Kevin Harvick takes seventh win of 2018 season at Michigan

Jim Utter
Kevin Harvick takes seventh win of 2018 season at Michigan

Harvick put in a dominating performance on Sunday, winning both stages and taking the victory in the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway, taking the checkered flag by more than three seconds over Brad Keselowski.

Austin Dillon was running second but had a flat tire with one of 200 laps remaining.

The win is the seventh in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this season and 44th of his career. It’s also his second win at Michigan and first since the 2010 season. He led 108 laps.

"It's pretty awesome to be a part of NASCAR and to bring your kids to the race track," said Harvick, after his son, Keelan, walked across the track to grab the checkered flag for his father. "To bring your kids to work and experience these kinds of things with them is a dream come true. 

"I just want to thank everyone from Stewart-Haas Racing for a great Ford. What a car! I really want to thank everybody, I appreciate everything you do. Thanks for coming out today."

Harvick was asked about he and his No. 4 Ford's team philosophy entering Sunday's race.

"The most important thing is winning races right now and getting all the points that you can get to position yourself well to get to Homestead. That's what we've been trying to do all year is win races," he said. 

"That was our only goal - we didn't want to learn anything, we don't want to do anything different, we just want to go out and we want to win."

It doesn't get much better than riding shotgun to Victory Lane with dad.@KevinHarvick | @DeLanaHarvick pic.twitter.com/lnviIKqeTI

— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 12, 2018

Kyle Busch finished third, Austin Dillon still managed to finish fourth and Ryan Blaney completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano.

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, all of the lead-car pits pit for fuel and tires and Harvick was the first off pit road and held the lead as the final stage went green on Lap 127. He was followed by Kyle Busch and Blaney.

Shortly after the restart, Blaney moved into the second position as Kyle Busch dropped to third.

On Lap 133, Ty Dillon wrecked in Turns 3 and 4 after running over a large piece of debris to bring out a caution, which allowed Truex to return to the lead lap. “I hit a piece of lead or something,” Dillon said over his team radio.

#NASCARreplay: Here's a look at why we're under yellow at @MISpeedway.@tydillon | @NASCARonNBC pic.twitter.com/NJcZ0rvFHg

— NASCAR (@NASCAR) August 12, 2018

The race returned to green after an extensive cleanup on Lap 144 with Harvick still in the lead followed by Blaney and Kyle Busch.

Austin Dillon moved into the second position on the restart as Keselowski moved into third and Blaney dropped to fourth.

With 50 laps remaining in the race, Harvick had a more than one second advantage over Austin Dillon with Keselowski still in third. Blaney and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five.

On Lap 161, Alex Bowman was the first to stop for fuel and tires as soon as they got within their fuel window to make it to the finish.

On Lap 171, Kyle Busch became one of first running in the top five to make a green-flag pit stop. He was followed by Bowyer and a lap later, Harvick and Keselowski.

Once the cycle of stops were completed with 11 laps left in the race, Harvick held a more than two second lead over Austin Dillon followed by Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Blaney.

With 10 laps remaining, Harvick was complaining the engine in his No. 4 Ford was “running hot.”

Cla # Driver 4506 Laps Time Laps Led
1 4  Kevin Harvick  Ford 200   108
2 2  Brad Keselowski  Ford 200 3.233  
3 18  Kyle Busch  Toyota 200 4.153 22
4 3  Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 200 5.707 5
5 12  Ryan Blaney  Ford 200 8.957  
6 41  Kurt Busch  Ford 200 12.032  
7 10  Aric Almirola  Ford 200 12.384  
8 11  Denny Hamlin  Toyota 200 15.902 13
9 9  Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 200 18.211  
10 22  Joey Logano  Ford 200 20.260 1
11 19  Daniel Suarez  Toyota 200 22.541  
12 14  Clint Bowyer  Ford 200 23.425  
13 20  Erik Jones  Toyota 200 24.144  
14 78  Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 200 24.345 25
15 31  Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 200 26.183 12
16 21  Paul Menard  Ford 200 26.537  
17 42  Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 200 31.508  
18 17  Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 200 31.679  
19 88  Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 200 37.750  
20 37  Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 200 38.234  
21 1  Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 200 38.953 1
22 47  A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
23 43  Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
24 32  Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 199 1 lap  
25 34  Michael McDowell  Ford 199 1 lap  
26 95  Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
27 38  David Ragan  Ford 199 1 lap  
28 48  Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 198 2 laps 13
29 00  Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 197 3 laps  
30 23 Jones Blake  Toyota 194 6 laps  
31 51  B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 194 6 laps  
32 7  Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 193 7 laps  
33 99  Gray Gaulding  Chevrolet 191 9 laps  
34 6  Trevor Bayne  Ford 189 11 laps  
35 15  Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 187 13 laps  
36 24  William Byron  Chevrolet 187 13 laps  
37 66  Timmy Hill  Toyota 138 62 laps  
38 13  Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 131 69 laps  
39 96  Jeffrey Earnhardt  Toyota 102 98 laps  
40 72  Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 37 163 laps