Second verse, same as the first for Kevin Harvick. After driving to a dominating victory in Saturday’s first race of the weekend doubleheader at Michigan International Speedway, Harvick staged a repeat performance on Sunday.
The Stewart-Haas driver led a race best 90 of 156 laps in Sunday’s Consumer Energy 400 NASCAR Cup Series race to get the win.
“Awesome power under the hood this weekend,” Harvick said, stating the obvious.
The result gave Harvick a series-high six victories on the season and was his fifth at Michigan, where he has now won four of the last five races.
“It’s been a long time since I raced back-to-back days let alone in a Cup car,” Harvick said. “Never accomplished that obviously. We’re hoping it goes the same way at Dover when we go there in a couple weeks.”
About the only difference in the two races was the closeness at the end of the race. Over the final 10 laps, Denny Hamlin tracked Harvick down and finished just 0.09 seconds back.
“Once we got to second I knew we had something for him,” Hamlin said. “But got stalled there. He was tight, I was tight. We were better, that’s for sure. He just had the track position and kind of controlled the lane there.
“Obviously a very strong run,” Hamlin said. “We just needed a little bit more…just really hate giving up wins to the 4 (Harvick).”
Hamlin was going for his sixth win of the season.
Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch finished third and fourth, respectively.
Finishing fifth was Joey Logano of Team Penske.
A victim of Harvick’s dominance over the weekend was Busch, the defending series champ who still has not won a race this season. Busch, who battled Harvick for a win before finishing fifth on Saturday, led laps again on Sunday but could not quite break through.
Busch, who has only won once at the 2-mile MIS oval, called his weekend successful.
“At the end of the say, we slowed down on the long runs,” Busch said. “But that’s about all we could get out of the day. The 4 was the best car, the 2 (Keselowski) was the second best.
“Yesterday and today, the car drove great. Best driving car I’ve had here at Michigan.”
For a second straight day, Michigan native Brad Keselowski came up short in a bid to get his first victory at his home track. On Saturday, he finished second. On Sunday, things fell apart on Lap 96 when he lost control going for the lead. His car moved up into leader, and Team Penske teammate, Ryan Blaney. Both cars hit the wall and were knocked out of the race.
“I just lost it,” Keselowski said. “My fault. I feel bad for my teammate Ryan Blaney. He didn’t deserve that. Lost the back a little bit. He was there. I wiped him out and myself out.”
“We had two fast cars, battling for the lead,” Blaney said. “It’s unfortunate but it’s not going to carry over. Things happen. Mistakes happen.”
There are now just four races left before the start of the 16-driver, 10-race playoffs.
–Field Level Media