Kevin Harvick greeted cheering fans after winning the Southern 500. The NASCAR driver was all smiles on Saturday night. He even gave the checkered flag away to a young fan wearing one of his shirts.
“The first thing I want to say is, ‘Welcome back fans! This is a hell of a lot more fun with you guys up there,’” he told the crowd Saturday night.
Around 8,000 fans gathered to watch the race in Darlington. Harvick won earlier there in May, but the event didn’t have any spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was way better” getting out of the car and hearing a fan reaction, Harvick told Fox News. “It felt really good to have fans cheering,” he said.
Kevin Harvick took the lead at the NASCAR playoff opener when two drivers crashed.
For most of the race, Harvick trailed Chase Elliot and Martin Truex, who battled for first. Truex won the first two stages of the race, but once again found himself going against Elliot. Truex tried to pass by Elliot, but he clipped the front of Elliot’s car. Both careened into the wall and crashed.
“Just not enough room there for both of us,” Truex, who led a race-high 196 laps, said. “I thought I had enough of a run to clear him – I think it was close, obviously. I thought I had enough momentum and distance on him that he was going to let me in there.”
After the two crashed, Harvick found himself in the lead. Elliot had dropped off, and Truex needed his car repaired in the pit. Harvick held off driver Austin Dillon to take victory at the playoff opener.
“The leaders got tangled up there and the next thing you know we were racing for the win,” Harvick said. “This is one of the most prestigious races in our sport and obviously everybody in our sport knows the history that Darlington has for our sport, so anytime you can win here is pretty special.”
[H/T: Fox News]