Date: July 5, 2020
Event: Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 (Round 16 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: 160 laps, broken into three stages (50 laps/50 laps/60 laps)
Start/Finish: 11th/1st (Running, completed 161 of 161 laps)
Point Standing: 1st with 637 points, 85 ahead of second place
Note: Race extended one lap past its scheduled 160-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: William Bryon of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-50):
● Kevin Harvick started 11th, finished fifth, earning him six bonus points.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Patriotic Ford Mustang pitted on lap 13 for four tires and no fuel. Said car was loose early on, but became very good.
● On lap 43, Harvick pitted for four tires and fuel. Said car was handling well and in the lead.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 51-100):
● Kevin Harvick started second and finished first, earning him 10 bonus points and a playoff point.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Patriotic Ford Mustang pitted on lap 78 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment. He was fourth, but said he was struggling with the front end of the car.
● On lap 89, Harvick went three wide on the backstretch and got by Denny Hamlin and Austin Dillon to retake the lead.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 101-161):
● Kevin Harvick started first and finished first.
● The No. 4 Busch Light Patriotic Ford Mustang pitted on lap 124 for four tires and fuel while leading.
● Hamlin pitted one lap prior and came out ahead of Harvick. After a caution, Hamlin maintained the lead on the restart with Harvick in second.
● On lap 193, Hamlin was leading but cut a tire and hit the SAFER Barrier on the outside retaining wall in turn one. Harvick was in second and took the lead due to the accident.
● On the final restart with two laps to go, Harvick maintained the lead and won his third Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400.
● Harvick’s victory in the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 marked the 80th overall win for SHR. It was the organization’s 59th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series victory, its fourth of the season and its third at Indy.
● SHR came into Indianapolis as the defending race winner as Harvick and the No. 4 team won last year’s Brickyard 400. The team’s first Indianapolis victory came in 2013 with former driver Ryan Newman.
● This was SHR’s 23rd NASCAR Cup Series victory with Ford. The team won its first race with Ford when former driver Kurt Busch captured the 2017 Daytona 500.
● This was Ford’s series-leading ninth NASCAR Cup Series win of the season and its 695th all-time Cup Series victory.
● This was Ford’s sixth NASCAR Cup Series victory at Indianapolis and its third straight, as Harvick won last year’s race and Brad Keselowski won in 2018.
● This was Harvick’s 53rd career NASCAR Cup Series win. He is 12th on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series win list, just one victory behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Lee Petty.
● This was Harvick’s 30th NASCAR Cup Series victory since joining SHR in 2014.
● Harvick earned his fourth victory of the season and his third victory in 20 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Indianapolis.
● This was Harvick’s third straight top-two and his fourth consecutive top-10. He won last Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and finished second in Sunday’s return visit to the 2.5-mile triangle.
● Harvick has finished among the top-10 in 13 of the 16 races held this year. He has only one finish outside the top-15.
● Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has never finished outside the top-eight at Indianapolis.
● This was Harvick’s second straight win at Indianapolis. He joins Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch as the only drivers to win back-to-back NASCAR Cup Series races at the Brickyard.
● Harvick’s eight top-fives at Indianapolis are the second most among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Matt Kenseth leads with 10 top-fives.
● Harvick’s 14 top-10s at Indianapolis are the most among active NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Next best is Kenseth with 13 top-10s.
● Harvick finished fifth in Stage 1 to earn six bonus points. He won Stage 2 to earn 10 more bonus points and a valuable playoff point.
● Harvick led three times for a race-high 68 laps to increase his laps-led total at Indianapolis to 389.
● Harvick has now led 10,248 laps since joining SHR in 2014. He has led 14,674 laps in his entire NASCAR Cup Series career.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Patriotic Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We knew he (Denny) was going to be really close on tires and Rodney told me on the radio he said, ‘Just make sure you keep the pressure on him,’ and that was all the pressure I could give. Those guys do a really good job. I’ve just got to thank everybody on my Busch Light Ford Mustang. Everybody from Mobil 1, Haas Automation, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Jimmy John’s, everybody who is a part of this program and just keeps bringing good race cars to the race track. This is what I grew up wanting to do as a kid, win at the Brickyard and to be able to come here and have won for the third time is something that I could have never dreamed of. I want to say hi to my family at home. I know Keelan will be jacked up. Piper is probably asleep. If not, hello. But just really, really proud of all these guys on this team.”
We think you’re at 22 Playoff points, you have a pretty good lead right now in the regular season points. Did you start the season with a target of a number of Playoff points you wanted? If so, are you close to it?
“I hadn’t even looked. I hadn’t had a goal. Our goal is to be competitive on a weekly basis. Usually that will take care of itself. Look, this whole thing right now, really even on a normal season, our season is so long, there’s so many things going on, it really just comes down to a week-to-week sort of situation of what you focus on, what you think about. You get too far ahead, you just start jumbling thoughts together. I know if we keep winning, the points will keep adding up. When it comes Playoff time, those will be very valuable. Right now everything is going so well, we’ve got momentum, you want to win as many races as you can while you’ve got that wave of momentum on your side.
What does it mean to have won this back-to-back and for a third time?
“Well, I can tell you today I was as excited as I’ve been of any of the races that we’ve won. Look, for me, I think you guys have all heard me talk about this, this is like living out your childhood dream, being able to race and win here. I know how many times we’ve had fast cars here, come out the other end. Now to have won it back-to-back, three times, is something that’s a little bit surreal. I kind of have to just laugh about it, think back to all of those times that you told somebody you were going to go win the Indy 500, race INDYCARS, whatever the case may be. Now you’re in a stockcar, 20 years into your career, still going strong. It’s a great place to come to. It’s a great place to race, something that I look forward to every year.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Kentucky 400 on Sunday, July 12 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. The race starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!