NASCAR FireKeepers Casino 400: Harvick moves into playoff spot
Kevin Harvick snapped a 65 game winless streak by holding on to win the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday to move into a NASCAR playoff berth.
Drivers put it all on the line in the 200-lap, 400-mile race for a chance to take home the Michigan Heritage Trophy as the NASCAR Cup Series began the August program by returning to Brooklyn, Michigan.
Here are the top moments from Michigan International Speedway:
Sunshine, blue sky
After a rain delay halted the action for more than an hour, the drivers finally got the call to fire up their engines, thanks to some impromptu handiwork from a series of dryers.
And they are racing!
Bubba Wallace took the early lead as the drivers took off.
Done for the day
Kyle Busch and Austin Cindric headed to the garage after a massive multi-car crash that left several drivers – including Aric Almirola and JJ Yeley – engulfed in smoke.
“Infinity” was the word Busch used to describe his level of frustration on a scale of 1-10.
There’s just something so serene about the sound a speeding car makes when it jumps at top speed, and Denny Hamlin nearly broke his odometer (just kidding) as he hit 202mph in a dip. Hamlin sat in sixth on the 55th lap.
Ross Chastain led after Stage 1.
In the second stage, Hamlin went smoothly on lap 80, taking the lead on the outside of the track as the two drifted around a turn.
Things took a turn for the worse for Chastain, who was forced to serve a penalty after some problems in the pits.
The yellow flag came out on lap 98 after the No. 41 car of Cole Custer blew a front tire, which burst into flames. Fortunately, Custer was able to escape before any harm was done.
Front and back
Harvick, Bell, Hamlin. All three fought hard for position as the Stage 2 checkpoint approached.
Despite valiant efforts by his rivals, Hamlin stayed ahead to take the Stage 2 win.
Bell on the wall
Christopher Bell did his best to pass Hamlin, but ended up with his front bumper wedged into the wall after an overly aggressive trick.
Slow your roll
Hamlin, who led most of the way, fell behind after being penalized in one of his final pit stops.
My time to shine
Harvick took full advantage of the open opportunity, moving into the lead and pulling away from the field with ease.
To the leaderboard
Harvick completely led the final 25 laps, at one point holding a 4.5-second advantage over the second-place runner. Harvick was the first driver to cross the checkered flag, advancing in the playoff standings.
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