Kevin Harvick knifed his way past Denny Hamlin for the race lead on lap 22, and he never looked back as he led the remainder of the 40-lap Stage 1 in Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
This marks the third Stage Win of 2020 for Harvick.
Hamlin stayed in the runner-up spot in Stage 1, while Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski made up the rest of the top-five.
On Monday, Keselowski announced a contract extension with Team Penske for the 2021 season.
Erik Jones, who was sixth, was informed this week that he would not return to Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2021 season. The Michigan-native has even more incentive to go for a win at his hometown track.
Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounded out the top-10 in Stage 1.
Tyler Reddick, who is battling for the final Playoff berth, and Martin Truex Jr. are both trapped a lap down after they both cut tires down after contact in the opening laps of the Stage.
Luckily, both drivers were able to avoid any contact with the wall.
Stage and Playoff Points Awarded in Stage 1:
|Finish||Driver||Stage Points||Playoff Points|
|10||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||1||0|
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.