KEVIN HARVICK – 2020 Michigan II Race Report

Event: Consumers Energy 400 (Round 22 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: 20th/1st (Running, completed 156 of 156 laps)
Point Standing: (1st with 916 points, 137 points ahead of Brad Keselowski)

Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Clint Bowyer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-40):

Kevin Harvick started 20th and finished eighth and earned three bonus points.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang was a bit tight, but Harvick was able to move from 20th to eighth.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 41-85):

Kevin Harvick started second and finished first to earn 10 bonus points and a playoff point.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang battled on the restart with Kyle Busch and was able to clear the No. 18 car coming off turn two. He led the rest of the stage.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 86-156):

Kevin Harvick started first and finished first.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang pitted on lap 88 for four tires and fuel. Harvick said his Ford was good in turns one and two, but a little tight in turns three and four.
● Harvick pitted on lap 106 for left-side tires and fuel. He restarted second but got around his teammate Aric Almirola for the lead on lap 115.
● Despite a late charge from Denny Hamlin, Harvick hung on and led the final 41 laps to claim victory.

Notes:

●  Harvick earned his series-leading sixth victory of the season, as well as his 15th top-five and 19th top-10 of the year.
●  This was Harvick’s 55th career NASCAR Cup Series win. He is now tied for 10th on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series win list with NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. Harvick is just one win behind ninth-place Kyle Busch.
●  This was Harvick’s 32nd NASCAR Cup Series victory since joining SHR in 2014.
●  This was Harvick’s fifth victory at Michigan and his 15th top-five and 21st top-10 in 40 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at the two-mile oval.
●  This was Harvick’s third straight win at Michigan and his fourth in the last five races at the track.
●  Harvick’s five victories at Michigan are the most among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Logano are next best with three wins apiece.
●  Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has only one finish outside the top-15 at Michigan. It’s a run that includes four victories (August 2018, August 2019, Saturday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 and today’s Consumers Energy 400), 10 top-fives and 550 laps led.
●  In the past 16 races at Michigan, Harvick has finished in the top-two 10 times.
●  Harvick’s 15 top-fives and 21 top-10s at Michigan are the most among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Kenseth is next best with 14 top-fives and 20 top-10s.
●  This was Harvick’s ninth straight top-five and his 10th 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, finished fifth Aug. 2 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and won Saturday’s FireKeepers Casino 400.
●  This was Harvick’s third straight top-two and his sixth straight top-10 at Michigan. He hasn’t finished outside the top-10 at the track since a 13th-place finish in August 2017.
●  Harvick has finished among the top-10 in 19 of the 22 races held this year. He has only one finish outside the top-15.
●  Harvick finished eighth in Stage 1 to earn three bonus points, and he won Stage 2 to grab 10 more bonus points and a valuable playoff point.
●  Harvick led four times for a race-high 90 laps to increase his laps-led total at Michigan to 699.
●  Harvick has now led 10,496 laps since joining SHR in 2014. He has led 14,922 laps in his entire NASCAR Cup Series career.
●  Harvick’s victory in the Consumers Energy 400 marked the 83rd overall win for SHR. It was the organization’s 62nd points-paying NASCAR Cup Series victory, its seventh of the season and its sixth at Michigan.
●  Today’s victory gave SHR a sweep of the Michigan races in 2020, as Harvick also won Saturday’s FireKeepers Casino 400.
●  SHR has now won five of the past six races at Michigan. In addition to Harvick’s win on Saturday, he also won at the track in August 2018 and August 2019 while Bowyer won in June 2018. SHR scored its first Michigan win via former driver Kurt Busch in June 2015.
●  This was SHR’s 26th NASCAR Cup Series victory with Ford. The team won its first race with Ford when Kurt Busch captured the 2017 Daytona 500.
●  This was Ford’s series-leading 13th NASCAR Cup Series win of the season and its 699th all-time Cup Series victory.
●  This was Ford’s series-leading 41st NASCAR Cup Series victory at Michigan and its sixth straight. In addition to Harvick’s wins (August 2018, August 2019, Saturday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 and today’s Consumers Energy 400) and Bowyer’s win in June 2018, Joey Logano won in June 2019. This is Ford’s longest win streak at Michigan, beating its previous streak of five 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.
●  Today’s victory keeps the Michigan Heritage Trophy in Ford’s hands for a third straight year. The Michigan Heritage Trophy recognizes the winning manufacturer after each NASCAR Cup Series win at the track. The trophy signifies the tradition, excellence and manufacturer rivalry in the racing community.
●  Harvick’s margin of victory over second-place Hamlin was .093 of a second.
●  There were five caution periods for a total of 24 laps.
●  Twenty-eight of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

How big of a challenge was it in those final few laps with Denny Hamlin?

“It was a big challenge. Our Busch Light Apple Ford Mustang got really tight there in (turns) three and four. I could run really good through one and two, still, but I was just tight on that other end all day. So I’ve just got to thank all my guys. They did a great job all weekend on pit road. Great pit calls. Just got to thank Haas Automation, Mobil 1, Hunt Brothers, Jimmy Johns, Fields. Everybody who helps put this No. 4 car on the track and everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing and Roush Yates Engines for awesome power underneath the hood this weekend.”

You are the first driver to win on consecutive 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. I’ve never accomplished that, obviously, but we’ve done that a couple times this year, so I think for us it’s worked out pretty well. We’re hoping it goes the same way at Dover when we go there in a couple of weeks.”

The Heritage Trophy stays with Ford for the third consecutive year.

“Well, when you start getting texts from Edsel Ford (Member Borad of Directors Ford Motor Company) on how important the weekend is, you answer those. I’ve been around Ford for several years now and you understand the importance of winning at Michigan – the energy and effort that they not only put into our cars, but that they put into the engines at Roush Yates. This is the place, right behind Daytona, that everybody from Ford wants to win at.”

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Go Bowling 235 on Sunday, Aug. 16 on the road course at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The race begins at 3 p.m. EDT with coverage on NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.