Kevin Harvick has been dominant enough in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season that he doesn’t need help from others to get victories. However, in Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Harvick received a gift when Martin Truex Jr. slipped into Chase Elliott, which put them both into the wall while battling for the lead late.
This gave Harvick the lead, and the driver of the No. 4 car was able to hold off Austin Dillon for the victory, his eighth of 2020 and 57th of his career.
In winning, Harvick has clinched moving on to the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
Dillon didn’t capture another crown jewel — he’s won the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the past — but he gave it everything he had in the final turn of the race. Dillon gained so much ground in turn four, that it looked like he may have a shot at the victory.
Joey Logano, who had an overall rough race, finished third, while Erik Jones and William Byron capped off the top-five finishers.
Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top-10 finishers in the race.
Denny Hamlin, a favorite for the 2020 title, finished 13th after missing pit road late in the race after a shove from Jimmie Johnson.Elliott finished 20th and Truex was 22nd after their incident.
Matt DiBenedetto (21st) and Ryan Blaney (24th) were the other Playoff drivers who had less than stellar finishes.
Here is the Playoff Grid with two races remaining until the Round of 12:
- Kevin Harvick (Locked In)
- Denny Hamlin, +54 points
- Joey Logano, +27
- Brad Keselowski, +22
- Alex Bowman, +19
- Martin Truex Jr., +16
- Chase Elliott, +12
- Austin Dillon, +10
- William Byron, +9
- Kyle Busch, +7
- Kurt Busch, +4
- Aric Almirola, +0
— Cut Line —
13. Clint Bowyer, -0
14. Cole Custer, -3
15. Matt DiBenedetto, -17
16. Ryan Blaney, -17
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.