Kevin Harvick made a statement on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The driver of the No. 4 Ford Mustang, who hadn’t appeared early in the season to have the same pace that he’s had since moving to SHR in 2014, now looks to be a formidable championship contender.
Harvick started from the pole in Sunday’s hectic Big Machine Vodka 400, and he led 119 laps and won Stage 2 en route to his third race win of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. This is Harvick’s third win in his last seven starts, after starting the season win less in the first 19 races.
Joey Logano, who won Stage 1, finished runner-up on the day.
Bubba Wallace opened up the most eyes as he came home an impressive third-place in Richard Petty’s famed No. 43 car.
William Byron finished fourth and Clint Bowyer dodged chaos all day to finish fifth.
In finishing fifth, Bowyer secured the 15th-place in the Cup Series Playoffs.
Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney finished sixth and seventh, just ahead of Ryan Newman in eighth. Newman, by finishing eighth, also secured himself a spot in the 2019 Playoffs as he will be 16th in the grid.
Chase Elliott and Paul Menard rounded out the top-10 finishers on the day.
Daniel Suarez finished 11th, which just wasn’t quite enough for the Mexico-native to make the Post-Season.
Jimmie Johnson, was the other driver eligible to make the Playoffs on points entering the day. Johnson competed admirably all day, but a crash in the final Stage of the race ended any hope Johnson had at making the Playoffs.
Johnson would suffer a DNF and finish 35th, this marks the first time in Johnson’s career that he didn’t make it into the NASCAR Playoffs (or Chase).
The 16 drivers who will compete for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship (pending post-race inspection) are:
- Kyle Busch – 2,045 pts
- Denny Hamlin – 2,030 pts
- Martin Truex Jr. – 2,029 pts
- Kevin Harvick – 2,028 pts
- Joey Logano – 2,028 pts
- Brad Keselowski – 2,024 pts
- Chase Elliott – 2,018 pts
- Kurt Busch – 2,011 pts
- Alex Bowman – 2,005 pts
- Erik Jones – 2,005 pts
- Kyle Larson – 2,005 pts
- Ryan Blaney – 2,004 pts
- William Byron – 2,001 pts
- Aric Almirola – 2,001 pts
- Clint Bowyer – 2,000 pts
- Ryan Newman – 2,000 pts
Post-Race Stat Pack:
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.