Kevin Harvick Gets His Fifth NASCAR Cup Win of the Season at Kansas Speedway
Kevin Harvick secured his fifth victory of the season catching Martin Truex Jr. in the final laps of the KC Masterpiece 400 NASCAR Cup race.
There were many storylines to choose from heading into the KC Masterpiece 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Kansas Speedway; the only one that turned out to matter was whether Kevin Harvick could win another race this season and expand his championship lead—which he did. Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kyle Larson may have dominated the race leading 101 laps, but it was the Harvick show when the checkered flag fell.
Harvick played his position well throughout the race. Stage 1 belonged to Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney, who captured his third stage win of the season. Stage 2 was all about Larson. Pole sitter Harvick ran well most of the race and was in second place when the first pair of stages concluded. Larson and Blaney battled a good portion of the race until they got into each other and triggered the first contact-related caution with 20 laps to go. Along with a multi-car crash just six laps later, Blaney and Larson's battle opened the door for Martin Truex Jr. to win at Kansas. However, Harvick proved to possess the trump card come race’s end.
When asked if he had enough car to hold Truex Jr. off once he got the lead, Harvick said, “I knew once I got the lead that it was over. I felt like at that point with clean air and putting him in dirty air and in the groove that I was running, I felt like that was—unless he just ran into me, it was probably game over at that point.”
The incident triggered by rookie William Byron collected six cars including Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Chris Buescher, Ty Dillon, Clint Bowyer, and Matt Kenseth. In turn, the latter got off to a rough start in his MENCS return as he also failed inspection earlier in the weekend, causing him to start from the back of the field. The Roush Fenway Racing driver then had an uneventful conclusion to his first race of the 2018 season, finishing 36th. The hometown hero Clint Bowyer returned to the race after the wreck and was the last car on the lead lap of the KC Masterpiece 400. He finished in 15th place.
The KC Masterpiece 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Race at Kansas Speedway Results
(Position Finished, Driver, Manufacturer, Laps Completed, Laps Led)
1. Kevin Harvick, Ford, 267, Led 79
2. Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 267, Led 13
3. Joey Logano, Ford, 267, Led 6
4. Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 267, Led 101
5. Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 267
6. Paul Menard, Ford, 267
7. Erik Jones, Toyota, 267
8. Kurt Busch, Ford, 267
9. Aric Almirola, Ford, 267
10. Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267
11. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 267, Led 10
12. Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 267
13. David Ragan, Ford, 267
14. Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267
15. Clint Bowyer, Ford, 267
16. AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 266
17. Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 266, Led 4
18. Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 266
19. Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 265
20. Michael McDowell, Ford, 265
21. Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 264
22. Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 263
23. Darrell Wallace, Jr., Chevrolet, 262
24. Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 262
25. Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 260
26. Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 259
27. Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 259
28. Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 258
29. Gray Gaulding, Toyota, 257
30. Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 253, Accident
31. Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 253, Accident
32. Timmy Hill, Toyota, 253
33. William Byron, Chevrolet, 252, Accident
34. Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 252, Accident
35. B.J. McLeod, Chevrolet, 251
36. Matt Kenseth, Ford, 250, Accident
37. Ryan Blaney, Ford, 247, Accident, Led 54
38. Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 247, Accident
An All-Star Race
Next up is the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star weekend. Will Harvick keep his hot streak alive and dominate on NASCAR’s home track at the Charlotte Motor Speedway? Qualifying for the event will take place Friday, May 18 at 6:35 p.m. ET, and the race start will be on Saturday, May 19 at 6:00 p.m. ET.
So far this season, Harvick has nine top-five finishes, ten top-10s, and five victories. He has appeared in seventeen All-Star Races. The Stewart-Haas driver only All-Star Race win came in 2007.