By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
The Art of Racing - Harvick makes a move

Just when you thought that Kyle Busch was taking over the dominance of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the monster mile in Dover pops up and Kevin Harvick says, “not so fast, I’m still here.” Kyle Larson qualified for the pole but failed pre-race inspection three times and was sent to the rear of the field for the start. This put Harvick in front and he basically dominated from there.

Harvick won both stages and was comfortably ahead of teammate Clint Bowyer at the finish. Kurt Busch finished fifth, putting three of the Stewart-Haas racers in the top five. Aric Almirola, the fourth Stewart-Haas teammate finished 11th, showing everyone that Stewart-Haas Racing is still the force to be dealt with this year.

Harvick, Bowyer and Keselowski shared the lead during the first stage but fuel played a big part of the result of Stage 1 with Harvick getting the best of everyone. Harvick and Keselowski shared the lead during Stage 2 with Harvick again claiming the stage win. This was his sixth stage win this year as he took over the playoff point lead with 19. Kyle Busch continues to maintain the lead in stage points, which count in the point standings. Race winners automatically advance to the playoffs with the remaining field being set by points.

Rain forced a stoppage with 80 laps to go and Bowyer in the lead. He tried a rain dance and anything else for the rain to continue, to no avail. The rains stopped, the track dried, and the race re-started. It did not take long for Harvick to resume the lead and sail away and clain his second Dover trophy. His first trophy was damaged by his son Keelan and he hopes this one stays intact.

“The first one that we won, we took it home and put it in his playroom. First day I came home, he had the arm broke in half off the thing,” said Harvick. “When we talked after [this] race, he said, ‘Dad, are you bringing that trophy home?’ I said, ‘I’m bringing it home, but do not break the arm off this one.’”

Kyle Busch still holds the points lead, followed by Logano, Harvick, Bowyer and Keselowski. Eleven of the 26 regular season races have been completed and there is a surprising list of championship-caliber drivers who have yet to win a race this year. Jimmy Johnson heads the list as he had reeled off three early wins in 2017 but has struggled so far this season. Keselowski, Hamlin and Larson all outperformed Johnson at the end of last season, so their lack of wins in 2018 is an even bigger surprise.

Saturday night the Cup Series continues in Kansas, then, most everyone returns to Charlotte for the all-star break.