Harvick takes Southern 500 after leaders Elliott, Truex bump | Information, Sports activities, Jobs
DARLINGTON, S.C. — There was little question which of his two Darlington Raceway victories this yr Kevin Harvick loved extra.
“The very first thing I wish to say is, ‘Welcome again followers! This can be a hell of much more enjoyable with you guys up there,’” he instructed the group Saturday night time.
Harvick had a big smile as he waved to the 8,000 or so followers — the Could 17 occasion right here was run with out spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic — and even gave the checkered flag to a younger fan carrying certainly one of his shirts.
Harvick had motive to be pleased, taking the Southern 500 when leaders Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. bumped as Truex tried to make a go and each brushed the wall.
Harvick was there to take benefit — and start NASCAR’s playoff the easiest way potential.
Harvick, the 2014 collection champion, was extensively thought of a favourite to be racing for a title this season. His eighth win this yr put him into the second spherical.
“It was method higher” getting out of the automobile and listening to a fan response, Harvick mentioned. “It felt actually good to have followers cheering.”
Particularly after what they witnessed down the stretch on the observe “Too Powerful to Tame.”
Elliott and Truex had probably the most pace all through — Truex gained the primary two phases — and had been as soon as once more dueling for lead. As soon as they touched and hit the wall, issues opened up for Harvick, who instantly discovered himself out entrance.
Elliott dropped off the tempo and Harvick handed him for second. Truex — who led a race-high 196 laps — needed to pit for repairs on his broken automobile, giving Harvick a transparent path to the end.
“The leaders obtained snarled there and the subsequent factor you understand we had been racing for the win,” Harvick mentioned. “This is among the most prestigious races in our sport and clearly all people in our sport is aware of the historical past that Darlington has for our sport, so anytime you’ll be able to win right here is fairly particular.”
Harvick’s Could victory at Darlington got here in NASCAR’s return after a 10-week pause initially of the pandemic. When he gained that race with out spectators, he pointed into the tv digicam and instructed the followers how a lot they had been missed.
It was troublesome to think about the win going to anybody aside from Truex or Elliott, who mixed to steer 310 of 367 laps.
However as Truex tried to finish a go for first, he clipped Elliott’s entrance facet and each slid up into the wall.
“Simply not sufficient room there for each of us,” Truex mentioned in regards to the botched go for the lead. “I assumed I had sufficient of a run to clear him. I believe it was shut, clearly. I assumed I had sufficient momentum and distance on him that he was going to let me in there.”
Harvick needed to maintain off a hard-charging Austin Dillon, a driver few predict will advance very far into the playoffs, to seal the victory in his Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Dillon, in a Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, was second. Joey Logano in a Ford for Group Penske was third.
Erik Jones, the defending Southern 500 winner who’s being changed at Joe Gibbs Racing on the finish of the season, completed fourth in a Toyota. Jones was the one non-playoff driver within the high 10.
Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Alex Bowman had been fifth and sixth, adopted by reigning collection champion Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, and SHR teammates Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer.
Elliott wound up twentieth whereas Truex was a lap down in twenty second.
Elliott was dissatisfied with the consequence after main 114 laps and being in place for the win.
Truex “was shut, however he wasn’t all the way in which clear,” Elliott mentioned. “Clearly, I hate it.”
Elliott mentioned he wanted just a little extra tempo there to increase the lead as a substitute of “taking part in protection” to stop Truex’s strategy. “However regardless, I assumed we had been in a great spot,” he mentioned.
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