final restart, Harvick was able to maintain the lead and scored his 54th Cup Series victory.
● Harvick’s margin of victory over second-place Brad Keselowski was .284 of a second.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 43 laps.
● Thirty-two of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Harvick remains the championship leader after the FireKeepers Casino 400 with a 94-point advantage over second-place Keselowski.
● Harvick’s victory in the FireKeepers Casino 400 marked the 82nd overall win for SHR. It was the organization’s 61st points-paying NASCAR Cup Series victory, its sixth of the season and its fifth at Michigan.
● SHR has now won four of the past five races at Michigan. Harvick won at the track in August 2018 and August 2019, and Bowyer won in June 2018. SHR scored its first Michigan win via former driver Kurt Busch in June 2015.
● This was SHR’s milestone 25th NASCAR Cup Series victory with Ford. The team won its first race with Ford when former driver Kurt Busch captured the 2017 Daytona 500.
● This was Ford’s series-leading 12th NASCAR Cup Series win of the season and its 698th all-time Cup Series victory.
● This was Ford’s 40th NASCAR Cup Series victory at Michigan and its fifth straight. Harvick won in August 2018 and August 2019, Bowyer won in June 2018, and Joey Logano won in June 2019. The last time Ford won five straight Cup races at Michigan was when Rusty Wallace and Dale Jarrett combined to sweep in 1996 and then Ernie Irvan and Mark Martin did the same in 1997. Martin capped the streak with his second straight Michigan win in June 1998.
● This was Harvick’s 54th career NASCAR Cup Series win. He is now tied for 11th on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series win list with NASCAR Hall of Famer Lee Petty. Harvick is just one win behind 10th-place Rusty Wallace.
● This was Harvick’s 31st NASCAR Cup Series victory since joining SHR in 2014.
● Harvick earned his fifth victory of the season and his series-leading 14th top-five and 18th top-10 of the year.
● This was Harvick’s fourth victory at Michigan and his 14th top-five and 20th top-10 in 39 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at the two-mile oval.
● Harvick’s 14 top-fives and 20 top-10s at Michigan are tied with Matt Kenseth for the most among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
● Harvick’s four victories at Michigan are the most among the active NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Kurt Busch, Kenseth and Logano are all tied for next best with three wins apiece.
● In the past 15 races at Michigan, Harvick has finished in the top-two nine times.
● This was Harvick’s eighth straight top-five and his ninth consecutive top-10. He finished 10th June 22 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, won June 27 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, finished second on June 28 in the series’ return to Pocono, won the July 5 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, finished fourth July 12 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, finished fifth July 19 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, finished fourth on July 23 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, and finished fifth last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
● Harvick has finished among the top-10 in 18 of the 21 races held this year. He has only one finish outside the top-15.
● Harvick swept both stages to maximize his point haul – 10 points for each stage win and a playoff point for each stage win – to score 20 bonus points and two valuable playoff points.
● Harvick led four times for a race-high 92 laps to increase his laps-led total at Michigan to 609.
● Harvick has now led 10,406 laps since joining SHR in 2014. He has led 14,832 laps in his entire NASCAR Cup Series career.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“The restarts were obviously a handful, but our Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang was really fast today and we held on for the long run and would really go on the short run and did everything we needed it to do. I have to thank everyone from Busch Light Apple, Mobil 1, Hunt Brothers, Jimmy Johns, Haas Automation and everyone from Ford. I know they love to win here and we are glad to bring that trophy to them.”
You are now tied with Lee Petty for 11th on the all-time wins list. Did you ever imagine that kind of success?
“No. I am honored. I have been very fortunate to work with some good teams and have some good race cars. When you start talking about names like Lee Petty and Rusty Wallace and Junior Johnson and all the names that are around us on that list is just an honor to be around them. I know that comes with a lot of responsibilities for our sport and I ask myself all the time if I have done enough or am doing enough to help make this sport go forward. It is an honor to be around those names.”
Some good racing with Kyle Busch with 10 laps to go. How did that unfold?
“I didn’t know if I hit him or not but I saw the video and didn’t touch him. I must have packed a bunch of air on his left rear. I knew I needed to be right there. You have to take the chance when you have it and I needed that side draft down the front straightaway. I got within like an inch it looked like on the video. I didn’t know if I had just barely touched him but in the video I definitely didn’t touch him.”
The second event of the NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Michigan is the Consumers Energy 400 on Sunday. The race starts at 4:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.