It’s July, six months into the NASCAR season, and it took 20 rounds for a man who won eight times last year to secure his first win of the 2019 Monster Energy Cup Series season. Kevin Harvick made his return to victory lane Sunday holding off a hard-charging Denny Hamlin to secure his first win of 2019.
Harvick was able to hold off the ever-closing Hamlin during the final laps of the Foxwoods Resort and Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. When the white flag flew, Hamlin was on the bumper of Harvick’s Ford. When the two entered turn one, Hamlin put the bumper to Harvick, causing his Ford to go up the track and allowing Hamlin to get alongside him. Harvick powered up the inside, gaining the advantage down the backstretch. When the two entered turn three, Harvick went low to avoid the possibility of Hamlin using the bumper again. This compromised his exit, and coming out of turn four the two touched wheels, upsetting Hamlin’s car and securing the win for Harvick in dramatic fashion.
Harvick stayed out during the final caution period to gain track position, a move that secured the win for him and his Stewart-Haas Racing team. Following Hamlin in third was Erik Jones, who needed a good finish to move him closer towards a playoff position. Ryan Blaney would finish the day in fourth, followed by Matt DiBenedetto in fifth position. Kyle Busch led 118 laps on the day, the most among any driver. However, a brush with the wall on lap 214 would ultimately cost him a top five finish on the day. Busch went on to finish eighth.
The series heads to the mountains of Pennsylvania on Sunday, July 28th for the Gander RV 400 at Pocono Raceway. Fans can watch the race live on NBCSN at 3pm ET.
Featured Image Credit: Colin E. Braley/AP
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