Kevin Harvick ended the drought. The driver of the No. 4 car finally found his way back to victory lane on Sunday, taking the checkered flag at the FireKeepers Casino 400 from Michigan International Speedway.
Harvick entered this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race having gone 65 events without finding the winner’s circle. It was the second-longest drought of his career. After Sunday, the 46-year-old can celebrate again.
Thanks to an excellent restart with 34 laps to go, Harvick distanced himself from the rest of the field, leading by more than four seconds down the stretch.
A flat tire on Daniel Suarez’s No. 99 car with less than 10 laps to go could’ve jeopardized Harvick’s big lead as the checkered flag approached, but NASCAR determined not enough debris hit the track to warrant a caution. That allowed the No. 4 team to cruise to a large victory at Michigan International Speedway.
Bubba Wallace finished second, Denny Hamlin came in third, Joey Lagano clocked in at fourth and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five spots from Brooklyn on Sunday.
Harvick becomes the 15th NASCAR Cup Series driver to win a race in 2022.
Kevin Harvick Gets Huge Win at Right Time
Kevin Harvick logged career win No. 59 on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. With the playoffs approaching, it’s a huge victory at just the right time.
After the race, Harvick seemed both relieved and excited to finally get back to victory lane.
“Good timing, for sure. We’ve had several good runs the past few weeks … we just didn’t have everything work out,” Harvick said. “Our guys have done a good job in using what we have, maximizing it, and just proud of everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing.”
Sunday’s race started a little later than expected due to inclement weather. Rain, thunder and lightning hit the track, delaying the green flag by about an hour. Though threats of more rain remained, the FireKeepers Casino 400 was able to be completed in full.
One of the race’s favorites, Kyle Busch, made an early exit on Sunday. Busch was one of nine cars involved in a crash on Lap 25 that sent him too pit road prematurely. Three other drivers — Austin Cindric, Aric Almirola and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — also saw their afternoons end early.
Harvick and Bubba Wallace battled out of the restart with 34 laps remaining but Harvick’s car proved too strong for the day. He said all it needed was a little clean air.
“Once I got clear track, that baby was hunting,” He said.