Kevin Harvick Wins Sunday Race at Dover, Clinching the Regular Season Championship

Jared C. Tilton-Getty images

DOVER, DE – RIS – Kevin Harvick won his seventh NASCAR Cup race of 2020 on Sunday at Dover International Speedway in runway fashion.  Harvick set the pace for 223 of the 311 laps, pushing his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Ford Mustang to a 3.525-second margin of victory in Sunday’s Drydene 311. His third win at the 1-mile Delaware track was the 56th in his Cup Series career. The victory also marked Ford’s 700th in Cup Series competition.

Man, what a year,” Harvick said. “I love the grit about our race team. Sometimes we don’t have the fastest car but we have guys that are willing to suck it up.”

“With Denny (Hamlin) winning yesterday we needed to win today and we need all the points we can get,” Harvick said.  “I think as you look at these playoffs you never know what to expect but I know that as we go week to week we will give it all we have and I am just really proud. Thank you to Mobil 1. They put a lot into the oils and lubricants in these cars and grinding to find more horsepower and less drag. It is an honor to drive for these guys.”

The win also made Harvick clinched the regular season championship.  He has 21 victories in a Ford while at SHR.  With just Daytona left next week before the 16-driver field is set, Aric Almirola, Busch and brother Kurt Busch all wrapped up berth on points

The only hiccup was a brief red flag needed when a hole in the concrete had to be patched. Harvick took it from there and continued to showcase what should be a fantastic battle with Hamlin for the championship..

Ford now ranks 2nd in all time win, only trailing Chevrolet’s 779 wins.  Harvick has all those wins over 3-plus seasons. 

Martin Truex Jr. placed second for the second consecutive race in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota. Jimmie Johnson was third with teammates William Byron and Alex Bowman filling out the top five on the leaderboard.

Harvick swept to wins in Stage 1 and 2, clinching the Regular-Season Championship by the race’s midway point. The title comes with a 15-point bonus in playoff points, adding to his series-leading stockpile.

Denny Hamlin, who won Saturday’s opening race in the series’ weekend doubleheader, finished 19th after making an unscheduled stop for a loose wheel early in the final stage.

Johnson, an 11-time Dover winner in his final full Cup Series season, rallied from a pit-road speeding penalty early in Stage 2 to finish in the top five. He gained track position with a two-tire pit stop on his final trip to pit road, briefly taking the lead before Harvick regained control. Teammate Byron finished ahead of Johnson in both stages, and his fourth-place finish helped him regain his hold on the final provisional playoff spot with one race left in the regular season.

Their Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott was among the first drivers out, with his No. 9 Chevrolet sustaining front-end damage in a collision with Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Toyota. Those two tangled behind contact in front of them when Joey Logano nudged Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s No. 47 Chevrolet into the inside retaining wall. Elliott finished 39th in the 40-car field, completing just six laps.

Unofficial Results, Drydene 311: Dover International Speedway - Dover, DE - 1. - Mile Concrete

Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 17, Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford, 311, 1, 1, 6, 223, 7, 60, Running
2) 19, Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, 311, , 4, , , , 42, Running
3) 14, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 311, 8, 9, 1, 3, , 39, Running
4) 23, William Byron, No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet, 311, 3, 6, , , , 46, Running
5) 21, Alex Bowman, No. 88 Acronis Chevrolet, 311, , 7, , , , 36, Running
6) 13, Joey Logano, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 311, 6, 2, 4, 15, , 45, Running
7) 4, Aric Almirola, No. 10 Smithfield Hometown Original Ford, 311, 4, , 1, 22, , 37, Running
8) 12, Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Wurth Ford, 311, 5, 10, , , , 36, Running
9) 6, Austin Dillon, No. 3 Dow/Behr Ultra Scuff Defense Chevrolet, 311, 10, , , , , 29, Running
10) 10, Cole Custer #, No. 41 HaasTooling.com/Jacom Co Ford, 311, , 8, , , , 30, Running
11) 18, Kyle Busch, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, 311, , , , , , 26, Running
12) 7, Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Advance Auto Parts Ford, 311, 2, 5, 3, 37, , 40, Running
13) 28, Kurt Busch, No. 1 GEARWRENCH Chevrolet, 311, 9, , , , , 26, Running
14) 5, Chris Buescher, No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 311, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 22, Matt Kenseth, No. 42 Clover Chevrolet, 311, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 15, Clint Bowyer, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford, 311, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 1, Matt DiBenedetto, No. 21 Menards/Monster Energy Ford, 311, 7, , 1, 11, , 24, Running
18) 8, Tyler Reddick #, No. 8 Cat App Chevrolet, 311, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 20, Denny Hamlin, No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota, 311, , 3, , , , 26, Running
20) 27, John Hunter Nemechek #, No. 38 ACME Ford, 311, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 26, Bubba Wallace, No. 43 Columbia Chevrolet, 311, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 9, Erik Jones, No. 20 Reser's Fine Foods Toyota, 310, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 30, Corey LaJoie, No. 32 Drydene Ford, 310, , , , , , 14, Running
24) 2, Ryan Newman, No. 6 Guaranteed Rate Ford, 310, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 25, Michael McDowell, No. 34 Digital Ally Shield Cleansers Ford, 310, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 29, Ryan Preece, No. 37 Scott Brand Chevrolet, 310, , , , , , 11, Running
27) 24, Christopher Bell #, No. 95 Rheem Toyota, 310, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 31, * Daniel Suarez, No. 96 CommScope Toyota, 309, , , , , , 9, Running
29) 3, Ty Dillon, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, 309, , , , , , 8, Running
30) 34, Brennan Poole #, No. 15 RememberEveryoneDeployed. Today Chevrolet, 305, , , , , , 7, Running
31) 40, * BJ McLeod(i), No. 78 Chevrolet, 303, , , , , , 0, Running
32) 33, Josh Bilicki(i), No. 53 Chevrolet, 302, , , , , , 0, Running
33) 37, Reed Sorenson, No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet, 302, , , , , , 4, Running
34) 35, Quin Houff #, No. 00 Eagle Rock Wealth Chevrolet, 302, , , , , , 3, Running
35) 39, * Garrett Smithley(i), No. 7 Chevrolet, 296, , , , , , 0, Running
36) 36, * Timmy Hill(i), No. 66 Manscaped Toyota, 252, , , , , , 0, Engine
37) 11, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 Kroger Chevrolet, 215, , , , , , 1, Running
38) 32, JJ Yeley(i), No. 27 Thriv5 Ford, 110, , , , , , 0, Handling
39) 16, Chase Elliott, No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, 6, , , , , , 1, Accident
40) 38, Joey Gase(i), No. 51 Ford, 4, , , , , , 0, Accident
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie

Race Length: 311 laps, 311 miles
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 48 Mins, 7 Secs.
Average Speed: 110.994 MPH
Margin of Victory: 3.525 Seconds

Stage 1 Top 10: 4, 12, 24, 10, 2, 22, 21, 48, 1, 3
Stage 2 Top 10: 4, 22, 11, 19, 12, 24, 88, 41, 48, 2

Race Comments: Kevin Harvick won the Drydene 311 at Dover International Speedway, his 56th victory in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Prior to the start, the following cars dropped to the rear of the field for the reasons indicated: Nos. 1, 88 (backup car);
No. 7 (engine change).

Caution Flags: 7 for 40 laps;
Laps: 7-11 (No. 7, 9, 18, 22, 47, 51 incident frontstretch [None]);
34-39 (Debris Turn 3 [77]);
72-78 (Stage 1 Conclusion [Red Flag: Lap 76, 12:19] [77]);
101-106 (No. 13, 32 incident turn 2 [78]);
187-192 (Stage 2 Conclusion [38]);
217-221 (No. 00 spin turn 2 [43]);
290-294 (No. 32 incident turn 3 [42]).

Lead Changes: 15 among 6 drivers;
M. DiBenedetto 1-11;
A. Almirola 12-33;
R. Blaney 34-68;
K. Harvick 69-72;
R. Blaney 73;
K. Harvick 74-101;
R. Blaney 102;
J. Logano 103-114;
K. Harvick 115-187;
J. Logano 188;
K. Harvick 189-217;
J. Logano 218;
K. Harvick 219-290;
J. Logano 291;
J. Johnson 292-294;
K. Harvick 295-311.

Sunoco Rookie of the Race:  Cole Custer, No. 41

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2020, Issue 8, Posted 9:07 PM, 08.23.2020