The Monster Mile wasn’t so scary after all for the driver of the No. 4 Jimmy Johns Ford Fusion. Kevin Harvick took the first two stages of the race and quickly assumed the race-lead after a rain stoppage with 80 to go. He passed teammate Clint Bowyer and left the field in the dust closing out the race with a 7-plus second lead and his 4th win of the season in just 11 races. The No. 4 dominated the entire afternoon leading 201 of 400 laps.
The win was the 41st of his career, putting him 18th all-time ahead of Hall of Famer Mark Martin. Stewart-Haas had another amazing afternoon as an entire organization placing three cars in the top-5 and the fourth finished just outside the top-10 in 11th place. For team owner Tony Stewart, not only have his cars ran up front nearly every week, but they have taken 5 of the first 11 races with Bowyer’s win at Martinsville and nearly had a victor at both restricor-plate races with Aric Almirola leading at the white flag in the Daytona 500 and Kurt Busch scoring the runner-up to Joey Logano at Talladega. The team is firing on all cylinders every week at the track and have put the competition in the rear-view, much like the No. 4 did all day yesterday.
Though the first 11 races, two drivers have accounted for 7 race wins. Harvick won three in a row earlier in the season at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Kyle Busch rattled off three in a row at Texas, Richmond and Bristol and currently is atop the point standings in the Monster Energy Cup Series. The two drivers have dominated this season and it wouldn’t be surprising to see BOTH drivers rattle off double digit victories this season, they are currently on pace to win 23 of the 36 races. Staggering.
Brad Keselowski led 106 laps and came away with a 6th pace finish, 11-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson was running near the front all day, but a late pit-road strategy cost him a top-5 finish and he came away in 9th place. Daniel Suarez scored a career-best 3rd place finish at Dover and defending champion Martin Truex Jr. took home a 4th place finish at the Monster Mile.
The series heads to Kansas for their next race on Saturday night ahead of Mother’s Day. Harvick will look for two in a row, and Truex will look to continue his dominance on the mile-and-a-half track. Matt Kenseth also makes his first start of the season driving the No. 6 for Roush Fenway.
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