Kevin Harvick Drives Away For Atlanta Cup Series Win

Kevin Harvick wins at Atlanta
Chris Graythen | Getty Images

Kevin Harvick dominated the final segment of Sunday's Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Harvick took the lead for the final time just after the start of the final segment, and ran mostly unchallenged the rest of the way en route to his second NASCAR Cup Series win of the season.

"We got a restart on the bottom and they got my car to take off," Harvick said. "I was able to get track position and then once I could get through those first 10 laps and my car was freed up enough to where I could get in a rhythm and really start hitting my marks, and then by about lap 25 I could start driving away."

It marks the 51st career series win for Harvick, and the third of his career at Atlanta. It moves him into 12th on the all-time series win list, breaking a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famers Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson.

The win also makes Harvick, at the age of 44, the oldest driver to win at Atlanta since Dale Earnhardt, Sr. in March of 2000. Earnhardt was 48 years of age at the time.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Harvick celebrated after the race by taking a reverse lap around the 1.54-mile layout while holding three fingers out the window in honor of Earnhardt.

"I didn't get a chance to show very good a couple years ago with my gloves on, so I made sure I took my gloves off this year," said Harvick. "Obviously, first win came for me here at Atlanta and this is just a race track that I've taken a liking to, and you always come back and have those memories and now you want to celebrate everything that Dale Earnhardt did for this sport."

Martin Truex, Jr. swept the first two segments of the race. But he had to settle for a third place finish at the end of the day after being passed late by his teammate, Kyle Busch, who went on to finish second.

"The last two or three runs there, we just got too tight. Not sure what happened," said Truex, Jr. "The car was really good. The guys did a great job. Auto Owners Camry was fast all day. Got our first two stage wins of the year, which was huge. We just can't seem to get over the hump at the finishes.

"With about 25 (laps) to go, I was clicking off some good lap times, but I knew I was pushing it too hard on the right front tire and with about 10 to go, it said, ‘oh hell no more.' Just ran out of tires at the end and lost second to Kyle (Busch). I figured at that point, I could see the 4 (Harvick) and was just going to give it all I had and see if there was any opportunity, but he was just too good. Just got too tight at the end. I don't know why, but we'll go back and look at it. Hell of a job by everybody and a good, solid day."

For Busch, it was a solid second place finish.

Kyle Busch
Chris Graythen | Getty Images

"We ended up second and not too far behind the 4 (Harvick), who was the best here," said Busch. "Hard to beat him when you come to his home turf if you will – at Atlanta, they're really fast. Overall, my guys did a great job and they gave me a great M&M's Fudge Brownie Camry. We were able to keep it up front all day. We had good pit stops all day. I didn't screw up and speed on pit road today so we've got that going for us."

While Harvick and Truex, Jr. showed the way from the front of the field for most of the day, the event saw a lot of jockeying for position behind them, with drivers battling back and forth throughout the field.

Dawsonville, Georgia's Chase Elliott started the race from the pole, and paced the field for the opening 25 circuits, marking the first laps he has led in the Cup Series at his home state track. In the end, he would finish in eighth.

After racing on the lead lap for much of the day, a second pit stop for a loose lug nut put Bubba Wallace in catch-up mode for much of the day. Wallace battled the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevy back to a 21st place finish.

With temperatures in Georgia reaching into the low 90s on the day, Wallace appeared to be lightheaded when he climbed out of the car after the race, and again while being interviewed by Fox Sports on pit road. He was taken to the track's infield medical center, where he was treated and released.

Empty grandstands greeted the field as they took the green flag
Kevin C. Cox | Getty Images

The start of the race was paused by NASCAR to allow for a "moment of listening" by the sport as NASCAR President Steve Phelps delivered a message on the racial injustice incidents around the country.

Ryan Blaney finished in fourth, with Denny Hamlin in fifth.

Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Elliott, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano rounded out the top 10.

It's a quick turnaround for the NASCAR Cup Series, as the tour next heads for Martinsville Speedway for a Wednesday night race on the tight half-mile short track.

RACE RESULTS

Fin St # Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Points Status
1 9 4 Kevin Harvick Busch Light For The Farmers Ford 325 151 51 Running
2 4 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Fudge Brownie Toyota 325 7 52 Running
3 11 19 Martin Truex Jr. Auto Owners Insurance Toyota 325 65 54 Running
4 7 12 Ryan Blaney Advance Auto Parts Ford 325 2 43 Running
5 10 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx #SupportSmall Toyota 325 0 46 Running
6 12 1 Kurt Busch Monster Energy Chevrolet 325 1 31 Running
7 15 48 Jimmie Johnson Ally Chevrolet 325 0 33 Running
8 1 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 325 26 40 Running
9 6 2 Brad Keselowski Autotrader Ford 325 5 31 Running
10 3 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 325 10 27 Running
11 16 3 Austin Dillon Symbicort Chevrolet 324 0 26 Running
12 8 88 Alex Bowman Axalta Chevrolet 324 0 25 Running
13 22 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. NOS Energy Drink Chevrolet 324 0 28 Running
14 17 6 Ryan Newman Progressive Insurance Ford 324 0 23 Running
15 19 42 Matt Kenseth Credit One Bank Chevrolet 324 0 22 Running
16 24 8 Tyler Reddick # Roland Chevrolet 324 0 21 Running
17 2 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 324 0 20 Running
18 27 95 Christopher Bell # Rheem Toyota 324 0 19 Running
19 31 41 Cole Custer # HaasTooling.com Ford 324 0 18 Running
20 5 14 Clint Bowyer Busch Light For The Farmers Ford 324 58 27 Running
21 23 43 Bubba Wallace McDonald's Chevrolet 324 0 16 Running
22 13 17 Chris Buescher Fastenal Ford 324 0 15 Running
23 18 38 John Hunter Nemechek # YANMAR Ford 324 0 14 Running
24 36 34 Michael McDowell FR8 Auctions Ford 324 0 13 Running
25 21 21 Matt DiBenedetto Menards/Knauf Ford 324 0 16 Running
26 29 37 Ryan Preece Kroger Chevrolet 323 0 11 Running
27 25 32 Corey LaJoie Built Bar Ford 323 0 10 Running
28 14 20 Erik Jones STANLEY Toyota 322 0 12 Running
29 28 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Chevrolet 322 0 8 Running
30 33 15 Brennan Poole # Spartan Mosquito Chevrolet 321 0 7 Running
31 37 96 * Daniel Suarez Coca-Cola Toyota 316 0 6 Running
32 35 0 Quin Houff # UNITS Chevrolet 314 0 5 Running
33 20 24 William Byron Liberty University Chevrolet 313 0 4 Running
34 32 27 Josh Bilicki(i) Insurance King Ford 313 0 0 Running
35 34 53 Garrett Smithley(i) Hero Box Chevrolet 312 0 0 Running
36 30 77 JJ Yeley(i) Swamp Rabbits Chevrolet 311 0 0 Running
37 40 7 * Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 310 0 1 Running
38 26 51 Joey Gase(i) Donate Life Ford 308 0 0 Running
39 38 66 * Timmy Hill(i) RoofClaim.com Toyota 259 0 0 Electrical
40 39 78 * BJ McLeod(i) Circle Track Warehouse Chevrolet 3 0 0 Clutch

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