CUP: Harvick Continues Atlanta Dominance With Stage Two Victory

Jacob Seelman Cup 0 Comments

Kevin Harvick swept the first twp stages of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta. (NASCAR photo)

HAMPTON, Ga. — Just as he did in stage one, Kevin Harvick led the majority of the laps en route to a dominating victory in stage two of Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.

In a caution-free second stage, which resumed on lap 94 of the overall count, Harvick led all but 14 laps en route to collecting 10 more bonus points towards his regular season total and banking another playoff point for the postseason.

The driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion took the green checkers 5.398 seconds ahead of Georgia native Chase Elliott and has now led 153 of 170 total laps so far.

“This car has just been a lot of fun to drive,” Harvick said. “We started to get really loose on the bottom and into the center … so that’s given us a little concern and we’ve tried to work on that a little bit and see how that goes (as far as experimenting with different lines).”

“I need to take a hammer and hit myself in the head and not do that again, though. I did that in the XFINITY race yesterday and lost the lead. I feel like I give up a little bit in the first two laps (of a run) … but it’s just something I don’t need to be doing, I don’t think, because we’re hanging right where we need to be for now. Hoping we can close it out.”

Brad Keselowski was Harvick’s closest pursuer over the majority of the second stage, but made a pit stop for tires on lap 117 that placed him briefly a lap down. Once pit stops cycled through on lap 131, Keselowski had a 10-second advantage over Harvick, but fresh tires axed that gap down in a hurry.

Ultimately, Harvick took the point back on lap 142, leading the rest of the way over Elliott, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson.

Austin Dillon was sixth ahead of Keselowski, who made another pit stop one lap after losing the lead and rallied back to seventh by the conclusion of the stage.

Rookie Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer and Trevor Bayne completed the top 10 and the list of points-scoring drivers.

Cody Ware (broken ball joint) and Denny Hamlin (hub) both retired from the race during stage two, leaving 37 drivers on track and just 13 on the lead lap.

 

About the Writer

Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.

Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.

The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

Email Jacob at: [email protected]

Follow on Twitter: @Speed77Radio or @JacobSeelman77

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