Harvick Ends 65-Race Winless Streak

BROOKLYN, Mich. — As Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 wound to a close at Michigan International Speedway, it was an unexpected sight for a large crowd of NASCAR Cup Series fans as they watched Kevin Harvick lead the field to the checkered flag. 

Harvick led the field to a restart with 35 laps remaining remaining, with polesitter Bubba Wallace behind him in second. The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford fended off Wallace and third-place Joey Logano as Kyle Larson lurked behind the lead trio. 

Larson took Wallace and Logano three-wide as they headed into turn two, but track position through the curve forced Larson to slip back in the pack to avoid a crash. 

Harvick Ends 65-Race Winless Streak

Joey Logano (22) battles with Kyle Busch (18) before a early-stage crash took Busch out of the running. (HHP/Tim Parks photo)

Logano completed the pass on Wallace and slid into second.

Settled quietly in fourth, last year’s Michigan winner Ryan Blaney, who stands 15th in the current playoff standings, was in position to challenge. With 26 laps to go, the battle for second was on among Logano, Wallace and Blaney.

Harvick continued to stretch his lead while the three jostled for position behind him, creating over a three-second gap as he set his sights on a 59th Cup Series victory and a spot in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, Wallace recovered to take second from Logano and attempted to reel in Harvick who was practically on cruise control with a 4.4-second gap. 

The action continued behind Wallace as Stage 2 winner Denny Hamlin passed Logano for third. Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. battled for fifth, fighting both for track and playoff position. Truex Jr. is 16th in the playoff standings behind Blaney. 

It was sweet relief for Harvick, who ended a 65-race winless streak that dates back to his win at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on September 19, 2020. Harvick has won four Cup Series races at the two-mile Michigan track in the past five seasons.

“It’s been a while and coming to Michigan, this has been a great place for us. I’ve just got to thank all the fans. They’ve stuck with us through this little dry spell, so hopefully we can get back to victory lane again soon,” Harvick said.

Wallace, driving the No. 23XI Racing Toyota, came home second and finished in the top 10 for the fourth consecutive race.

“There were a lot of positives from this weekend, but I’m a person that looks more at the negatives and I need to change that,” Wallace said. “I want to win so bad and this was the best opportunity.”

Hamlin rounded out the podium in third after a late-race pass-through penalty for an escaped wheel during a pit stop with his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota ruined his chances at victory.

Team Penske Ford teammates Logano and Blaney rounded out the top five.

Also facing frustration during the race were a number of drivers who were caught up in crashes and misfortune, including Stage 1 winner Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, Austin Cindric, Aric Almirola, Cole Custer, J.J. Yeley, Harrison Burton, Michael McDowell, Todd Gilliland, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ty Gibbs.

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