Date: June 22, 2020
Event: GEICO 500 (Round 13 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format: 188 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/68 laps)
Start/Finish: 5th/10th (Running, completed 191 of 191 laps)
Point Standing: 1st with 490 points, 23 ahead of second place
Note: Race extended three laps past its scheduled 188-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., of JTG Daugherty Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
● Kevin Harvick started fifth and finished 28th.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang pitted on lap 27 for four tires and fuel. He said the car was a bit loose.
● There was a rain delay for more than 55 minutes at lap 57.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
● Kevin Harvick started 26th and finished 27th.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang pitted on lap 63 for four tires and fuel.
● On lap 90, Harvick said his car was too tight on exit.
● Harvick pitted for four tires and fuel on lap 97.
● On lap 115, Harvick pitted for four tires and fuel.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-191):
● Kevin Harvick started fourth and finished 10th.
● Harvick pitted for fuel only on lap 135 and then again on lap 142.
● On lap 185, Harvick wars battling with Jimmie Johnson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and made contact with the car of Johnson. Harvick kept going, but Johnson’s car spun in the infield.
● Harvick saved fuel perfectly and was leading the final lap in overtime heading into turn four, but as is typical in speedway racing, he was not able to hold onto the lead and fell from first to 10th in the final corner.
● Harvick earned his 10th top-10 of the season and his 16th top-10 in 39 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega.
● Harvick’s 16 top-10s at Talladega are the second-most among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
● Harvick has finished among the top-10 in 10 of the 13 races held this year. He has only one finish outside the top-15.
● Harvick led twice for two laps to increase his laps-led total at Talladega to 262.
● Harvick has now led 10,152 laps since joining SHR in 2014. He has led 14,578 laps in his entire NASCAR Cup Series career.
● Ryan Blaney won the GEICO 500 to score his fourth career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his second at Talladega. His margin of victory over second-place Ricky Stenhouse Jr., was .007 of a second.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 33 laps.
● Twenty-four of the 40 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Harvick remains the championship leader after Talladega with a 23-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.
Rodney Childers, Crew Chief of the No. 4 Busch Light Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It’s tough. It seems like we’ve lost more speedway races than we should. That’s the disappointing part. We seem to have fast cars and we just can’t seem to capitalize on it. We definitely had a fast car and everyone did a good job.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is a doubleheader June 27-28 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The first race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 27 with live coverage provided by FOX. The second race begins at 4 p.m. EDT on Sunday, June 28 with live coverage provided by FS1. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will broadcast both races.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!