Kevin Harvick Takes Kansas for 5th Win in 2018

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Kevin Harvick(4) continues his season-long hot streak by winning the pole at Kansas Speedway. The KC Masterpiece 400 is set for Saturday night, May 12th, under the lights. Harvick’s speed of 188.811 edged fellow Ford driver Ryan Blaney’s(12) fastest lap of 187.826.

Four Ford Fusions start in the top 5 positions. Aric Almirola(10) starts 4th and Brad Keselowski(2) takes the green flag in 5th. Kyle Bush(18), the only non-Ford starts in 3rd. Ford took six of the top 10 qualifying positions. Kurt Busch(41) starts 8th and Joey Logano(22) 9th.

Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk / Getty Images

Still, all eyes were on Matt Kenseth(6) and his return to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for his first race of 2018. Kenseth took a few laps during practice. His fastest speed of 179.706 was only 28th fastest. Kenseth, driving in place of Trevor Bayne, was unable to make a qualifying attempt. His Roush-Fenway team failed to get the car through inspection. He started 35th of 38 entrants.

The KC Masterpiece 400

At the start, Harvick and Blaney dominated Stage 1. Harvick led the first 32 laps, Blaney led the remaining 48 laps of the 80 that made up the stage. Harvick made a run at the stage win on the last lap. However, Blaney was able to hold him off and take the stage win.

Photo Credit: Sean Gardner / Getty Images

 

Stage 1 Results

Car Driver Stage Points
12 Blaney* 10
4 Harvick* 9
2 Keselowski* 8
22 Logano* 7
42 Larson 6
10 Almirola* 5
11 Hamlin 4
18 Kyle Busch 3
41 Kurt Busch* 2
14 Bowyer* 1

* Ford Fusion Drivers

Stage 2

The 2nd Stage was equally uneventful with Harvick again finishing 2nd. This time to Kyle Larson(42) with Blaney continuing his strong run finishing 3rd.

Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill / Getty Images

Stage 2 Results

Car Driver Stage Points
41 Larson 10
4 Harvick* 9
12 Blaney* 8
18 Kyle Busch 7
22 Logano 6
10 Almirola* 5
41 Kurt Busch* 4
18 Clint Bowyer* 3
41 Erik Jones 2
78 Truex Jr. 1

* Ford Fusion Drivers

The Final Stage

The final 107 laps of the event make up the Final Stage and it started similar to the first two stages. Then with 30 laps to go Alex Bowman(88) and Daniel Suarez(19) made contact going down the backstretch. Bringing out the first accident caution of the evening. After pit stops, Larson and Harvick lined up side-by-side on the front row for the restart. With Logano and Blaney starting on row two.

Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk / Getty Images

The battle for the lead lasted two laps before Harvick took the top spot. Blaney got loose and dropped back allowing Logano to move into third. Logano passed Blaney as the two Fords began to pull away. Blaney recovered from his near spinout and began to challenge Larson for third. The pair banged fenders, cutting down a tire on Larson’s car and sending Blaney’s car up the track and brushing the wall. Caution again waved, now with 20 laps to go.

Late Restart

Some cars pitted and some remained on the track. For the restart, Logano and Martin Truex Jr.(78) led the pack to the green. With Erik Jones(20) and Denny Hamlin(11) right behind them. Harvick restarted in 8th with 15 laps to go.

The restart featured three-wide racing into turn one. On the backstretch, Truex took the lead, Logano settled into 2nd and Jones into 3rd.

More Trouble

After almost completing one circuit, cars began wrecking in turn 4. The third caution in just 30 laps slowed the field again. William Byron(24) got loose and spun into Clint Bowyer(14). Ryan Newman(31) ran into Byron and lifted the 24 car onto Newman’s hood. By the time everything sorted out Jamie McMurray(1), Kenseth, Ty Dillon(13), and Chris Buescher(37) were also involved.

The race was red flagged to allow safety crews to clean up the mess of wrecked race cars.

The Final Restart

After the red flag was lifted the field lined up with Truex in the lead. Logano in 2nd, Jones in 3rd, and Newman 4th. Harvick restarted in the 6th position. The green waved with 9 to go and Truex quickly stretched out a 20 car length lead. With 8 to go Harvick moved to 2nd and began chasing Truex.

Catching Truex on the next to the last lap, Harvick made the pass for the lead coming to the white flag. Holding off Truex on the final lap, Harvick won for the 5th time this season and second in a row.

Next week the All-Star activities take center stage at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Video Race Recap

 

 

 

 

Results of the KC Masterpiece 400 at Kansas Speedway

Position Car Driver Behind Laps
1 4 Kevin Harvick 267
2 78 Martin Truex Jr. 0.39 267
3 22 Joey Logano 2.09 267
4 42 Kyle Larson 2.41 267
5 11 Denny Hamlin 3.593 267
6 21 Paul Menard 4.447 267
7 20 Erik Jones 4.725 267
8 41 Kurt Busch 5.868 267
9 10 Aric Almirola 5.912 267
10 18 Kyle Busch 6.792 267
11 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 8.478 267
12 9 Chase Elliott 9.099 267
13 38 David Ragan 9.327 267
14 2 Brad Keselowski 10.288 267
15 14 Clint Bowyer 28.133 267
16 47 AJ Allmendinger -1 266
17 3 Austin Dillon -1 266
18 88 Alex Bowman -1 266
19 48 Jimmie Johnson -2 265
20 34 Michael McDowell -2 265
21 95 Kasey Kahne -3 264
22 32 Matt DiBenedetto -4 263
23 43 Darrell Wallace Jr. -5 262
24 72 Corey LaJoie -5 262
25 0 Landon Cassill -7 260
26 15 Ross Chastain -8 259
27 55 Reed Sorenson -8 259
28 19 Daniel Suarez -9 258
29 23 Gray Gaulding -10 257
30 31 Ryan Newman -14 253
31 1 Jamie McMurray -15 252
32 66 Timmy Hill -14 253
33 24 William Byron -15 252
34 37 Chris Buescher -16 251
35 51 BJ McLeod -16 251
36 6 Matt Kenseth -17 250
37 12 Ryan Blaney -20 247
38 13 Ty Dillon -20 247

 

Points/Playoff Standings

Position Driver Points Wins
1 Kevin Harvick* 484 5
2 Kyle Busch 503 3
3 Joey Logano* 491 1
4 Clint Bowyer* 406 1
5 Martin Truex Jr. 376 1
6 Austin Dillon 241 1
7 Brad Keselowski* 396 0
8 Kurt Busch 393 0
9 Denny Hamlin 380 0
10 Ryan Blaney* 365 0
11 Kyle Larson 356 0
12 Aric Almirola* 342 0
13 Jimmie Johnson 286 0
14 Erik Jones 285 0
15 Alex Bowman 271 0
16 Chase Elliott 266 0
Playoff Cut Line
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.* 265 0
18 Daniel Suarez 243 0
19 Paul Menard* 240 0
20 William Byron 229 0

* Ford Fusion Drivers

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Steve Sweitzer
Steve is the Sports Editor for the Lasco Press and highlights our coverage of NASCAR and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Steve is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association and a nationally published author of automotive related articles for industry trade magazines. He is also a freelance technical writer and accomplished photographer. A 25-year resident of Southeast Michigan, Steve’s passion for reporting on our community, it’s residents, and our automotive connections allow us to use his skills to cover a number of events. Steve’s ability to seek out the unique behind the scenes accounts that tell the often-overlooked aspect of a story makes for entertaining reading. Follow Steve at thelascopress.com with weekly NASCAR updates and featured articles.