Event: Gander Outdoors 400 (Round 30 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (120 laps/120 laps/160 laps)
Note: Race extended four laps past its scheduled 400-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Point Standing: Kevin Harvick (1st with 3,101 points, 68 points ahead of the top-eight cutoff)
Race Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120):
● Kevin Harvick started second, finished first, scoring 10 bonus points and a playoff point.
● The Busch Outdoors driver raced to the lead on lap 15.
● The No. 4 Ford surrendered the lead to come to pit road under green-flag conditions on lap 75 for four tires and fuel.
● Harvick reclaimed the lead on lap 81 and held it for the remainder of the stage.
● The team came to pit road for four tires and fuel at the end of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 121-240):
● Started second, finished first, scoring 10 bonus points and a playoff point.
● Harvick claimed the lead on the restart to begin Stage 2.
● The Busch Outdoors came to pit road under green-flag conditions from the lead on lap 189 for four tires and fuel.
● Harvick reclaimed the lead on lap 195 and held it for the remainder of the stage.
● The team came to pit road at the conclusion of Stage 2 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 241-404):
● Started first and finished sixth.
● Harvick surrendered the lead to come to pit road under green-flag conditions on lap 320 for four tires and fuel.
● He reported a flat left-rear tire as a result of a broken valve stem and had to return to pit road on lap 322, causing him to fall a lap down to the leaders.
● The team earned the free pass as a result of a debris caution on lap 340 and restarted 13th after returning to the lead lap on lap 344.
● Harvick raced his way back into the top-five by lap 389.
● The Busch Outdoors Ford came to pit road under caution on lap 393 for two tires and fuel.
● Harvick restarted 11th on lap 396 and narrowly avoided a wreck on the restart to advance to the eighth position.
● Harvick raced the No. 4 Busch Outdoors Ford from eighth up to sixth during the overtime.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Outdoors Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We were just lucky there and wound up dodging and weaving and being in the right place, so maybe that makes up for the bad luck on losing the race with an absolute dominant car.”
● This was Harvick’s series-leading 25th top-10 of 2018 and his 17th top-10 in 36 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Dover.
● Harvick finished first in Stage 1 to earn 10 bonus points and one playoff point, and first in Stage 2 to earn an additional 10 bonus points and one more playoff point.
● Harvick led five times for a race-high 286 laps to increase his laps-led total at Dover to 1,442.
● All four SHR drivers finished in the top-10 in Stage 1 and again in Stage 2.
● Chase Elliott won the Gander Outdoors 400 to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Denny Hamlin was .265 of a second.
● There were five caution periods for a total of 31 laps.
● Only 15 of the 39 drivers in the Gander Outdoors 400 finished on the lead lap.
Playoff Standings (with two races to go before the Round of 8):
1. Kevin Harvick (3,101 points) +68 points
2. Kyle Busch (3,096 points) +63 points
3. Martin Truex Jr. (3,069 points) +36 points
4. Joey Logano (3,064 points) +31 points
5. Chase Elliott (3,056 points) 1 win
6. Kurt Busch (3,054 points) +21 points
7. Brad Keselowski (3,054 points) +21 points
8. Ryan Blaney (3,043 points) +10 points
9. Aric Almirola (3,033 points) -10 points
10. Clint Bowyer (3,033 points) -10 points
11. Kyle Larson (3,031 points) -12 points
12. Alex Bowman (3,009 points) -34 points
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the 1000Bulbs.com 500 on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!