Kevin Harvick doubles up with NASCAR Cup win at Richmond

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – AUGUST 14: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Ford Mobil 1, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway on August 14, 2022 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Last Sunday at Michigan, Kevin Harvick broke a 65-carry drought.

Now, the #4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford driver has a two-game winning streak.

Chased by runner-up Christopher Bell and third-placed Chris Buescher in the closing laps, Harvick slammed his way through traffic to win Sunday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway by 0.441 seconds.

The NASCAR Cup Series victory was Harvick’s fourth on the 0.75-mile short track – his first since 2013 – and the 60e of his career, tying him with Kyle Busch for most active drivers and ninth all-time.

Harvick led twice for 55 laps, passing eventual sixth-place Joey Logano for the lead on lap 334 and taking it back from Denny Hamlin on lap 353 at the end of a cycle of green-flag pit stops.

“It’s like I said last week, the cars have been running well week in and week out,” Harvick said, “and you see we understand a lot more about what’s going on with how we’ve adjusted on the car after the first race and we were able to considerably improve the behavior of our car.

“I think as night fell the race track really came to our Mobil 1 Ford Mustang.”

By lapping a circuit earlier than Logano on lap 340, Buescher edged out the Team Penske rider and began chasing Harvick, who led the final 48 laps. Buescher came to bumper Harvick in traffic but couldn’t run for the lead.

No.17 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing Ford driver lost his chance for a chance win when Harvick passed Bubba Wallace and Buescher got trapped behind Wallace’s No.23 Toyota and fell two seconds behind.

“I just burned the rear tyres,” said Buescher, who needs a win to qualify for the Cup playoffs. “Ultimately, it’s on me. The doubled traffic didn’t do us any favors either, but in the end we just had to keep the backs under us a little better so we could have shot a little better there to chase him for the win.

On cooler tires 12 laps, Bell charged forward, passed Buescher on lap 396 of 400 and closed in on Harvick before running out of time.

“Well, I knew he was coming, but I forgot to walk right past last time,” Harvick said. “I wasn’t paying attention and he got closer than he should have. I made a mistake a few laps ago doing the same thing. I was not moving at the back, and I was moving at the front. There was a lot going on and made a few mistakes, let him get too close.

Bell, who already has a win under his belt this season, seemed pleased with the second-place result.

“Really, really proud of (team leader) Adam Stevens, of this whole group of 20,” Bell said. “The Rheem Camry didn’t feel great at the start, and we had our fair share of issues (including a lap 250), and the pit crew really pulled through at the end with some blazing stops. and allowed us to get in front of 11 (Hamlin), who was on the same strategy as us and get up there and fight.

In the battle for the last position in the Playoffs, Ryan Blaney widened his advantage over Martin Truex Jr. despite his 10th place.e to the seventh of Truex. The difference was in stage points. Blaney went 11-0 for Truex and now leads the 2017 series champion by 26 with two runs to go in the regular season.

Hamlin came fourth, followed by Chase Elliott. Logano led a race-high 222 laps, but his #22 Ford wasn’t as strong into the dusk as it had been earlier in the race.

“Yeah, I think just as the sun went down and the track got colder, (we) lost a bit of cornering on our car,” Logano said. “Kevin and a few others have improved a lot in the last two runs of the race. When it was hot and slippery, that was probably our strength with the Shell Pennzoil Mustang.

The Cup Series heads to Watkins Glen next Sunday for the 25e regular season race.

– NASCAR Newswire –

View race details at: Race Results, Driver Points Ranking, Owner Points Ranking, Cumulative Report, Violation Report.

See full race information on the Richmond race page.

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