BROOKLYN (AP) — Kevin Harvick forced his way past Kyle Busch, then fended off hometown threat Brad Keselowski.
It takes a lot to beat Harvick these days — especially in Michigan.
Harvick raced to his fifth NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season, outlasting Keselowski in overtime last Saturday in the opener of a weekend doubleheader at Michigan International Speedway. Harvick now has four victories at Michigan, including three in the last three years. He’s been a big part of what is now a five-race winning streak for Ford at the Cup level at MIS.
“Just got challenged by a whole bunch of restarts at the end that made it kind of crazy,” Harvick said. “But in the end it was a great day for us. Everybody did a great job, called a great race, and we capitalised on a fast car and put it in Victory Lane.”
Keselowski was denied again in his home state. He’s never won a Cup race at Michigan, but he’ll have another chance. It would have been a tall order to overcome Harvick’s dominant number four car on this day. Harvick also won the race’s first two stages.
“At no time did I think us or anybody else was better than the four,” Keselowski said.
Martin Truex Jr finished third, followed by Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch. Busch remained winless on the year with five races left in the regular season.
Harvick, the series points leader, won for the 54th time, pulling even with Lee Petty for 11th on the career list. He’s one victory behind rusty Wallace and two behind Busch.
For a brief moment, Busch was in front after one of the late restarts, but Harvick came up on the inside of him, and Busch’s car became loose and fell back.
At first, it looked as if there might have been very slight contact between the cars, but Harvick said that was not the case.
It was the eighth straight top-five finish for Harvick, who has now matched Hamlin’s series-leading total of five victories on the season.