BRISTOL, TENN. – Kevin Harvick wasn’t worried about his poor qualifying at Bristol Motor Speedway. In fact, starting 24th gave Harvick exactly what he wanted.
“It kind of motivates me,” Harvick said Sunday. “I think it’s exciting. I like to pass cars.”
Harvick made the biggest pass with 70 laps to go, sweeping by Denny Hamlin and holding on to take the rain-delayed race at the half-mile concrete track.
The victory was Harvick’s second of the season and second at Bristol — his first in 11 years. It also moved him atop the points standings with only three races left until NASCAR’s Chase starts.
Harvick had 13 top-10 finishes in the 18 races since winning at Phoenix in March.
“To have the win now and just try to get that momentum before we get into the Chase and get things rolling is really what we needed,” said Harvick, who led 128 laps.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was second, followed by Hamlin, Austin Dillon and Chris Buescher.
Kyle Busch led a race-high 256 laps. But he spun on Lap 358 when a part broke and Justin Allgaier, driving in relief of Michael Arnett, hit the No. 18 car, ending the defending series champ’s race. Busch was angered by his equipment failure and said the race shop “was going to hear about it Tuesday.”
Allgaier apologized to Busch. “Worst possibly scenario when the leader spins out and you hit them,” Allgaier said.